General Information about 834 Mathematical Methods
- Course title:
- Mathematical Methods
- Required Text:
- The official text 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. (It is not clear yet whether there is
unlimited simultaneous viewing of this e-book, but at least several
people can use it at the same time.)
- Recommended Text:
A secondary, more pedagogical text that we will use as a guide to
many of the topics and the order in which we cover them is
Mathematics for Physicists by Susan Lea.
Errata for this book can be found
There are many other useful math methods reference at both the
undergraduate and graduate level; some are listed on the 834
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 834.
Please talk to Prof. Furnstahl if you're concerned about
- Although the course catalog
title is Electromagnetic Field Theory I,
the actual course title is "Mathematical Methods". The focus will be on
the methods needed for the rest of the 83x sequence in Electromagnetic
Field Theory, but many of these topics will appear in other
We will also discuss numerical methods and how to calculate
in Mathematica as we proceed.
Topics to be covered include aspects of vector analysis (mostly review),
complex variables, differential equations (and Sturm-Liouville theory
in particular), Fourier series and transforms, and generalized, special,
and Green's functions.
These correspond to Chapters 1-4, 6-8, and Appendix C of Lea's text,
and to scattered sections in Arfken and Weber.
Given the time constraints (10 weeks), we will be selective in
- Prof. Richard (Dick) Furnstahl
office: M2048 PRB
phone: 292-4830 (office) or 847-4026 (home)
- Weishi (Shirley) Li
office: 3035 PRB
phone: 247-8267 (office)
- Dr. Vladimir Prigodin
office: 2176 PRB
phone: 292-6385 (office)
- Class meets MW from 8:30-10:18am in Scott Lab E125.
Make-up classes and optional supplementary classes
will be scheduled as we go. The midterm is planned for
Wednesday October 19 in class. The final exam day and time
is fixed by the University to be 7:30am-9:18am on Monday December 5
(so the early start is not my fault :)
- Office Hours:
- By appointment (send email or ask in class) and . . .
[to be announced] (Furnstahl)
- Assigned problems [40%]
- Midterm exam [30%]
- Final exam [30%]
- Other Items:
- If you have a disability that warrants special consideration for
examinations, please contact Prof. Furnstahl as soon as possible
to make appropriate arrangements. For more information, the website
for the Office of Disability Services is
- The university policy
http://studentaffairs.osu.edu/resource_csc.asp on academic misconduct will be followed.
You may (and should)
discuss homework problems with other students, with Prof. Furnstahl
or other faculty,
and/or with the grader.
However, you must hand in your own version of each homework
- Web Pages:
- This info:
- Course home page:
Your comments and
suggestions are appreciated.
[Math and Physical Sciences]
[Ohio State University]
Physics 834 Course Information.
Last modified: 08:41 am, December 07, 2011.