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Why is math in astrophysics said to be a lot easier?

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  • Thread starter Pleonasm
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Is it due to the bolded section outlined here?

"Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy that employs the principles of physics and chemistry "to ascertain the nature of the astronomical objects, rather than their positions or motions in space"

One still calculates the evolution of a given system, but I guess that's relatively straight-forward?

Are there" wordly" differences in the difficulties or is a less inclined math person still going to struggle just as much as in theoretical physics, say?
 
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  • #2
ZapperZ
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Is it due to the bolded section outlined here?

"Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy that employs the principles of physics and chemistry "to ascertain the nature of the astronomical objects, rather than their positions or motions in space"

One still calculates the evolution of a given system, but I guess that's relatively straight-forward?

Are there" wordly" differences in the difficulties or is a less inclined math person still going to struggle just as much as in theoretical physics, say?
Who told you that the math in astrophysics is ".... a lot easier... "? And it is easier than what?

Zz.
 
  • #3
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Who told you that the math in astrophysics is ".... a lot easier... "? And it is easier than what?

Zz.
Nobody told me. The claim is from several sources, among them a public conversation between scientists I saw on youtube in which the female astronomer remarked that she went into astronomy/astrophysics originally because it was less heavy on math than other branches of physics. There was also a thread in here about the astronomy/astrophysics in which the same sentiment was expressed, though I can't trace it at the moment.
 
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"Why is math in astrophysics said to be a lot easier?" Who said that? Where did you get this claim from? Any reference supporting it?

In astronomy/astrophysics many different science disciplines are applied, including all the difficulties they bring from their respective domains. You pointed out "theoretical physics" for comparison. You can be sure, that most of the areas of theoretical physics has to be applied in order to build successful models in astrophysics.
 
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ZapperZ
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Nobody told me. The claim is from several sources, among them a public conversation between scientists I saw on youtube in which the female astronomer remarked that she went into astronomy/astrophysics originally because it was less heavy on math than other branches of physics. There was also a thread in here about the astronomy/astrophysics in which the same sentiment was expressed, though I can't trace it at the moment.
Please provide those references.

In the meantime, I suggest you go on arXiv and look at all the theoretical papers in Astrophysics.

Zz.
 
  • #6
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"Why is math in astrophysics said to be a lot easier?" Who said that? Where did you get this claim from? Any reference supporting it?

In astronomy/astrophysics many different science disciplines are applied, including all the difficulties they bring from their respective domains. You pointed out "theoretical physics" for comparison. You can be sure, that most of the areas of theoretical physics has to be applied in order to build successful models in astrophysics.
https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/pure-math-in-astrophysics-suggestions-needed.148919/


"Honestly there really isn't a lot of higher-level pure math in astrophysics proper. You might find some uses for group theory or algebra if you get into writing or optimizing codes (computer programs) for simulations. Analysis won't matter, since astrophysicists really aren't concerned with the way numbers are constructed. Algebra won't matter, since you're not really concerned with any formal logic. You might find a few applications of the conclusions of geometric topology here and there. You'd definitely find many applications of tensor calculus.

In general, though, I don't think you're going to find much pure math in astrophysics. I am not, however, an astrophysicist, so perhaps someone else can give a more reliable answer."

- Warren
 
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I am not, however, an astrophysicist, so perhaps someone else can give a more reliable answer."
Well, what can we add...

Btw. no need to put all the post in bold. I can get the point without that...
 
  • #8
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Well, what can we add...
Doesn't mean he's wrong. I have heard it said by actual astrophysicists too.
 
  • #9
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Doesn't mean he's wrong. I have heard it said by actual astrophysicists too.
OK. Then go to see some papers on arXiv as @ZapperZ suggest above, or look into some serious (advanced) astrophysics textbooks (not the pop-science stuff) and let us know how easy do you consider the "math" after.
 
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ZapperZ
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Doesn't mean he's wrong. I have heard it said by actual astrophysicists too.
You quoted ONE post by ONE person, while you ignored all the other responses posted in that thread.

Zz.
 
  • #11
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You quoted ONE post by ONE person, while you ignored all the other responses posted in that thread.

Zz.
No I did not. Nobody of equal merit (science advisor, staff emeritus) disputed him or had anything useful to add to the topic. He talked about pure astrophysics, not interdisciplinary physics.
 
  • #12
ZapperZ
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No I did not. Nobody of equal merit (science advisor, staff emeritus) disputed him or had anything useful to add to the topic. He talked about pure astrophysics, not interdisciplinary physics.
Gokul is chopped liver?

I really don't know what this is all about. You asked. I will tell you that the math is NOT easier.

Am I of "equal merit"?

Otherwise, I'm done, because you seem already fixed with your view. If you think that the math in astrophysics is "easier", go with it!

Zz.
 
  • #13
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Gokul is chopped liver?

I really don't know what this is all about. You asked. I will tell you that the math is NOT easier.

Am I of "equal merit"?

Otherwise, I'm done, because you seem already fixed with your view. If you think that the math in astrophysics is "easier", go with it!

Zz.
And your background is... not astronomy. If we are to apply the same standard to him as to you, your opinion goes in the bin as well:smile: You most likely had harder math in your graduate than the astronomy/astrophysics graduate. The question is why.... I'm guessing investigation into the properties of astronomical objects is not quote: "math intricate" as opposed to string theory, say.
.
 
  • #14
jim mcnamara
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This thread is ridiculous. You were asked to provide citations form proper journals. You did not do that. I am a biologist, but in my area I use math often. I have 5 undergraduate and 3 graduate level math courses. And I try to stay out of math, astrophysics and physics threads because I do not know enough math. Broke my own rule this time.

This pattern of getting some very vague or out of date citation and then not listening to anyone with a decent background in the subject has to stop. You have done this repeatedly in other Biology threads - please learn that there may be people here trying to help. Whom you do not have the background to assess.

I am stopping it now.
 

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