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

Postgraduate Course: Problem Solving in Theoretical Physics (PGPH11085)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Physics and Astronomy CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis first-semester course is compulsory for all students on the MSc programmes in Mathematical Physics and Theoretical Physics. It aims to consolidate, extend and expand students' Mathematical abilities, and to use these to develop problem-solving skills in Theoretical Physics. It will be taught via weekly workshops in which students will work in small groups to solve a wide range of problems. There are no formal lectures, but students are encouraged to use Methods of Mathematical Physics, Symmetries of Classical Mechanics, Lagrangian Dynamics and Complex Analysis lectures and/or course material in a supporting roll. Problems sheets from MoMP, SoCM, Lagrangian Dynamics, etc, will be supplemented by additional problems which develop further understanding.
Course description A course on application of advanced mathematical methods to problem solving in mathematical physics. The course will review and develop the theory of: vector and tensor analysis, calculus of variations, advanced complex analysis; asymptotic expansions; ordinary and partial differential equations, integral transform and Green function techniques; the generality of approaches will be emphasised and illustrative examples from electrodynamics, Lagrangian dynamics, quantum and statistical mechanics will be given.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Online Activities 6, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 4, Formative Assessment Hours 6, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 61 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% continuous assessment (weekly hand-ins)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
At the completion of the course students will have acquired the skills to:

1.Apply techniques of vector and tensor analysis and analytical dynamics to problems in theoretical physics
2.apply techniques of complex analysis, such as contour integrals and analytic continuation, to the study of problems in mathematical physics
3.calculate approximations to integrals by saddle point and other asymptotic expansion methods fluent in the use of Fourier and Laplace transformations to solve differential equations and derive asymptotic properties of solutions
5.solve partial differential equations with Green function techniques, taking examples from electromagnetism and quantum theory
6.apply these key mathematical techniques to a wide range of challenging problems in theoretical physics

Students will work individually and in groups to develop their analytic and problem solving skills, with input and tutorial support from postgrads and RAs.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Roger Horsley
Tel: (0131 6)50 6481
Course secretaryMrs Siobhan Macinnes
Tel: (0131 6)51 3448
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