The Mathematics Department, a division of the Faculty of Physics, was created at the same time as the Faculty to teach students mathematics. The Department was founded by academician Vladimir Smirnov, an outstanding specialist in the theory of analytic functions. He was the author of the five volumes course in mathematics, the first two being written specially for the students of the faculties of physics, and the other being oriented to professional physicists. It is worth noting that, thanks to his professionalism and exceptional personality, Vladimir Smirnov influenced the progress of mathematics in Leningrad and in the whole USSR.
What do the mathematical physicists do?
The mathematical physicists work as mathematicians on important problems of modern physics or, more generally, of natural sciences. These can be problems of quantum physics and wave propagation, statistics and stability of matter, elementary particle physics and bacterial chemotaxis in the ocean.
Why mathematicians have to study problems of physics?
- Without using and developing powerful mathematical methods, one can no more analyze or even discover many phenomena that are important from the point of view of physics.
- The most intriguing problems of physics necessarily lead to the most interesting mathematical problems. The most beautiful mathematical structures are inevitably related to the fundamental questions of physics.
Why the mathematical physicists can deal with problems from very different fields?
Often one and the same mathematical construction arises in course of mathematical investigations in very different fields, and so, often one and the same mathematical method allows to attack very different problems.