Fall 2019 - PHYS 384 D100

Methods of Theoretical Physics I (3)

Class Number: 1210

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 3 – Dec 2, 2019: Mon, Wed, Fri, 10:30–11:20 a.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 10, 2019
    Tue, 8:30–11:30 a.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    MATH 252 or 254; MATH 310; PHYS 255 or ENSC 320, with a minimum grade of C-. Corequisite: PHYS 211.



Applications of mathematical methods in physics, differential equations of physics, eigenvalue problems, solutions to wave equations. Quantitative.


  1. One dimensional scalar fields, initial and boundary value problems, vibrating strings, infinite strings, energy flow, damped and forced oscillations, Green's Function technique in 1-dimension, Dirac δ function.
  2. Two dimensional scalar fields, rectangular, circular and wedge shaped membranes, normal modes, temperature distributions in a circular annulus, introduction to Bessel functions.
  3. Three dimensional scalar and vector fields of physics, propagation of electromagnetic and sound waves, heat flow, neutron diffusion, temperature distribution in a solid sphere, spherical Bessel functions and spherical harmonics, expansion of plane waves, Green's function techniques in three dimensions.
  4. Problems of mathematical physics with continuous spectra, integral transform techniques, wave packets, vibrations of infinite and semi-infinite membranes.
  5. Applications of complex variables, contour integrals, dispersion relations, steepest descent.
  6. Calculus of variations


  • Problem Sets 40%
  • Midterm 15%
  • Final exam 45%



Recommended Text:
SFU Course pack: Mathematical Physics 
Author: Butkov

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Department Undergraduate Notes:

Students who cannot write their exam during the course's scheduled exam time must request accommodation from their instructor in writing, clearly stating the reason for this request, before the end of the first week of classes.

Registrar Notes:

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