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mathematical physics with a slight distinction from physical mathematics which points to the same entry. The relation to theoretical physics has been discussed, but I am not sure yet if we should have theoretical physics as a separate entry so I do not put is as another redirect.
Thanks, that’s a nice entry. Good that you are taking care of this.
(Still lurking a bit.)
Actually, that’s an excellent entry. So good, in fact, I plan to use it in my classes.
Thanks.
Igor Khavkine kindly pointed me to the text
Modern Mathematical Physics: what it should be? (arXiv:math-ph/0002018)
by Faddeev (who passed away this weekend). I have used some quotes from this text to accompany those we already had at mathematical physics.
added pointer to Dirac 78, and recorded the famous lines it has:
One should keep the need for a sound mathematical basis dominating one’s search for a new theory. Any physical or philosophical ideas that one has must be adjusted to fit the mathematics. Not the way round.
Too many physicists are inclined to start from some preconceived physical ideas and then to try to develop them and ﬁnd a mathematical scheme that incorporates them. Such a line of attack is unlikely to lead to success. One runs into difficulties and ﬁnds no reasonable way out of them. One ought then to realize that one’s whole line of approach is wrong and to seek a new starting point with a sound mathematical basis.
also added pointer to Geroch 85 and Matolcsi 86
Added the reference
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(only had listed part II, previously)
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happening on this old entry, I ended up adjusting the wording in the Idea section a little (here), for readability.
And then — noticing that the bulk of the Idea section is amplifying how much wider in scope “theoretical physics” is compared to “mathematical physics” — I added this paragraph:
On the other hand, ever since Galilei (1623) ($\sim$ “The book of nature is written in the language of mathematics.”), Hilbert (1930) (“The instrument that mediates between theory and practice, between thought and observation, is mathematics.” ) and Wigner (1959) (“The unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences”) it may be understood that ultimately, when the dust has settled, all physics is mathematical physics.
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