Despite the title's emphasis on physics, this is really a mathematics course. It will introduce the main ideas and techniques in representation theory of finite groups and Lie groups. Applications will be discussed, to the extent that my understanding of them will permit, as a way to add some perspective to the mathematical theory.
An ideal text for the course would be "Group theory and physics" by S. Sternberg (Cambridge University Press), which unfortunately is out-of-print. I do plan to use it a great deal in preparing for the lectures, so it may be useful, but not essential, to have a copy of it. The text by H. F. Jones, "Group, representations and Physics" has in broad outline the material I plan to cover, and it is available at the campus bookstore. Please note, though, that this is only a recommended text. Since I will be providing some reading material at the first day of classes, you can safely leave the decision whether to buy it after the semester gets started.
Occasionally, material from the following texts may be used:
Here is a list of topics we plan to cover:
Among the possible applications to choose from:
Evaluation will be based on biweekly homework assignments. The following is a tentative grade scale:
This scale will be applied with enough flexibility to account for what I hope will be a diverse mixture of student backgrounds. Undergraduate and graduate students, from math, physics, chemistry, or other sciences, are all welcome.
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