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What is the correct reading order for these topics in mathematics?

  1. Dec 9, 2012 #1
    Alright. So, internet gives me the idea that any serious research in Theoretical Physics will require me to have atleast some knowledge of the following topics in math:

    Groups (Group Theory)
    Differential Geometry
    Calculus of Variations
    Linear Algebra
    Abstract Algebra

    I was wondering if some of you could suggest me 'the' suitable order for these topics. eg, I know that Calculus of variations has nothing to do with, say, linear algebra; but in what order should I read the above mentioned topics; say between Linear Algebra, Topology, Groups, Differential Geometry?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 9, 2012 #2


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    Science Advisor

    There is no necessity that one be read before the other but I think Linear Algebra is a good introduction to the ways of thinking necessary in Group Theory. I would also consider Linear Algebra necessary to Differential Equations (which should be on your list). Strictly speaking, both Linear Algebra and Group Theory are part of Abstract Algebra although Linear Algebra is more often studied separately from Abstract Algebra than is Group Theory.

    I would recommend this order:

    Linear Algebra
    Ordinary Differential Equations
    Group Theory
    Abstract Algebra
    Calculus of Variations
    Partial Differential Equations
    Differential Geometry
  4. Dec 9, 2012 #3
    That helps... Thanks!
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