Mathematics for Physicists
SCQF Level 9
Academic year(s): 2019-2020
SCOTCAT credits : 15
ECTS credits : 7
Level : SCQF Level 9
The module aims to develop mathematical techniques that are required by a professional physicist or astronomer. There is particular emphasis on the special functions which arise as solutions of differential equations which occur frequently in physics, and on vector calculus. Analytic mathematical skills are complemented by the development of computer-based solutions. The emphasis throughout is on obtaining solutions to problems in physics and its applications. Specific topics to be covered will be Fourier transforms, the Dirac delta function, partial differential equations and their solution by separation of variables technique, series solution of second order ODEs, Hermite polynomials, Legendre polynomials and spherical harmonics. The vector calculus section covers the basic definitions of the grad, div, curl and Laplacian operators, their application to physics, and the form which they take in particular coordinate systems.
Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass PH2011 and pass PH2012 and ( pass MT2501 and pass MT2503 )
Anti-requisite(s): You cannot take this module if you take PH3082 or take MT3506
Weekly contact: 3 lectures plus fortnightly tutorials.
Scheduled learning hours: 36
Guided independent study hours: 114
As used by St Andrews: 2-hour Written Examination = 80%, Coursework = 20% (made up of Class Test = 15% and meaningful engagement with tutorial work = 5%)
As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 100%
Practical examinations : 0%
Re-assessment: Oral Re-assessment, capped at grade 7
Module coordinator: Dr C A Hooley
Module teaching staff: Dr C Hooley
physics and astronomy modules.
By the end of the semester, students are expected to be able to:
Dirac delta function
Series solutions, Hermite polynomials
Laplace’s equation in Cartesian and spherical coordinates
Legendre polynomials, spherical harmonics
Gradient, directional derivatives
Line and surface integrals
Divergence, divergence theorem
Curl, Stokes’ theorem
Helmholtz theorem, the Maxwell equations
Vector integration techniques
Additional information on continuous assessment etc.
Please note that the definitive comments on continuous assessment will be communicated within the module. This section is intended to give an indication of the likely breakdown and timing of the continuous assessment.
This module is part of the core JH programme, and as such there is a summary of deadlines etc on the School’s Students and Staff web pages. There is a single class test in week five, contributing 15% to the module mark. Students have compulsory tutorials every two weeks, with hand-in tutorial work counting for 5% of the module total.
This module contains material that is or may be part of the IOP “Core of Physics”. This includes
Three dimensional trigonometry
Vectors to the level of div, grad, and curl, divergence theorem and Stokes' theorem
Fourier series and transforms including the convolution theorem
Please view University online record: http://resourcelists.st-andrews.ac.uk/modules/ph3081.html
Please also read the general information in the School's honours handbook that is available via st-andrews.ac.uk/physics/staff_students/timetables.php.