Description of Mathematical Physics
Working at a frontier of mathematics that intersects with cutting edge research in physics.
Mathematicians can benefit from discoveries in physics and conversely mathematics is essential to further excel in the field of physics. History shows us as much. Mathematical physics began with Christiaan Huygens, who is honoured at Radboud University by naming the main building of the Faculty of Science after him. By combining Euclidean geometry and preliminary versions of calculus, he brought major advances to these areas of mathematics as well as to mechanics and optics. The second and greatest mathematical physicist in history, Isaac Newton, invented both the calculus and what we now call Newtonian mechanics and, from his law of gravity, was the first to understand planetary motion on a mathematical basis.
Of course, in the Master’s specialisation in Mathematical Physics we look at modern mathematical physics. The specialisation combines expertise in areas like functional analysis, geometry, and representation theory with research in, for example, quantum physics and integrable systems. You’ll learn how the field is far more than creating mathematics in the service of physicists. It’s also about being inspired by physical phenomena and delving into pure mathematics.
At Radboud University, we have such faith in a multidisciplinary approach between these fields that we created a joint research institute: Institute for Mathematics, Astrophysics and Particle Physics (IMAPP). This unique collaboration has led to exciting new insights into, for example, quantum gravity and noncommutative geometry. Students thinking of enrolling in this specialisation should be excellent mathematicians as well as have a true passion for physics.