MATHEMATICAL PHYSICS
                                           FALL 2009 SYLLABUS

PHY423 Mathematical Physics - MWF 10:00 – 10:50 AM

Instructor: Dr. Rulison [Office: G-318 (See office door for scheduled office hours), Phone: 404-364-8409,

Purpose: This is an advanced course in mathematical methods used in physics and other sciences. The purpose of
the course is to develop in the student a fundamental and thorough knowledge of the concepts and problem-
solving techniques involved in the application of mathematical methods to the modeling, analysis, and
investigation of a variety of physical situations. This course will examine a variety of mathematical ideas and
methods used in physical sciences. Topics may include: vector calculus; solutions of partial differential
equations, including the wave and heat equations; special functions; eigenvalue problems; Fourier analysis and
mathematical modeling, particularly numerical computer methods.Problem solving and physical reasoning skills
will be emphasized.

Text: Mathematics for Physicists by Susan Lea. This text incorporates a number of features which should be
considered an integral part of your reading. These include solved example problems within each chapter, useful
appendices, and problems at the end of each chapter. Perhaps moreso than any other course in the physics
curriculum, mathematical physics is one in which outside sources should be referred to and used frequently. The
wide range of topics falling under this broad heading necessitates choosing only a few representative topics to
explore in depth. Referring to the bibliography on page 585, texts of particular value are: Arfken & Weber;
Butkov; Chow; Courant & Hilbert; Dennery & Krzywicki; Jeffreys & Jeffreys ; Matthews & Walker; Morse &
Feshbach; and Press, Teukolsky, Vetterling, and Flannery.

Prerequisite: Differential Equations (MAT241).

Homework: Homework problems will be assigned from each chapter. These will be turned in and one or more
problems will be chosen at random for grading. Homework will count toward your final grade as shown on the
assignment sheet. Late homework will not be accepted.

Tests: There will be two tests given during the weeks shown on the assignment sheet. The material to be covered
on each test will be announced in class well in advance of each test. NO MAKE-UP TESTS OR

Final Exam: There will be a final exam given during the regular final exam period (8:00 AM Friday,
December 11). This exam may be comprehensive.

Class Attendance: While class attendance is not required, the student is responsible for all material and
information covered in class (including changes of schedule and assignment). Since this is primarily a problem-
solving course with a large proportion of class time devoted to solving problems, attendance is strongly
recommended, and expected. A grade of FA may be assigned if it is the instructor’s opinion that failure is the
result of excessive absences.

Dropping the Course: The course may be dropped with a grade of W through Friday, October 30 (provided that
the student's work to that point has been of passing quality). After this date the grade of W will be assigned only
in the case of withdrawal from the University or prolonged illness.

Academic Honesty: As students and faculty at Oglethorpe University we are members of a society of scholars
with all the opportunities as well as obligations attached to such a designation. We therefore agree to govern
ourselves accordingly. The use of any information, not provided by the instructor, during an exam will be
considered cheating. Representation of someone else’s work as one’s own is plagiarism. In such cases the
student(s) will be referred to the Honor Council for a hearing and possible disciplinary action. It is the duty of
anyone witnessing behavior in violation of the University Honor Code to report the violation. Refer to pages
103-112 of the 2008-2010 Bulletin for a complete description of the Honor Code.

        Cheating: a. The unauthorized possession or use of notes, texts, or other such materials during an
                  b. Copying another person's work or participation in such an effort.
                  c. An attempt or participation in an attempt to fulfill the requirements of a course with
                     work other than one's original work for that course.
        Plagiarism: Plagiarism includes representing someone else's words, ideas, data, or original research as
                   one's own, and in general failing to footnote or otherwise acknowledge the source of such
                   work. One has the responsibility of avoiding plagiarism by taking adequate notes on
                   reference materials, including material taken off the internet or other electronic sources,
                   used in the preparation of reports, papers, and other coursework.

NOTE: A grade of C- or better is required for each PHY1XX/PHY2XX level course required for the major
or minor.
                                  MATHEMATICAL PHYSICS
                                   FALL 2009 SCHEDULE

        DATES               TEXT CHAPTER                 TEST DATE                 TEST CHAPTERS

August 24-28                         1

Aug. 31-Sept. 4                      1

September 7-11                       2

September 14-18                      2

September 21-25                      3

Sept. 28 - Oct. 2                    3

October 5-9                          4                    October 5-9                      1-3

October 12-16                        4

October 19-23                        5

October 26-30                        5

November 2-6                         6

November 9-13                        6

November 16-20                       7                  November 16-20                     4-6

November 23                          7

Nov. 30-Dec.4                        8

December 7                           8


      A............90-100   (A-....90-93)                          Tests................……….40%
      B............80-90    (B-....80-83,B+....87-90)              Homework........……....40%
      C............70-80    (C-....70-73,C+....77-80)              Final Exam.....………...20%
      D............60-70    (D+....67-70)                          ---------------------------------
      F.............0-60                                           Total...................……100%

      Note that Incomplete (I) is given only under the rarest of circumstances. Refer to page 97
      of the 2008-2010 Bulletin for a summary of requirements.

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