# Programs What math courses should I take (math/physics double major)

#### feuxfollets

So I know there's another thread but I don't want to hijack it, and I'm going to math major as well so I'll be taking another 8-10 or so semesters beyond calculus/linear algebra. I'm interested in doing physics with a theoretical bent.

From what I've gathered, group theory and differential geometry would be useful. My school has a one-year sequence on Abstract Algebra (groups, rings, fields, etc.) and Differential geometry/topology. Should I take both of those? There's also a year on lie algebras but that's burried deep within other grad level stuff.

Is Advanced real analysis useful for a physicist?
Course description is: (2 semesters)

Construction of real numbers, the topology of the real line and the foundations of single variable calculus. Notions of
convergence for sequences of functions. Basic approximation theorems for continuous functions and rigorous treatment of
elementary transcendental functions. The course is intended to teach students how to read and construct rigorous formal proofs
The Arzela-Ascoli theorem. Introduction to the topology of metric spaces with an emphasis on
higher dimensional Euclidean spaces. The contraction mapping principle. Inverse and implicit function theorems. Rigorous
treatment of higher dimensional differential calculus. Introduction to Fourier analysis and asymptotic methods
There's also a one-year sequence on Measure theory/probability theory/stochastic processes. I've heard probability is something a lot of grad physicists lack so should I take that?

#### micromass

So I know there's another thread but I don't want to hijack it, and I'm going to math major as well so I'll be taking another 8-10 or so semesters beyond calculus/linear algebra. I'm interested in doing physics with a theoretical bent.
You need to specify your future plans more.

1) How theoretical will your physics be? Will it be mathematical physics like string theory?
2) What kinds of physics will you be interested in?
3) Do you want to do math for its own sake, or do you merely want the math to be useful for physics?
4) Do you want your physics to be well-founded in math? Or do you accept sloppy math to be used in physics? That is: do you want things to be defined and proved rigorously, or is that less important to you than actually getting physical results?

The answers useful to you will depend a lot on these questions.

• IGU

#### NascentOxygen

Mentor
Over 4 years have passed since feuxfollets posted seeking advice on maths appropriate to physics study.

We hope he chose well and went on to graduate.