Worth taking physics classes for fun?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
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Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:49 pm

Worth taking physics classes for fun?

Post by avisottda » Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:11 am

So it seems like I will be attending a 2 year master's program in pure mathematics. I know, I should focus on math and focus on getting good grades and doing research so that I can get into somewhere after 2 years.

Well, I am very much planning on doing that. But at the same time, I feel like I should know some physics to do the kind of research that I want to do, and I feel like it would help me out. I am primarily interested in algebraic geometry and topology. For PhD, I really want to do mathematical physics or at least applied math with focus on physical applications.

I stopped taking physics courses as an undergrad after the whole intro sequence (got an A in all). Right now, my plan is to take 1 physics course each semester (so 4 physics courses total: Classical Mechanics, E&M, General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics). At the very least, I want to take General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. Do you think this is a foolish move if I want to get into a good mathematics PhD programs after my masters? Do you think it would be a distraction and time consuming?

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Re: Worth taking physics classes for fun?

Post by IfhhoteCannot » Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:19 am

What? No it's not a waste of time. What's the point of spending 7 more years in school if you don't "let" yourself take classes you want to take? Besides, the beauty of getting your masters is that you have time to figure more stuff out before starting a PhD program. Maybe you'll decide to get your PhD in physics instead, by the end of it. And it's bound to have applications that will help you in math as well. You most likely would not regret taking the classes, but you're likely to regret NOT taking the classes.

Go for it! :)

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Re: Worth taking physics classes for fun?

Post by phku » Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:53 am

I, for one, would definitely not regret not taking any physics.

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Re: Worth taking physics classes for fun?

Post by MathFreaked » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:30 am

If it's relevant to your research interests, then it is absolutely not a waste of time. Also, if you're planning on doing your PhD in applied math, it's especially good to have some more "applied" background, which can include physics classes. As long as you can do your math coursework and your research while taking the physics classes too, I'd say go for it!

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