Theoretical physics is a branch of physics that employs mathematical models and abstractions of physical objects and systems to rationalize, explain and predict natural phenomena. This is in contrast to experimental physics, which uses experimental tools to probe these phenomena. Theoretical physics consists of several different approaches. In this regard, theoretical particle physics forms a good example.
This course is an accelerated introduction to the conceptual and mathematical foundations of modern theoretical physics, with a particular emphasis on analytical mechanics, relativity, and quantum theory. Topics include the general structure of physical systems, classical mechanics and field theory, orbital motion, the principle of least action, symmetries and conservation laws, special relativity, probability and information theory, and an extensive introduction to quantum theory.
Examples are drawn from many areas of physics, including statistical mechanics, Newtonian mechanics, electromagnetism, general relativity, quantum information, quantum field theory, and string theory. Prerequisites: The course is mathematically intensive and assumes a strong knowledge of high-school algebra, geometry, and trigonometry, as well as a high comfort level with abstract concepts. The course covers relevant topics from high-school physics, differential/integral calculus, and linear algebra as needed, so a familiarity with these subjects, while very helpful, is not strictly required.
Jobs directly related to the degree include: