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Thread: "TheoreticalMathematical Physics" or "Physics

  1. #1 "TheoreticalMathematical Physics" or "Physics 
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    I would like to ask what is the big different between
    "Theoretical Mathematical Physics" and "Physics" ?

    I will probably apply for University of Miami ,my major will be Theoretical and Mathematical Physics .
    Is theoretical and Mathematical Physics of U of Miami good ?

    Thank you

    PS.
    I am good at Math and Physics .
    I am poor at bio and Chem .


    A man can be destroyed ,but not defeated
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  3. #2 bifferenc between mathematical physics and physics 
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    :-D I feel that MATHEMATICAL PHYSICS deals with APPLICATION of physics in physical activities :-D
    On the other hand PHYSICS deals with CONCEPT part.
    u can b good at concept but weak at its application
    numerical solving improves application part concept you can get by going through different books
    eg--RESNICK&HALLIDAY;UNIVERSITY PHYSICSetc.
    by the way PHY> is my favourite subject alongwith ASTRONOMY


    RR
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  4. #3 Re: bifferenc between mathematical physics and physics 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bittu
    :-D I feel that MATHEMATICAL PHYSICS deals with APPLICATION of physics in physical activities :-D
    On the other hand PHYSICS deals with CONCEPT part.
    u can b good at concept but weak at its application
    numerical solving improves application part concept you can get by going through different books
    eg--RESNICK&HALLIDAY;UNIVERSITY PHYSICSetc.
    by the way PHY> is my favourite subject alongwith ASTRONOMY
    Actually I think you have it backwards. It is the "Theoretical and Mathematical Physics" which is the theoretical course. In this context, the word "mathematical" refers to the fact that theoretical physics involves advanced mathematics, so this program is like to include in more in depth studies of advanced mathematics. Whereas the plain physics cource is more likely to be experimental physics and applied.

    In choosing between these two you need to not only consider that the theoretical course will be longer and much much harder but that this choice is very idealistic rather than career oriented. So it depends on what your objectives are for studying physics. If you are you looking for a good well paying career then the regular physics program is your best choice. But if you seek to understand things like Quantum Field Theory, General Relativity and String Theory, dont mind spending 4 to 6 more years in graduate school, or mind that you may end up unemployed, then you will want to choose the theoretical physics program.

    However, my judgement here is based largely on what your choices must be in graduate school, if you are entering an undergraduate program my advice is less applicable. For example, even if you want a PHD in experimental physics, the theoretical physics may be a better choice for your undergraduate program especially if you are good in mathematics. In either case you must not neglect computer programing which will be an important tool in either type of physics.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
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  5. #4 Re: "TheoreticalMathematical Physics" or "Phy 
    Forum Ph.D. william's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drakmage
    I would like to ask what is the big different between
    "Theoretical Mathematical Physics" and "Physics" ?

    I will probably apply for University of Miami ,my major will be Theoretical and Mathematical Physics .
    Is theoretical and Mathematical Physics of U of Miami good ?

    Thank you

    PS.
    I am good at Math and Physics .
    I am poor at bio and Chem .
    Do you like working with your hands and analyzing data? --> Experimental physics

    Do you like sitting in front of a computer and/or drudging through mathematics for months on end? --> Theoretical physics

    From my experience, many (but not all...) of the theoreticians do computer simulations and such - stuff like my avatar (if you do astro...). Either way, much use is made with computers. I was told "all the easy stuff has been done already" when I started grad school. That seems true. Keep that in mind. The good old days of being able to work everything out by hand, it seems, are for the most part over. I say this because the physicist has been romanticized by Hollywood and you may find yourself a theoretical physicist and it may not be what you thought it was. I'm not trying to discourage you, but I've seen a lot of students make this observation.

    Also, don't be afraid to google the schools and departments you are considering.

    http://www.physics.miami.edu/

    From what little I looked at the Miami physics department, it seems fairly small. For instance, I counted 27 graduate students. Where I'm at, there are around 80 - 100. But small is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, depending on the person, it may be a good thing. Considering where you go and who you work with for grad school is much more important than undergrad. And, by then, if you know the field of research that you really want to work in, I personally believe that finding the right person who you'll have as your thesis advisor is even more important than which school you go to.

    Here is a link that deals with research. It specifically talks about artificial intelligence, but the same good advice it gives can be applied to any research, including physics. One thing to get from this link is that research, in general, is very difficult and students can get burned out easily. This link gives advice on how to avoid that along with other good tid-bits of info.

    http://www.cs.indiana.edu/mit.research.how.to.html

    Whatever you decide, you have my best wishes.
    Cheers,
    william

    Edit: You might also consider a double major in mathematics and physics. That's what I did.
    "... the polhode rolls without slipping on the herpolhode lying in the invariable plane."
    ~Footnote in Goldstein's Mechanics, 3rd ed. p. 202
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  6. #5  
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    Thank you guys ~~
    You are a big help !
    I probably would go wrong way without your helping ...

    :wink:

    I will consider Theoretical and Mathematical physics and double major ~
    A man can be destroyed ,but not defeated
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