FYS3140 – Mathematical Methods in Physics
Schedule, syllabus and examination date
Changes in the course due to coronavirus Spring 2020
Teaching and examinations will take place digitally. This may result in changes to your schedule, mandatory activities, exam form and grading scale. See updated information on the semester page and in Canvas.
This course addresses a number of important mathematical methods often used in physics. Central topics are: basic complex analysis, differential equations, Fourier series and -transforms, tensor calculus, variational calculus, orthogonal functions, Laplace transformations.
After completing this course you will:
- have a good grasp of the basic elements of complex anaysis, including the important integral theorems. You will be able to determine the residues of a complex function and use the residue theorem to compute certain types of integrals.
- be able to solve ordinary second order differential equations important in the physical sciences; solve physically relevant partial differential equations using standard methods like separation of variables, series expansion (Fourier-type series) and integral transforms.
- have learned how to expand a function in a Fourier series, and under what conditions such an expansion is valid. You will be aware of the connection between this and integral transforms (Fourier and Laplace) and be able to use the latter to solve mathematical problems relevant to the physical sciences.
- have received basic training in tensor calculus. You will be familiar with examples of how to formulate certain physical laws in terms of tensors, and how to simplify them using coordinate transformations (example: principal axes of inertia).
- be able to solve basic classical variational problems.
- have received training in clear argumentation, reasoning and presentation, and how to present your results in a tidy way.
- have practiced cooperation, formulating good questions and explaining to others.
Admission to the course
Studenter må hvert semester søke og få plass på undervisningen og melde seg til eksamen i Studentweb.
Special admission requirements
In addition to fulfilling the Higher Education Entrance Qualification, applicants have to meet the following special admission requirements:
- Mathematics R1 (or Mathematics S1 and S2) + R2
And in addition one of these:
- Physics (1+2)
- Chemistry (1+2)
- Biology (1+2)
- Information technology (1+2)
- Geosciences (1+2)
- Technology and theories of research (1+2)
The special admission requirements may also be covered by equivalent studies from Norwegian upper secondary school or by other equivalent studies (in Norwegian).
Recommended previous knowledge
- 10 credits overlap with FYS4140 – Mathematical methods in physics (discontinued).
This course lasts a full semester with eight classroom hours per week (four hours of lectures, four hours of problem solving sessions). Twelve problem sets for handing in, where at least 6 has to be approved to quilify for the final exam.
Regulations for mandatory assignments can be found here.
To be eligible for the final exam, a minimum six out of twelve mandatory problem sets must be passed.
An exam in the form of a written assignment, weighted approximately 25% of the final grade.
A final written exam (4 hours), weighted approximately 75%.
You must pass the final exam in order to receive a passing grade in the course.
Examination support material
- Approved calculator
- Rottman: "Matematisk formelsamling"
- Øgrim and Lian or Angell and Lian: "Fysiske størrelser og enheter"
- Two A4 sheets with notes (you can write in both sides of the sheet)
Language of examination
The examination text is given in Norwegian. If the course is taught in English, the examination text will only be given in English. You may answer in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.
Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.
Resit an examination
Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed examination at the beginning of the next semester.
Re-scheduled examinations are not offered to students who withdraw during, or did not pass the original examination.