Does anyone have any suggestions as to what is a good topic for a short talk on theoretical physics to a bunch of Math and Physics undergrads that might make them "embrace" theoretical physics? Thanks.
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closed as off topic by Asaf Karagila, Grigory M, Chandrasekhar, t.b., Chris Taylor Aug 18 '11 at 15:49
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This is not so much an "answer" as it is a pointer to where you can go to look for inspiration. Gregory L. Naber has written two very interesting volumes on the application of geometry and topology to physics. These are Topology, Geometry and Gauge Fields: Foundations and Topology, Geometry and Guage Fields: Interactions The second volume builds on the first and each has introductory chapters that provide examples from physics illustrating the (formidable) mathematical machinery that is developed. This is very much a mathematician's view of physics in that the mathematics is presented rigorously with very little hand waving. I would think that within these volumes you could find much of interest to both potential mathematicians and physicists. Since you are targeting undergraduates, you might want to take a look at Appendix A in Foundations. It has a nice elementary discussion of SU(2) and SO(3) and how these relate to QM.