I have a strong interest in maths, and I feel that advanced physics is cool too (although I've only studied classical mechanics at high school, which is kind of boring). So I'm not sure about which path follow for further studies at university: I think that maths can become very abstract, and therefore be somewhat less interesting than experimental (or even theorical) physics; on the other hand, I've no basis whatsoever to judge if I will like university physics.

So I have two questions:

  1. Do you feel that you miss something doing mathematics: that is, don't you want to do something more connected to the real word and to practical experiments? If not, why is even abstract math interesting to you?

  2. Are there any books/websites/handouts which can help me grasp the beauty of physics (NB I'm not looking for pop-science on the universe or something, but for interesting books about real university physics)?

Thank you. I hope this question is not too broad or opinion based (at least, if it is, please don't close it soon, so that I can get some answers).

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Classical mechanics is boring? I'm sure you've never handled three body problems or fluid mechanics. $\endgroup$
    – Hakim
    Commented Apr 18, 2014 at 12:34
  • $\begingroup$ @حكيمالفيلسوفالضائع can you suggest some material to see what's interesting about it? $\endgroup$
    – user143892
    Commented Apr 18, 2014 at 12:39
  • $\begingroup$ That depends on the program you are considering. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 18, 2014 at 12:43
  • $\begingroup$ @user143892 First, check Seway & Jewett Physics for scientists and engineers to have a good grasp of basic thermodynamics, electromagnetism, optics and to touch some modern physics (special relativity, quantum mechanics, nuclear physics...). After that you can definitely start off learning from this bibliography and for the maths check here. $\endgroup$
    – Hakim
    Commented Apr 18, 2014 at 12:44
  • $\begingroup$ @حكيمالفيلسوفالضائع Thank you. Anyway, do you study physics? If so, why do you think it's more interesting than maths? $\endgroup$
    – user143892
    Commented Apr 18, 2014 at 12:56

2 Answers 2


in fact MATH = PHYSICS (today's level) you can study one of these and then use some physics books for mathematicians


Mathematics has a pure side that can be very abstract, as you say, but there is also applied mathematics, which, as the name suggests, is more relevant to the "real world" and areas like physics. Analysis and algebra (pure) can be too theoretical and boring for some people. Personally, I find analysis (functional analysis, operator theory, measure theory, etc.) very interesting. It can involve a lot of theorems and proofs, which I enjoy. The applied side, however, has many applications in physics and other sciences. Fluid dynamics, dynamical systems and mechanics are some examples. If you choose to study mathematics, the applied route is likely to suit you if you like physics.


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