Mathematical
Physics |

**In General** > s.a. field theory; gauge theory.

* __Goal__: Use a well-defined
framework, a precise language, and the standards of rigor of modern mathematics to

(1) Determine consequences of physical theories, by proving theorems about physically motivated concepts;

(2) Derive properties and numbers of physical interest for model systems through calculation.

__Areas__: see differential
equations, integral equations; operator
theory; group theory; differential geometry;
set theory;
and, more recently, topology and algebraic
topology (including homotopy and homology).

__Specific topics__: see Banach
Space; chern-simons theory;
distributions; hilbert
space; Response Functions; Special Functions.

**References** > s.a. computational
physics; programming languages [with Mathematica].

@ __Texts, IIb__: Hassani 00; Chow 00; Seaborn 02; Fischer-Cripps 05; Blum & Lototsky 06; Boas 06; Kusse & Westwig 06; Svozil a1203-ln; Wong 13; Herman 13; Chu a1701-ln.

@ __Texts, III__: Whittaker & Watson 27; Courant & Hilbert 53-62;
Morse & Feschbach 53; Von Neumann 55; Reed & Simon 72–79; Thirring 78;
Richtmyer 78–81; Wilf 78;
Arfken 85; Geroch 85;
Fong et al 03 [esp. differential equations];
Vaughn 07;
Henner et al 09;
Stone & Goldbart 09;
Cahill 13 [r CP(14)].

@ __Texts__: Mathews & Walker 65; Dennery & Krzywicki
67; Butkov 68; Byron & Fuller 69; Cushing
75; Wyld 76; Bender & Orszag 78; Harper & Weaire 85; Bamberg & Sternberg
88; Carroll 88; Dettman 88; Battaglia & George
90; Chattopadhyay 90; Shankar 95; Cantrell 00; McQuarrie 03; Szekeres 04; Riley et al 06; Shima & Nakayama 10 [including
wavelets]; Nair 11 [esp. differential and integral equations; Fourier and Laplace transforms]; Arfken et al 12; Alastuey et al 16.

@ __Geometrical__: Mukhi & Mukunda 10 [topology, differential geometry, group theory];
Katanaev a1311 [geometrical methods, long monograph in Russian]; Aldrovandi & Pereira 16.

@ __Other theoretical physics__: Prakash 03;
Appel 07; Prosperetti 11 [field theory]; Dutailly a1209 [long, comprehensive, detailed]; Lam 15 [quantum and statistical physics].

@ __Handbooks__: Fanchi 97 [refresher]; Françoise et al 06 [5-volume encyclopedia].

@ __Problems__: Steeb
11; Beloglazov et al a1110 [from the Students Training Contest Olympiad].

@ __Special emphasis__: Barut ed-73; Sneed 79 [logical structure]; Hassani 91, 13 [foundations]; Jackson 06 [quantum mechanics].

> __Online resources__: see
R Baretti's course site;
J Baez's news site;
Encyclopedia of Mathematical Physics articles; Open Problems site; Wikipedia page.

**Relationship between Mathematics and Physics**
> s.a. Models; physics
[laws and ultimate theories]; proofs.

* __Idea__: It is a fact
that we need math to investigate physical laws and to express them, since the
laws are only understandable
mathematically; In this view, one can see mathematics as a language invented
by humans, or mathematicians, to
model nature; But this is a partial view, the relationship is deeper and many
believe that mathematics *is* nature.

* __History__: There was
a close symbiosis through all of the XVIII century; They separated in the XIX
century because of developments in pure math (number theory
...; Gauss ...) and new math-independent physics (Faraday ... J W von Goethe – see
Ritter, Oersted – with his romantic natural philosophy), but in the XX
century physics motivated many developments in mathematics, such as linear
operator theory on Hilbert spaces, rigged Hilbert spaces, distributions, and
unitary group representations.

* __Quote__: C N Yang: "What
surprised me is not that gauge field is the connection of fiber bundles, but
more so that mathematicians can create it without touching the world of physics.
I was shocked and puzzled, because you mathematicians can create these ideas
from nothing"; Reply by S S Chern: "No, no, these ideas are not just
imagination, they are natural and real".]

* __Areas
developed together__: Calculus, differential equations, variational theory,
differential geometry.

* __Areas of physics that have
contributed to mathematics__: Theory of brownian motion (analysis,
probability); Gauge theories and instantons (differential geometry).

* __Differences__: Essentially,
mathematics has no external constraints on what is interesting or relevant;
Theoretical physics uses units/dimensions,
and its results are subject to verification by experiment.

* __Conjectures / rigor__:
Examples are Kepler's conjecture on close packing
of spheres in \(\mathbb R\)^{3}; Path integrals.

**References** > s.a. Geometric
Algebra; history of mathematics; physical theories [theory of resources].

@ __General references__: Poincaré BAMS(06), reprinted BAMS(00)
[status]; Birkhoff BAMS(27),
reprinted BAMS(00);
Dirac PRSE(39); Manin 81;
Gross PNAS(88);
Glimm et al ed-90;
Squires PW(90)aug; Chapline PRP(99);
Morrison 00; Colyvan 01; Benioff FP(02)qp,
FP(05)qp/04-fs; Stewart 07; Lax BAMS(08); Aguirre et al ed-16.

@ __I__: Boudot Rech(89); Oldershaw AJP(88)dec;
Irvine ed-89; Lines 94.

@ __Physicists' point of view__: Dirac IJTP(82);
Oliver 94 [II]; Jackiw PT(96)feb;
Faddeev mp/00;
Witten BAMS(03); Rohrlich GRG(11) [and logic]; Sakellariadou a1407-in [early-universe physics and quantum gravity]; Coley PS(17)-a1710 [open questions].

@ __And foundations__: Benioff JMP(70), JMP(71) [mathematical logic]; Emch 84; Nambiar m.GM/02; Rios a1502-FQXi [quantum gravity as unified theory of mathematics]; Walker a1505-FQXi [mathematics and the comprehensibility of the universe]; Aganagic BAMS-a1508-conf [and string theory]; Hartle a1612 [comprehensibility of the universe]; > s.a. Comprehensibility.

@ __Physics and geometry / topology__: Witten pr(86);
Atiyah in(88); Lantsman mp/01; Benioff SPIE(13)-a1306 [effects of local availability of mathematics on geometry and physics];
> s.a. geometry; topology
and physics.

@ __Effectiveness of mathematics__: Wigner CPAM(60);
in Matthews 71, p122; in Lightman 86, p132; Rouet IJGMP(08);
Batterman BJPS(10)#1 [new approach to its applicability];
Plotnitsky FP(11);
Omnès FP(11) [Wigner revisited];
Harvey GRG(11)-a1212; Livio SA(11)aug;
Benioff SPIE(12)-a1205 [local availability of mathematics];
Bueno & French BJPS(12);
Visser a1212-FQXi [alternatives to the real number system]; Das Gupta rg(14)-a1508; Walker a1505-FQXi [and the structure of physical reality]; Smolin a1506-FQXi [the reasonable effectiveness of mathematics in physics]; Mujumdar & Singh a1506-FQXi [and cognitive science]; Woit a1506-FQXi; Yanofsky a1506-FQXi [from regularities, symmetries]; Foschini a1507-FQXi [no mysterious link]; Leifer a1508-FQXi; Stoica a1512-FQXi; Wise a1512-FQXi; Sarma a1607 [and Leibniz's "universal calculus"]; McDonnell 17; Visser a1703-FQXi [prosaic connection].

@ __Related topics__: Ernest BJPS(90)
[meaning of math expressions]; Liston PhSc(93)mar
[reliability]; Davey BJPS(03)
[on mathematical rigor]; Bueno SHPMP(05)
[and Dirac's delta function]; Anderson & Joshi phy/06 [example
of SU(2)]; Gelfert PhSc(05)dec
[mathematical rigor]; Prykarpatsky et al a0902 ["quantum
mathematics"]; Bailey et al CM-a1005 [experimental mathematics results].

@ __Mathematical and physical cultures__: Jaffe & Quinn BAMS(93)
+ responses BAMS(94);
Sinai BAMS(06).

@ __Cum granu salis__? Bartocci & Wesley 90;
Perchik mp/03.

"The book of nature is written in the language of mathematics"
– Galileo (1564 – 1642)

"The Great Architect of the Universe now begins to appear as
a pure mathematician," J Jeans (1877 – 1946) expressing
his surprise that quantum theory works

"Physics is mathematics not because we know a lot about the external
world, but because we know too little"
– B Russell (1872 – 1970) as quoted by Sabato

"The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible"
– A Einstein (1879 – 1955)

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send feedback and suggestions to bombelli at olemiss.edu – modified 17
dec 2017