# Mathematical Physics (PHYS*3130)

Code and section: PHYS*3130*01

Term: Fall 2016

Instructor: Eric Poisson

## Course Information

### Course description

This course covers a number of mathematical techniques that are required in all areas of physics. Curvilinear coordinates, special functions, Fourier series and integral transforms, Green’s functions, and a number of advanced topics will be discussed. The course emphasizes the application of these techniques to solve a variety of physics problems, providing context to the fundamental tools of the discipline.

Weight: [0.50]

### Class schedule and location

Day Time Location
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:30am to 12:20pm Graham Hall (GRHM) 2310

#### Midterm exams

1. Wednesday October 5, in class
2. Wednesday November 2, in class

#### Final examination

Tuesday December 13, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. The location of the final exam will be posted in due course.
Final exam weighting: 40% (Scheme A) or 50% (Scheme B). See below.

### Instructor information

Instructor Office Extension Email
Eric Poisson MacNaughton 452 519-824-4120 x53653 epoisson@uoguelph.ca

#### Office hours

I will be generally available in the morning. Please schedule an appointment if you have trouble finding me.
Eric is very much an informal guy, and he prefers to be addressed simply as “Eric”. He does not appreciate being subjected to such pompous titles as Doctor, Professor, or His Gracious. Eric’s field of research is general relativity, including black holes and gravitational waves.

## Course content

The following list of topics is tentative.

1. Curvilinar coordinates. Polar, cylindrical, and spherical coordinates. Vector fields. Gradient, divergence, curl, Laplacian.
2. Special functions. Gamma function. Legendre polynomials. Associated Legendre functions. Spherical harmonics. Bessel functions. Delta function.
3. Expansion in basis functions. Fourier series. Legendre series. Bessel series. Expansion in spherical harmonics. Fourier transforms.
4. Partial differential equations of physics. Laplace’s equation. Heat equation. Wave equation. Solution by separation of variables.
5. Inhomogeneous partial differential equations. Poisson’s equation. Wave equation with source term. Solution by Green’s function.

### Laboratories

There are no labs for this course.

### Tutorials

There are no tutorials for this course.

### Course evaluation

The final mark for the course will be the highest of the two marks calculated under the following two schemes. No other marking schemes will be considered.

Scheme Assignments Midterm 1 Midterm 2 Final Exam
A 20% 20% 20% 40%
B 20% 15% 15% 50%

A set of homework assignments will be made available on Courselink, to be returned in class by the assigned due date. The deadline will be enforced strictly, and a penalty will be applied to late assignments. Special arrangements for late submission must be made ahead of time. No partial credit will be given to unaccepted assignments. Assignments provide 20% of the course’s final mark.

In marking scheme A, the two midterm exams account for 40% of the final mark (20% each), and the final exam also accounts for 40%. In marking scheme B, the midterms account for 30% of the final mark (15% each), while the final exam accounts for 50%.

Midterm and final exams will be closed-book exams, meaning that you will not be allowed to consult your notes nor any other source of information. You will, however, be provided with relevant information and a formula sheet. Calculators may be required; only non-programmable pocket calculators are permitted. Personal communication or entertainment devices (such as smart phones or MP3 players) are not permitted during the exams.

### Course resources

#### Required text

Mary L. Boas, Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences, Third edition (Wiley, 2005)

#### Recommended text

G.B. Arfken, H.J. Weber, F.E. Harris, Mathematical Methods for Physicists, 7th edition (Elsevier, 2012)

The book by Boas contains excellent presentations of most of the topics covered in class, at just the right level for this course. For a longer term, encyclopedic reference, the book by Arfken, Weber, and Harris is an excellent companion.

## Course policies

### (Not) Working with other students

All work submitted for grading in this course must be each individual student’s own work. While students are encouraged to share thoughts and ideas prior to writing up the solutions, it is not acceptable to share assignment solutions. The assignments are not group projects, and it is important that you do not show your final written solutions to other students.

Each homework assignment will be submitted by you before class begins on the day the assignment is due. The deadline will be enforced strictly, and a penalty will be applied to late assignments. Special arrangements for late submission must be made ahead of time. No partial credit will be given to unaccepted assignments.

Midterm and final exams will be closed-book exams, meaning that you will not be allowed to consult your notes nor any other source of information. You will, however, be provided with relevant information and a formula sheet. Calculators may be required; only non-programmable pocket calculators are permitted. Personal communication or entertainment devices (such as smart phones or MP3 players) are not permitted during the exams.

### Course policy on group work

You are permitted to discuss the homework problems with your colleagues while trying to solve them. However, and this is important, after the discussions you must write up the solutions yourself, independently of anyone else. Copying will not be tolerated. Evidence of copying will be considered under the Academic Misconduct section of this document (see below).

### Course policy on electronic devices and recording of lectures

What you do with your laptop, smart phone, tablet, etc, during lectures is your own business, so long as it does not create a distraction for your classmates or the instructor. If such a distraction arises you will be asked to leave the classroom.

Electronic recording of classes is expressly forbidden without consent of the instructor. When recordings are permitted they are solely for the use of the authorized student and may not be reproduced, or transmitted to others, without the express written consent of the instructor.

## University Policies

When you find yourself unable to meet an in-course requirement because of illness or compassionate reasons, please advise the course instructor in writing, with your name, id#, and e-mail contact. See the Undergraduate Calendar for information on regulations and procedures for academic consideration.

The University of Guelph is committed to upholding the highest standards of academic integrity and it is the responsibility of all members of the University community, faculty, staff, and students to be aware of what constitutes academic misconduct and to do as much as possible to prevent academic offences from occurring.

University of Guelph students have the responsibility of abiding by the University’s policy on academic misconduct regardless of their location of study; faculty, staff and students have the responsibility of supporting an environment that discourages misconduct. Students need to remain aware that instructors have access to and the right to use electronic and other means of detection. Please note: Whether or not a student intended to commit academic misconduct is not relevant for a finding of guilt. Hurried or careless submission of assignments does not excuse students from responsibility for verifying the academic integrity of their work before submitting it. Students who are in any doubt as to whether an action on their part could be construed as an academic offence should consult with a faculty member or faculty advisor.