Department of Physics and Astronomy
Sonoma State University
Class: Tu Th 9:20-10:35 am, Darwin 31
Instructor: Dr. Hongtao Shi
Office: Darwin 300J
Office Hours: M 9:45-11:00 am, Th 3:45-5:00 pm, and by appointment
course is designed for you to become more adept at applying mathematical tools
to physics problems and get prepared for other upper division courses. You are
solely responsible for learning and applying mathematical symbolic processing
software, such as Mathematica,
the homework problems. Both are available in many on-campus computer labs, or
you can purchase them online.
Course Objectives: You are required to demonstrate (a) knowledge, understanding and use of the principles of physics, (b) ability to use reasoning and logic to define a problem in terms of physics principles, and (c) ability to use mathematics and computer applications to solve physics problems. By the end of this course it is to be expected that the students will have acquired a concrete understanding of the following topics: Coordinate Systems, Vector Algebra and Calculus, Reciprocal Vectors, Complex Numbers, Partial Differentiation, Differential Equations, Stationary Values under Constraints, Matrices, Eigenvalues and Eigenfunctions, Orthonormal Functions, Fourier Series and Integrals, and Fourier Transformation.
Prerequisites: Physics 214: Introduction to Physics II and Mathematics 261 Calculus IV
Required Textbook: Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering, 3rd ed., by K.F. Riley, M.P. Hobson, & S.J. Bence, Published by Cambridge, ISBN: 0-521-67971-0.
Recommended Reference Book: B. Torrence and E. Torrence, The Student's Introduction to MATHEMATICA, 2nd Edition, Cambridge, 2009, ISBN 978-0-521-71789-2.
Hands-on Start to Mathematica
A Student's First Course in Mathematica
Beginner's Guide to Mathematica (Michigan State University)
Mathematica Tutorials: Part I, Part II (Brown University)
Sections to be covered
|1. Preliminary Algebra||
|2. Preliminary Calculus||
|3. Complex Numbers||
|5. Partial Differentiation||
|14. Differential Equations I||
|7. Vector Algebra||
|10. Vector Calculus||
10.1-10.3, 10.6, 10.7, 10.9
|11. Line, Surface, and Volume Integrals||
|12. Fourier Series||
|8. Matrices and Vector Spaces||
8.1-8.6, 8.8-8.11, 8.13
|Homework, Quizzes and Exams||30% Final Exam, Thursday, 12/13, 8:00-9:50 am|
|20% Test 1|
|20% Test 2|
|30% Homework Assignments|
|Course Grade||Percent||Course Grade||Percent||Course Grade||Percent|
Other Reference Books and Tools:
1. Attendance is not mandatory (see policy). You will suffer if you often miss the classes.
2. Reading and homework will be assigned every week from the book, due the following week.
3. There is no tolerance for late homework submission without a legitimate reason, as solutions will usually be posted the day after due date.
4. The lowest homework grade will be dropped when I compute your term grade.
5. You are encouraged to work in a study group in doing the homework, discussing the problems, but I expect you to write up your own solutions handed in for grading.
6. All exams are closed book/notes and must be taken at the assigned time. You can bring one (1) index card to the class with equations and formulas. No makeup will be given without a legitimate reason such as medical emergency. So arrange accordingly. Be aware that the makeup exam/quiz may be entirely different from the original one.
7. I reserve the right to raise your grade if exceptional effort and class participation are observed through the semester.
Important University policies, such as add/drop classes, cheating and plagiarism, grade appeal procedures, can be found at
Email me if you have questions or comments.
Last updated August 16, 2018