Mathematics for the Physical Sciences

Math 308 - Spring 2004

Click on the links for the syllabus and the lesson schedule .

This is a continuation of Math 233 aimed to serve students in the natural sciences and mathematics with an interest in physics. It is comparable to Math 318 in content and level of difficulty, but places greater emphasis on some of the physical ideas that motivate and guide the subject, from Newtonian and Lagrangian mechanics, electromagnetism, and quantum mechanics, for example. The main mathematical topics covered are: calculus of functions of several variables and matrices, vector calculus, and elements of partial differential equations.

The textbook is Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences by Mary L. Boas (second edition, Wiley).

List of topics:

  1. vector calculus (div, grad, curl); Green's, Stokes' and the divergence theorems; fields and electromagnetism (chapter 6);
  2. Elements of complex numbers and the basic functions of a complex variable (chapter 2);
  3. linear systems of equations and matrix algebra (chapter 3);
  4. Fourier series (chapter 7);
  5. Legendre function and series (chapter 12);
  6. partial differential equations; diffusion and wave propagation, the Schrodinger equation (chapter 13).

If you have questions, please contact me at or in Cupples I room 17 (phone 5-6752).

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