This is a course "about mathematics, for physicists". Topics will be
selected from the textbook *Mathematical Methods of Physics* by Mathews
and Walker. This textbook presents methods that are chosen for their
usefulness in physics, and the book is written very clearly and at a level of
rigor which is tailored to physicists. The course will emphasize analytic
methods, and in this respect it differs from and complements other
mathematical methods courses which emphasize numerical methods and/or
computer programming.

The primary goal of this course is for the students to acquire a set of analytic tools which will help them to solve problems in physics and to understand and evaluate current research in theoretical physics. The level of presentation will be at the first-year graduate level, but the course is intended for graduate students of all levels and senior undergraduates.

**Course Credit:** 3 semester hours

**Meeting Times:** Tuesday, Thursday; 2:30pm-3:50pm

**Classroom:** Herman Brown 427

**Format:** A lecture course with problem sets and a final exam.

**Required Text:** *Mathematical Methods of Physics*, second
edition, Jon Matthews and R. L. Walker. Addison-Wesley, 1970.

**Recommended Text:** *Mathematical Methods for Physicists*,
George B. Arfken and Hans J. Weber. Academic Press. (Most recent edition.)

**Course web page:** http://landau.rice.edu/~aac/phys516

I plan to assign about one homework set per week, usually due at the beginning of class one week later. Homework sets will be distributed in class and they will also be available from the course web page.

**Homework Policy:** You are encouraged to discuss the homework
problems with your PHYS 516 classmates and with the instructor and the
grader(s), but you must write up your solutions *independently*. Of
course, you must not copy from anyone else's solutions.

**Late Policy:** The grade for late homework will be multiplied by a
decaying exponential with a time constant of five days. Late homework must be
given directly to the grader and the student must write "Late" and the date
and time on the front page. Homework later than 7 days will not be accepted.

**Homework Grader: **

Grading Weights: | Homework: | 70% |
---|---|---|

Final Exam: | 30% |

1. | Complex Variables |
---|---|

2. | Ordinary Differential Equations |

3. | Evaluation of Integrals |

4. | Integral Transforms |

5. | Vectors and Matrices |

6. | Special Functions |

7. | Partial Differenntial Equations |

8. | Eigenfunctions, Eigenvalues, and Green's Functions |

9. | Asymptotic Methods and Perturbation Theory |

10. | Calculus of Variations |

* Any student with a disability requiring accomodations in this class is
encouraged to contact the instructor after class. Additionally, students
should contact the Disabled Student Services office in the Ley Student
Center. *