PHZ3113 Mathematical Physics, Spring 2012
Credits: Three undergraduate credit hours.
Lectures: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:15am - 12:05pm, HCB 209.
First day of class: Wednesday, January 4, 2012.
Tentatively, Tuesday 5:00-6:30pm in KEN 707 (help session),
Thursday 5:00-6:00 in KEN 413,
and by appointment.
Lecturer: Prof. Per Arne Rikvold.
Office: 413 Keen.
Tel.: (850) 644-6814.
Mathematical methods applied to physical systems. The course material will be drawn from
the following areas: vectors, differential equatiuons, linear algebra,
specialized techniques of integration,
integral transforms, special functions, boundary-value problems, numerical methods.
Prerequisite: PHY 2049, PHY-2049C, or PHY 2054C.
Corequisite: MAP 2302 or MAP 3305.
Textbook: H.J. Weber and G.B. Arfken, Essential Mathematical Methods for
Physicists (Elsevier Academic Press, Amsterdam, 2004).
Homework: Weekly, due every Wednesday.
Homework turned in late without valid excuse will be given 50% credit.
Midterms: One hour during class time, twice.
First midterm: TBA during class time.
Second midterm: TBA during class time.
Final exam: Monday, April 23, 10:00am - 12:00pm HCB 209.
Scale of 0-100%, based on weighted average of final exam (35%),
two midterms (20% each), and homework solutions (25%).
A- / B+: 90%
B- / C+: 70%
C- / D: 50%
D / F: 40%
About the course
Mathematics is the language of physics, and in this course we will practicfe and extend
our skills in this language. Starting with a brief review of differentiation and
integration and the Taylor expansion in one dimension, we go on to study
The emphasis will be on developing intuition by paper-and-pencil analytical work.
differentiation and integration in cartesian and general coordinate systems,
linear algebra (matrices and determinants)
The homework, which is due weekly, is an integral part of the course and acounts
for 25% of the total grade. Working problems is absolutely essential to developing
a true understanding of the material.
ADA Statement: Students with disabilities needing academic
accommodation should: (1) register with and provide documentation to the Student
Disability Resource Center; (2) bring a letter to the instructor indicating the
need for accommodation and what type. Please do this during the first week of
Honor Code: The Florida State University Academic Honor Policy outlines the
University’s expectations for the integrity of students’ academic work, the
procedures for resolving alleged violations of those expectations, and the rights
and responsibilities of students and faculty members throughout the process.
Students are responsible for reading the Academic Honor Policy and for living up
to their pledge to “. . . be honest and truthful and . . . [to] strive for personal
and institutional integrity at Florida State University.” (Florida State University
Academic Honor Policy, found at
Students are expected to uphold this Academic Honor Policy.
Last Updated by PAR, December 20, 2012.
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