A Guided Tour of Mathematical Physics (Roel Snieder)

The topic of this course is the application of mathematics to physical problems. In practice,
mathematics and physics are taught separately. Despite the fact that education in physics
relies on mathematics, it turns out that students consider mathematics to be disjoint
from physics. Although this point of view may strictly be correct, it reects an erroneous
opinion when it concerns an education in physics or geophysics. The reason for this is that
mathematics is the only language at our disposal for quantifying physical processes. One
cannot learn a language by just studying a textbook. In order to truly learn how to use a
language one has to go abroad and start using a language. By the same token one cannot
learn how to use mathematics in physics by just studying textbooks or attending lectures,
the only way to achieve this is to venture into the unknown and apply mathematics to
physical problems…