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Orson
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For a major or This could be related to career as well.
I doubt that.Dopplershift said:You cannot study math without knowledge of physics
Dopplershift said:You cannot study math without knowledge of physics
As do I. There are many areas of mathematics that have no connection to physics.blue_leaf77 said:I doubt that.
Physics is a basic scientific area in which the Mathematics you study really becomes alive. This is why "Physics is good for you", even if you don't really need it for Mathematics.Mark44 said:As do I. There are many areas of mathematics that have no connection to physics.
Crek said:Physics in my opinion falls into the gap of being too pure to be useful but too applied to be beautiful, the end result is a field which is neither applied nor clean. I went from math to engineering, I never gave physics a thought because I always felt it was kind of a train wreck.
dkotschessaa said:I always thought engineering looked more difficult than math or physics, because not only do you need to know math and physics, but you have to be able to do something useful with it. Whenever I saw the engineering majors at work, it looked like a lot of..well..work!
-Dave K
blue_leaf77 said:I doubt that.
No I have not, but mathematics is not only about modelling physical phenomena, is it? Logic and algebra for instance, they need only a fine reasoning to work.Dopplershift said:Have you ever taken a mathematical modeling course.
Dopplershift said:You cannot study math without knowledge of physics
George Jones said:This is not true.
That is what all scientific discipline based upon. When a physicist solves a simple Atwood machine problem, he doesn't reason from first principles (even if his knows them - a beginning physicist does not - that would be downright madness), he reasons with high-level abstractions. And those high-level abstractions are built on the whole hierarchy of abstractions that go all the way down to the most basic, most fundamental physics theories. And the first principles that await us at the bottom of this hierarchy ladder... is just another bunch of abstractions.Crek said:Engineering is based upon the principle of abstraction.
Dopplershift said:[...] You cannot study math without knowledge of physics and [...]
blue_leaf77 said:I doubt that.
George Jones said:This is not true.
dkotschessaa said:Indeed it is not, and I stand as a living testament to this fact, as do numerous mathematicians.
collinsmark said:Perhaps we can agree that at least from a historical point of view, mathematics and physics have some considerable overlap when it comes to their incremental discoveries/inventions. Some mathematical discoveries/inventions were made in the process of investigating physical phenomena (e.g. Newton's calculus), and some physical theories emerged by examining the underlying mathematics (e.g. Dirac's antimatter).
Elvis 123456789 said:dkotschessaa about physics being messy, there is also a certain beauty in finding the patterns nested deep inside the mess.
can't you have your cake and eat it too by becoming a mathematical physicist?Elvis 123456789 said:I am currently in the process of introspection and reflection in order to determine whether I will apply to graduate school in physics or mathematics. I, like dkotschessaa, also view mathematics as more "pure" and more "perfect" than physics. On the one hand, there is physics which appears more superficially interesting and inspired, and on the other is mathematics, which to me, follows in the tradition of Plato's world of forms-something that transcends reality, something that transcends physics. Mathematics seems to me to be a truly sublime and magnificent edifice, beautiful and deep, yet elusive. Physics comes a lot more naturally to me, not to say that it is easy which it certainly isn't, but it seems to suit my mode of thought more than does mathematics. Although I agree once again with
dkotschessaa about physics being messy, there is also a certain beauty in finding the patterns nested deep inside the mess.
Well, I think one could write complete books dedicated to this question. I find an easy answer is the following:Orson said:What i have heard is that if you see beauty in the way nature works, do physics. If you see beauty in the way logic works, do math.
Can you guys expand on that?
fresh_42 said:Well, I think one could write complete books dedicated to this question. I find an easy answer is the following:
What do we commonly regard as beautiful?
Let's start with a subject that is innocuous: music. Sooner or later we will end up with cadences, which are patterns of symmetry and repetition. And both can be physically as well as mathematically described by the same means: symmetries and repetitions. They might be called interference, frequency or symmetry group, but this only changes language, not the underlying principle. And I think it generally pleases us, if we somehow recognize those patterns, whether intuitively with our ears or intellectually by mind.
I think that describes how I ended up pursuing physics in the end over math. When I was an undergrad, I read many books on physics and math. One thing I noticed was I just didn't identify with the joy mathematicians seemed to find in their subject, whereas I was really drawn to the the ideas and concepts of physics, particularly in particle physics and cosmology. I was driven to learn about physics at a more technical level whereas I never felt that way about most topics in math. That said, I've really enjoyed and found interesting almost all of the math classes I've taken. I would hope you don't see it really as an either-or choice, but as two subjects that complement each other.Orson said:What i have heard is that if you see beauty in the way nature works, do physics. If you see beauty in the way logic works, do math.
Can you guys expand on that?
I think Mathematics was discovered/invented because of the study of the world. If we hadn't studied and observed the world first, I doubt if we would get to mathematics. There is no defined frontier between Mathematics & Physics. "For some results or discoveries, it is difficult to say to which area they belong: to the mathematics or to physics" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relationship_between_mathematics_and_physics#Philosophical_problems).blue_leaf77 said:I doubt that.
Wastrophysicist said:I think Mathematics was discovered/invented because of the study of the world.
I am not well informed about such history but even if that's true, it doesn't change the fact that today you can study math without knowing physics.Wastrophysicist said:I think Mathematics was discovered/invented because of the study of the world.
blue_leaf77 said:I am not well informed about such history but even if that's true, it doesn't change the fact that today you can study math without knowing physics.
My personal understatement of the day!dkotschessaa said:As I said, math was invented for accounting. Fortunately you can study math without that too. :D
-Dave K
This is a common question that I get asked a lot. I actually have a background in both math and physics, but ultimately decided to pursue a career in math. I found that I enjoyed the abstract and logical thinking involved in math, and I was fascinated by the endless possibilities and applications of mathematical concepts. However, I still have a strong interest in physics and often use mathematical principles to solve physical problems.
While both math and physics involve a lot of problem-solving and critical thinking, there are some key differences between the two fields. Math is primarily focused on abstract concepts and theories, while physics is more focused on applying those concepts to understand the physical world. Additionally, math tends to be more theoretical and proof-based, while physics involves experimentation and observation.
Both math and physics have their own unique challenges. In math, I often had to wrap my head around complex abstract concepts and think outside the box to solve problems. In physics, I had to apply mathematical principles to real-world scenarios and make sense of the data collected from experiments. Overall, I would say that both subjects require a lot of critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Math and physics are closely related and often intersect in many ways. In fact, physics is often described as the "language of math" because it heavily relies on mathematical principles to explain and predict physical phenomena. Many mathematical concepts, such as calculus and linear algebra, have been developed specifically for use in physics. On the other hand, physics also provides real-world applications for many abstract mathematical theories.
One example of how I have used math in a physics context is when I was studying the motion of a projectile. By using mathematical equations, I was able to calculate the trajectory, velocity, and acceleration of the projectile. This allowed me to make predictions about its motion and understand the factors that affect its path. Without a strong understanding of mathematical concepts, it would have been much more difficult to analyze and understand the projectile's motion.