Resources
Q & A
Glossary
Acronym Guide
Further Reading
Outside the Site
Google Sky
WWT
Facebook
Youtube
Vimeo
Twitter
Flickr
Pinterest
Multimedia, Etc
Images/Illustrations
Animation & Video
Special Features
Chandra Podcasts
Chandra Mobile
Desktop Images
The Big Chandra Picture
High Res Prints
Presentations
Handouts
Screen Savers
Audio
Web Shortcuts
Chandra Blog
RSS Feed
Chandra Mobile
Chronicle
Email Newsletter
News & Noteworthy
Image Use Policy
Questions & Answers
Glossary of Terms
Download Guide
Get Adobe Reader
Q&A: Miscellaneous

Q:
I have just finished high school and entered a faculty of Physics. I am interested in Cosmology and generally in Astrophysics. For a future research in this field, what branches of superior mathematics should I concentrate on?

A:
For all types of physics and astrophysics you will be required to study trigonometry, linear algebra, multivariable calculus, possibly including analytic geometry and tensor analysis depending on what you specialize in.

For cosmology and studies of gravity, tensor analysis is crucial, and is a very compact and convenient way to write the math that underlies Einstein's theory. Also Riemannian geometry will teach you about the wonderful surfaces that we believe spacetime is made up of, called "manifolds" and how to connect them with mappings. Often the mathematics necessary to understand and use general relativity (the theory of gravity) is taught in the general relativity course.

If you are considering a career in observational astronomy, spending a lot of time doing data reduction from a telescope, then both a data analysis class and a statistical analysis class will be useful.

There is a nice interview with an astrophysicist at the Chandra X-ray Center about math and astrophysics at this web site: http://chandra.harvard.edu/chronicle/0402/trig/index.html

And a bit of general information at: http://chandra.harvard.edu/resources/faq/misc/misc-1.html.

Index | Next