# Thread: NTs: Maths / Physics

1. ## NTs: Maths / Physics

Hello, fellow NT nerds.

Which one do you prefer: Maths or Physics?

Are you a potential Sheldon Cooper? A potential Ian Malcolm? A potential beer drinker?

2. I prefer Maths, BTW

3. Beer and Biology. Physics>Maths if I have to. I don't know who those people are.

4. Last year, while studying at high school, I preferred Specialist Maths Units 3/4 over Physics Units 3/4, but I think that's probably tainted by the nature of the classes and the curriculum: the former (the maths) was considered harder, and also had a group of maths-y kids who often had close friends; the latter (the physics) was easier, and had a greater breadth of students - more precisely less of my close friends in it.

That being said, I still think that I prefer the maths over the physics, because the numbers or methods seem nicer than physics, where things were bound by, like, the real world. Like constants and the average size of figures and all that. I mean, it just seems more interesting to be able to know how to find volumes or the rate of stuff happening, than physics stuff about magnetism and waves diffracting because that's what waves do.

5. Mathematics I enjoy the following
- Geometry
- Sequences, Series, Convergence, and Divergence
- Differential Equations and System Modeling
- Vector Calculus
- Complex Analysis
- Probability and Statistics
- Linear Algebra

the stuff you learn pre-college is trash and the stuff you learn in intro college classes are pretty watered down as well

Linear algebra is a good starting point to actually learn mathematics, its not hard, its basically algebra but a college level linear algebra course will teach you to think intelligently and like a mathematician about algebra versus thinking in terms of boring concrete operations and procedures.

Complex Analysis I would start by understanding i^n power and how that repeats every four terms as well as the understanding how n*e^i*theta works in the complex plane

Probability I would start with combinatorics. What is the probability that you roll 6, 6 sided dice and end up with the numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6? Well (6*5*4*3*2*1 / 6^6). First dice, 6 possibilities. Given that result, you have a remaining 5. And so forth to develop a subset of 6! possibilities in which you roll 1,2,3,4,5,6 out of 6^6 total possible rolls. Try to calculate the probabilities of all poker hands and there value and you'll probably be pretty solid on the basics of probability. Then you can start dealing with distributions, cdf, pdf, and the like. There is an entire science of reliability centered around statistically estimating when something will break and the cost that one will endure from it breaking.

6. Physics is pretty interesting but it requires considerable effort to get into, like understanding basic concepts which are usually taught with the most boring and impractical of problems.

Like in order to understand the complex dynamics of motion (for example, motion of the planets in the solar system, orbits, and the relative motion of a satellite or moon to a rotating earth) you first have to get a grasp on some basics of dynamics or mechanical analysis.

Usually most mechanics are taught first with boring problems involving forces, friction, and blocks sliding down inclines attached to pulleys and the like.

Statistics and Engineering dynamics are interesting, you can estimate the loads on certain members in a building. Although very little of this is done by hand, software is written extensively to simulate the physics. For example, to determine the torsion a member is subject to in a structure and determine if its enough to break it or perhaps alter its shape if the material is elastic enough. What are the main drivers that place stress and strain on the member? What realistic ranges will these forces be in? Then to compute this all against economic factors.

There are several realistic uses for the knowledge but its usually built up from boring pedantic exercises as much technical knowledge is (unfortunately)

Physics here are some subjects
- Classical Mechanics
- Energy and Momentum Methods
- Newton's Laws and Force
- Orbital Mechanics and the Movement of objects in space
- Buoyancy and Air Resistance
- Fluid and Gas Flows
- Statics
- Stress and Strain
- Torsion, Shear, Compression, Tension
- Rigid Body Dynamics
- Coordinate Systems
- Electrical Circuit Analysis
- Maxwell's Equations
- Constructive and Destructive Interference of Waves (Sound, Light, Signals)
- Fourier's Series and Transforms to represent complex waves and signals
- Quantum Physics
- Atomic Physics
- Astronomy and Astrophysics (physics of the sun and stars)
- Solid State Physics
- Understanding Lasers
- Light Amplificiation by Stimulate Emission Radiation (LASER) and Einstein's A and B Coefficient
- Heating, Blackbody Radiation, Thermal Physics
- Entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics
- Carnot Cycle, Heat Engines
- Heat Transfer and viscosity
- Etc... etc... etc...

7. At least one person has typed me as an NT so I feel qualified to respond

My best subject in high school and below has always been maths. I remember back in 1st grade we were given a math workbook that would be used for daily homework exercises, and I'd go ahead and do extra pages just for fun. Eventually worked my way up to AP calculus, which I found to be really exciting and fun. I haven't done any calculus since I started college though, since I had already fulfilled my math/science requirements by that time (no chem lab for me fuck yeahhh).

8. Originally Posted by Galen
At least one person has typed me as an NT so I feel qualified to respond
Hey, me too. Plus, the OP probably still types me INTj.

I never liked math. It was frustrating for me from the start. Even today, I'm slow at mental math and forgot most thing I learned about it at school (except the basic things of course). My solution for most math problems included a lot improvisation. Geometry was my favourite part of that since I was good at spacial thinking. Then there was physics. When I changed from middle school to high school, it became much harder so I dropped it (we could drop a subject we didn't want to continue). Chemistry was similar, even though I got better after a while. I also had a very good teacher so this was a factor as well. However, math and physics were both horrible subjects for me. I was much better at english, ethics class and design.

9. I don't care which type people who answer here are and probably Slater doesn't either. I simply changed the NT in the title to "nerds" in my head and you should too.

Originally Posted by 1981slater
Hello, fellow NT nerds.
Bold and crossover by me.

I'm not too much into either anymore. Well, those things still interest me but so do many other things. I just try to understand the main ideas and principles of many aspects that offer new viewpoints to matters, some of the which won't matter. Let me give you an example:

Both of my parents were biology researchers but I just wanted to understand principles of evolution and phenomena involved.
I'm not too interested whether the bats and the rats are related or whatever, I'm interested that the most adaptive, not the strongest one, survives and that all us probably have a distant rapist ancestors and how do aborted babies feel.

10. I find physics rather "Intuitive", even in its harder forms; it's therefore for me easier to relate its sometimes cumbersome mathematical side to the practical and insightful conclusions which may be derived. The statistical part of physics can also be nicely applied to a variety of "softer" domains (economics, psychology), which is certainly a plus. Let us not forget the philosophical side of it, usually connected with cosmology and, more generally speaking, theorethical physics applied to the boundaries of time. As I kid, I wanted to be a physicist, but eventually understood that the nitty-gritty details of the subject would have likely driven me crazy.

I don't find mathematics particularly likeable, even though I think its symbolic but rigorous nature can be helpful in detailing and solving problems which may at first appear too fuzzy. But, anyhow, I find it boring in its own sake. That's especially true for Algebra. Geometry is much nicer, although in middle school I had a completely mad teacher who forced us to go through the Elements of Euclid in 3 years, learning by heart every theorem and eventually solving completely new problems during exams. That scarred me a bit.
Edit: Probability theory is okay, but I generally understand probability starting from a description of physical phenomena, rather than its axioms.

11. Just throwing this out as an observation so far (although I've had to skip over some posts because I don't actually know the types of the people) but dynamics- prefer physics; static- prefer maths? I dunno, I could be hallucinating. I mean, if it makes it sound more legit., dialectical-algorithmic and vortical-synergetic prefer physics; causal-determinists and holographical-panoramic prefer maths.

Which, to a certain extent, makes sense:
Causal-Determinists are like "first expression => second expression => third expression => the answer" which is what a lot of maths is, just evaluating step after step.
Holographicals are like "with this knowledge and this perspective one can find everything," which is everything which is exciting about maths.
Meanwhile, Vortical-Synergetics have that kind of "there's lots of information, but you just need to wait for it to even out," so it's a bit more of that "intuitive" aspect of physics where things feel right.
Algorithmics do stuff. I never really understood this style of thinking.

Thoughts? Criticisms?

12. I can mentally calculate a paycheck including overtime and cash advances while driving with a hopped-up SEI yammering away in the passenger seat about how he can't wait to see his fat SLE fiancee.

13. physics is an agglomerate of trite banalities with no pertinence to the human existential condition.

math is a tool with some use in what i like to do. for the purely abstract academic focus upon it the above applies.

14. physics makes me think of old geezers, fluorescent lights, loose white shirts and neckties, mispronounced names and half-understood principles, (smug) suffocating nerdiness topped by moronic paint-by-number memorization (3+3+3/3 = 3 is not rocket science you fucking idiot), and an assortment of other unpleasant associations.

math is alright. the applied aspects of it are interesting.

15. I quite like both, though there are different aspects within each I like and dislike. I love studying math and finding patterns in equations and data for no real reason. My interest in physics is of a similar nature, I really don't care much for the practical application of whatever I learn, though sometimes my initial interest in subjects is due to practical application I feel I can get from doing so.

Basically, I love math for its own sake and I like most of the non-math aspects of physics.

Originally Posted by ClownsandEntropy
Causal-Determinists are like "first expression => second expression => third expression => the answer" which is what a lot of maths is, just evaluating step after step.
Holographicals are like "with this knowledge and this perspective one can find everything," which is everything which is exciting about maths.
Meanwhile, Vortical-Synergetics have that kind of "there's lots of information, but you just need to wait for it to even out," so it's a bit more of that "intuitive" aspect of physics where things feel right.
Algorithmics do stuff. I never really understood this style of thinking.
I relate to both holographic and vortical, as usual, and would likely relate to algorithmic as well if you actually had something there. The type of systematic thinking which causal-determinist is associated with just kind of bores me, though I am still proficient in that as well. Actually, I have to admit that I am quite satisfied when I can be given a problem and precisely map the chain of cause-and-effect taken to get to the answer. But then again, there's that idea that the steps taken to get to the answer are more valuable than the answer itself, which I wholeheartedly agree with, particularly when dealing with systems of equations in physics problems where one must use concepts and given information to solve one variable at a time over three or more equations. That's the fun stuff.

I think what you are trying to describe with vortical-synergetic is just how most people with no knowledge of formal physics or the math involved tend to look at it.

16. Originally Posted by nil
I quite like both, though there are different aspects within each I like and dislike. I love studying math and finding patterns in equations and data for no real reason. My interest in physics is of a similar nature, I really don't care much for the practical application of whatever I learn, though sometimes my initial interest in subjects is due to practical application I feel I can get from doing so.

Basically, I love math for its own sake and I like most of the non-math aspects of physics.
When you say the non-maths parts of physics, is that relating to laws and principles? I find that the theory part of physics is limited by the fact that we don't really know the full story yet, or maybe we do and I find the full story unfulfilling, and so a lot of things turns into a "Just-So" kind of explanation. Like, "Movement of a coil can produce a current." Why? "Because there is a voltage produced across the conductor." Why? "Because the movement of a coil through a magnetic field causes change in flux which produces a potential difference." Why? "Something to do with interactions with the spin or Maxwell's equations?" (okay, this is where my formal education of physics stops). It is interesting to know, but because physics is based on reality, there are some things - I would suppose - which are "Just-So", so one can't really expect to get a complete explanation. I mean, changing flux just does produce a potential difference. That's just what happens.

Of course, it is still interesting, and maybe I haven't gone deep enough to do very interesting physics. There's still something more interesting about maths for some reason. Maybe that something is the complexity of my maths education vs. the simplicity of my physics education.

Originally Posted by nil
I relate to both holographic and vortical, as usual, and would likely relate to algorithmic as well if you actually had something there. The type of systematic thinking which causal-determinist is associated with just kind of bores me, though I am still proficient in that as well. Actually, I have to admit that I am quite satisfied when I can be given a problem and precisely map the chain of cause-and-effect taken to get to the answer. But then again, there's that idea that the steps taken to get to the answer are more valuable than the answer itself, which I wholeheartedly agree with, particularly when dealing with systems of equations in physics problems where one must use concepts and given information to solve one variable at a time over three or more equations. That's the fun stuff.

I think what you are trying to describe with vortical-synergetic is just how most people with no knowledge of formal physics or the math involved tend to look at it.
How do you think algorithmic thinking relates to physics or maths? I'm not really sure because I don't have a real understanding of algorithmic thinking itself.

I imagine that causal-determinist thinkers get into a kind of "flow" when they can start to see the direction they're supposed to be taking, and because it's more natural for them, they get a kick out of it. Additionally:
1) If physics uses hard maths, would that be a reason why causal-determinists like physics?
2) If causal-determinists like physics because of the maths, is that them really liking the physics, or only the maths-part of physics?
3) Do causal-determinsts actually like the working out of maths equations, or is my premise completely wrong?
4) Given the causal-determinist style is typical of all kinds of hard maths (including physics: kind of like my chain of "why"s previously), maybe causal-determinists can like both maths and physics (though maths still seems more complex, just saying, just saying ).

And finally, yes, my feel for vortical-synergetic was pretty much "Force pushes that way, so acceleration is that way! Intuitive!" (Which is then validated by maths but the answer is already intuitively understood.)

17. Originally Posted by ClownsandEntropy
Causal-Determinists are like "first expression => second expression => third expression => the answer" which is what a lot of maths is, just evaluating step after step.
Holographicals are like "with this knowledge and this perspective one can find everything," which is everything which is exciting about maths.
Meanwhile, Vortical-Synergetics have that kind of "there's lots of information, but you just need to wait for it to even out," so it's a bit more of that "intuitive" aspect of physics where things feel right.
Algorithmics do stuff. I never really understood this style of thinking.
Sounds a bit out of context to me. As a Holographic, I generally think about mathematical expressions as processes where one state goes through a series of transformations, unnecessary details are cancelled out, and ends in another simpler state. I suppose my approach is more to simply find the common ground between both sides of the equation and cut out the rest of the clutter to find the implicit underlying form, which would be more indicative of Holographic as I understand it. I don't see why this mindset can't apply to any other type's understanding of math though.

18. Originally Posted by Galen
Sounds a bit out of context to me. As a Holographic, I generally think about mathematical expressions as processes where one state goes through a series of transformations, unnecessary details are cancelled out, and ends in another simpler state. I suppose my approach is more to simply find the common ground between both sides of the equation and cut out the rest of the clutter to find the implicit underlying form, which would be more indicative of Holographic as I understand it. I don't see why this mindset can't apply to any other type's understanding of math though.
Sounds like a better way of explaining how I think about maths too. I was thinking more in regard to geometry questions when I talked about "from one thing you get everything", but I think your explanation also makes sense, and yes, that also seems to make more sense as an example Holographic. Though I'm doing my head in to actually understand the way in which I approach questions.

I think there are two points here:

1) I don't know how other types think when they look at maths/physics problems. Maybe types all think the same way when doing maths questions, which would be interesting. I wonder if other types can see any relationship between Cognitive Styles and the way they approach these problems.

2) If certain types think the same way while answering the same question, maybe that's indicative of the type of question it is. So people have been trained to think in a certain mindset when answering such questions, but they still have a preference for their own Cognitive Style, and so they have a preference for those questions, and maybe even so they have a preference for maths or physics.

19. Originally Posted by 1981slater
Hello, fellow NT nerds.

Which one do you prefer: Maths or Physics?

Are you a potential Sheldon Cooper? A potential Ian Malcolm? A potential beer drinker?
holism > Ur M0m

20. With my interests lying mostly within the humanities I'll take the beer.

21. Fuck math.

22. I prefer philosophy to either math or physics, but obviously that applies to both. I prefer chemistry and computer science to either physics or math and I think a good grasp of engineering is necessary to understand science at it's deepest level. One of the most important learning experiences in the sciences for many is the taking apart and putting back together of various objects.

23. Originally Posted by hkkmr
good grasp of engineering is necessary to understand science at it's deepest level.
Eh, but engineering is just applied physics after all...

24. Originally Posted by FDG
Eh, but engineering is just applied physics after all...
Yes, of course, but I've met a few who couldn't apply much.

25. I am majoring in math. One of the reasons I love it so much is because of the profound philosophy of mathematics.

26. Originally Posted by Fireyed
Fuck math.
feeler...

27. I assisted my studies in physics with engineering, specifically space sciences.

I learned about systems engineering, spacecraft systems, orbital mechanics (the trajectories of spacecraft), and mission design. Being a pilot as well I found the information fascinating. In high school I hardly cared about academics, at that time I was more interested in aviation and gaming than school... however I picked up a knack for programming then and did exceedingly well in geometry and mathematics involving geometry. I'm a huge fan of architecture and sequences, structures, and the like and find physics interesting because in many ways its the architecture or sequence of the universe, or at least the philosophy surrounding that. It's knowledge is so general that usually with a little bit of ingenuity, creativity, or the like it can be applied to several things.

At the very least the focus on systems, mathematical knowledge, programming, and probability is sufficient to build a system to analyze financial information real-time and present decisions in terms of probabilities.

28. Originally Posted by ClownsandEntropy
When you say the non-maths parts of physics, is that relating to laws and principles? I find that the theory part of physics is limited by the fact that we don't really know the full story yet, or maybe we do and I find the full story unfulfilling, and so a lot of things turns into a "Just-So" kind of explanation. Like, "Movement of a coil can produce a current." Why? "Because there is a voltage produced across the conductor." Why? "Because the movement of a coil through a magnetic field causes change in flux which produces a potential difference." Why? "Something to do with interactions with the spin or Maxwell's equations?" (okay, this is where my formal education of physics stops). It is interesting to know, but because physics is based on reality, there are some things - I would suppose - which are "Just-So", so one can't really expect to get a complete explanation. I mean, changing flux just does produce a potential difference. That's just what happens.
That is basically what everything devolves into. Questions of "Why?" are always eventually going to get to the axioms of the system in question, where the act of asking such a question becomes entirely void.

And yes, I mean the theory. At least for now, I'm just not too concerned with using math to get precise answers for values, and I find it sad that physics classes tend to focus on the maths aspects rather than focusing on the theory aspects, or at least keeping a fair balance between the two. Understanding the theoretical part is what inundates the mathematical part with meaning; with a deficiency of understanding of the principles of physics, one is merely plugging numbers into equations and finding 'x'.
3+3+3/3 = 3
Actually, that equals 7.

29. >:[

point being that mean average of three readings that are exactly the same don't need to be punched into a calculator to know that the answer will still be the same.

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