- ARCHIVE as at 1 September 2014

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Physics and Astronomy : Undergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy)

Undergraduate Course: Algebra and Calculus (PHYS08041)

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 None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course is designed for pre-honours direct entry physics students. It covers basic and more advanced algebra, as well as basic and multivariate calculus, which are used to describe concepts in physics. The course consists of lectures to present new material, and workshops to develop understanding, familiarity and fluency.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Mathematics for Physics 2 (PHYS08036) OR Linear Algebra and Several Variable Calculus (PHYS08042)
Other requirements Physics and Maths with A grades in Advanced Highers or A-levels (or equivalent)
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2014/15 Semester 1, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  No Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 15/09/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 44, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 80, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 71 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 80 %, Coursework 20 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)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:
- Show fluency and confidence in elementary algebra and calculus, basic problem-solving techniques and the methods of linear algebra as they apply to physical problems.
- Interpret unfamiliar equations, e.g. through appropriate sketches (especially of graphs) and by identifying special cases.
- Present a solution to a physics problem in a clear and logical written form.
- Assess whether a solution to a given problem is physically reasonable.
- Locate and use additional sources of information (to include discussion with peers and use of computer algebra packages where appropriate) to facilitate independent problem-solving.
Assessment Information
20% coursework
80% exam
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Basic Algebra & Calculus (20 lectures)

- Basic Algebra. Manipulating expressions. Squares. Polynomials. Factorization. Quadratic and root equations (3)

- Functions. Inequalities. Moduli. Exponentials and logarithms. Curve sketching. Series expansions. Harmonic potentials. (3)

- Geometry and trigonometry. Trig functions. Lines and circles. Conic sections. (3)

- Complex numbers. Complex algebra. Argand diagram. Euler and de-Moivre. (2)

- Derivatives. Differentiation of standard functions. Composite functions. Higher derivatives. (3)

- Elementary Ordinary Differential Equations. (3)

- Integrals. Standard integrals. Integrating by parts. Substitution. (3)

Linear Algebra & Several Variable Calculus (20 lectures)

- Vectors. Basic vector algebra. (1)

- Dot and cross products. Triple products. (3)

- Linear independence. Expansion in a basis. Change of basis. (1)

- Matrices. Matrix algebra. Orthogonal transformations. (3)

- Determinant, rank and inverse. Eigenvalues and eigenvectors. Matrix diagonalisation (4)

- Complex vectors. Hermitian and unitary matrices. (2)

- Taylor expansions. Maxima, minima and saddle points (1)

- Partial derivatives. Chain rule. Change of variables. Spherical and cylindrical polar coordinates. (3)

- Multivariate integration. (2)
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Course organiserDr Richard Blythe
Tel: (0131 6)50 5105
Course secretaryMrs Bonnie Macmillan
Tel: (0131 6)50 5905
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information
© Copyright 2014 The University of Edinburgh - 29 August 2014 4:37 am