Physics 7701: Analytic and Numeric Methods of Physics
Autumn, 2013

General Information about Physics 7701

Course title:
Analytic and Numeric Methods of Physics
Course Text:
The official (but not required) text for the first part of the course is Physical Mathematics by Kevin Cahill. This is a newly published book (in April 2013) that has been available in online form for some time. It has many interesting examples and additional topics that are not found in other math methods texts (unfortunately we won't have time to cover them). The second part of the course will actually be the start of electromagnetism, so you'll need a graduate E/M text that you can use next semester in 7401. (Note: 7401 will also not have an official text, but any one of the standard graduate E/M texts will work: e.g., Jackson, Garg, Zangwill, or Ohanion.)
Supplementary Texts:
The official text from last year is Mathematical Methods for Physicists, Sixth Edition: A Comprehensive Guide by George Arfken and Hans Weber. There is an e-book version available from the library here. This book is commonly used in graduate math methods courses but the organization of topics is better for a reference than a textbook. (Note: there is now a seventh edition, but we'll reference the 6th edition, which is the e-book version and more cheaply available used.)
A more pedagogical text that we used last year as a guide to many of the topics and the order in which we covered them is Mathematics for Physicists by Susan Lea. Errata for this book can be found here. Another excellent book often used for undergraduate courses but still suitable for a graduate course is Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences by Mary Boas. The Amazon reviews for this text are very good. There are many other useful math methods reference at both the undergraduate and graduate level; some are listed on the 7701 homepage.
There are no definite prerequisites, other than having taken a standard set of undergraduate courses in physics (e.g., an electromagnetism course at the level of Griffiths). You are expected to have encountered various mathematical tools in your undergraduate studies, such as the basics of linear algebra, vector calculus, complex numbers (but not complex analysis), and differential equations. You will have an opportunity to review these topics (or catch up on what you might have missed) as we build on them in 7701. Please talk to Prof. Furnstahl if you're concerned about your preparation.
The focus will be on the methods needed for the core courses, with particular emphasis on being prepared for Electromagnetic Field Theory, but many of these topics will appear in other physics contexts. We will also discuss numerical methods and how to calculate in Mathematica as we proceed. Topics to be covered include aspects of Fourier series and transforms, complex variables, differential equations (and Sturm-Liouville theory in particular), vector analysis, and generalized, special, and Green's functions. Given the time constraints and the broad topic, we will be selective in our coverage. The second part of the course will correspond to material in the first three chapters of Jackson's Classical Electrodynamics (or the first three chapters of Ohanian's book of the same name). This is mostly math methods still, with many overlaps to the topics already listed, but in the context of electromagnetism.
Prof. Richard (Dick) Furnstahl
office: M2048 PRB
phone: 292-4830 (office) or 847-4026 (home)
Russell Colburn
office: M2060 PRB
phone: 292-1648 (office)

Chris Ehemann
office: 2023 PRB
phone: 247-7934 (office)
Class meets MWF from 10:20-11:15am in Smith Lab 1138. Make-up classes and optional supplementary classes will be scheduled as we go. The midterms will be Tuesday, September 24 in the evening and Wednesday, November 6 in the evening. The final exam day and time is fixed by the University to be Thursday, December 5 from 10:00-11:45am.
Office Hours:
By appointment (send email or ask in class) and . . .
[to be announced] (Furnstahl)
Assigned problems [25%]
Two midterm exams [50%]
Final exam [25%]
Other Items:
Web Pages:
This info:
Course home page:

Your comments and suggestions are appreciated.
[OSU Physics] [Math and Physical Sciences] [Ohio State University]
Physics 7701 Course Information.
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