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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Physics and Astronomy : Undergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy)

Undergraduate Course: Mathematics for Physics 4 (PHYS08038)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Physics and Astronomy CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaUndergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy) Other subject areaNone
Course website WebCT Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course is designed for pre-honours physics students, to learn the techniques of vector calculus, Fourier series and transforms, and simple partial differential equations to describe basic concepts in physics. The course consists of an equal balance between lectures to present new material, and workshops to develop understanding, familiarity and fluency.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Physics 1A: Foundations (PHYS08016)
Co-requisites Students MUST also take: ( Physics 2A (PHYS08022) OR Accelerated Algebra and Calculus for Direct Entry (MATH08062)) AND ( Physics 2B (PHYS08023) OR Physics of the Earth (EASC08016) OR Earth Materials (EASC08014)) AND ( Mathematics for Physics 3 (PHYS08037) OR Dynamics (PHYS08040))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements For Fast Track students: SCE Advanced Higher or A Level Physics and Mathematics at A Grade.
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2011/12 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1) WebCT enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Location Activity Description Weeks Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
King's BuildingsLecture1-11 11:10 - 12:00
King's BuildingsLecture1-11 11:10 - 12:00
King's BuildingsLecture1-11 11:10 - 12:00
King's BuildingsLecture1-11 11:10 - 12:00
King's BuildingsTutorialWaves Workshop2-11 14:00 - 15:50or 14:00 - 15:50
King's BuildingsTutorialFields Workshop2-11 14:00 - 15:50or 14:00 - 15:50
First Class Week 1, Monday, 11:10 - 12:00, Zone: King's Buildings. JCMB Lecture Theatre B (Waves lecture)
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours:Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)3:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)3:00
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course it is intended that student will be able to
& Demonstrate understanding and work with vector fields and the basic operations of vector calculus, and apply these to a range of problems from of heat flow, fluid flow, electrostatics, and potential theory.
& Demonstrate understanding and work with line, surface and volume integrals, and the associated theorems of Green, Stokes and Gauss, and to apply these to physical problems, for example, fluid flow, heat flow and electromagnetism.
& Demonstrate understanding and work with Fourier series and complex functions, their applications to the solution of ordinary differential equations and elementary physical examples such as standing waves.
& Demonstrate understanding of the Fourier Transform, inversion formula, convolution and Parseval's theorem. To apply these to a range of physical situations, for example, harmonic oscillators and travelling waves, and understand the link to the uncertainty principle.
& Demonstrate understanding of the use of linear response functions, their relation to convolution and associated delta and Green's functions, and to apply these to inhomogenous static and dynamical problems (Poisson and sources of waves).
Assessment Information
20% coursework
80% examination
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Fields
1. vector fields, grad, div and curl, the Laplacian, identities, potential theorems, polar coordinates, Laplace and Poisson equations, boundary value problems, with examples from fluid flow, heat flow, electrostatics;
2. Line, surface and volume integrals, and evaluation thereof in rectangular and polar co-ordinates, integral theorems (Green, Gauss & Stokes), conservation laws (mass in fluids, charge in electromagnetism, circulation around closed curves in fluids).

1. Fourier Series: complex fns, Fouriers Thm, determining coefficients, solving ODEs with Fourier series, linear algebra view, simple physics examples in terms of standing waves, bound states;
2. Fourier Transform: inversion formula, convolution, Parseval, uncertainty principle, forced damped harmonic oscillator, expansion of solutions, travelling waves;
3. Linear response (and reln to convolution thm), delta function and Greens functions (Poisson and Waves).
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Course organiserDr Brian Pendleton
Tel: (0131 6)50 5241
Course secretaryMiss Leanne O'Donnell
Tel: (0131 6)50 7218
Email: l.o'
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