Physics 116C

Mathematical Methods in Physics.

Fall 2007

TuTh 10AM-11:45 AM

Physical Sciences 114

Instructor: Josh Deutsch,, 219 ISB
Office Hours: Tues 1:00-3:00PM

T.A. : Anna Bezryadina,, 292 ISB
Discussion Sections: Wed 7:00-8:30PM ISB 231
Office Hours: Wed 5-7PM 292 ISB

Textbook: Mary Boas
"Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences, 3rd Edition'' (Required).


Student evaluations will be based on their performance in the following three tasks. These tasks and their relative weights in determining the students' ultimate ranking are given below:

  • Weekly homework: Due every Thursday starting October 4. (Except there will be no homework due Thanksgiving week, 11/22/07.) Seven homework sets out of nine must be completed and handed in as a requirement to pass the course. To count, 80% of the assigned problems in a homework set must be attempted. Each attempt must constitute a serious effort to solve a problem.

  • Midterms: Two midterms exams October 25 and November 15. Weight: 60% (30% each)

  • Final: In class closed book final exam on Tuesday, December 11 7:30-10:30PM. Weight: 40%

Each midterm will be closed book but will contain at least one problem closely related to a homework problem. For the final exam students will be allowed to bring an 8.5 by 11 inch sheet of paper containing any information they please. In all exams, no calculators or computers are allowed.

Outline (subject to modification)

Partial Diff. Eqns and Series Sol'ns to Diff. Eqn's Boas Chapter 12 and 13 Sept 27-Nov 13
Probability Boas Chapter 15 Nov 15-Dec 4
Review Comprehensive Dec 6

Note about computers

Because physics majors are not required to know a computer language, this course will not require the use of a computer. Some of the assigned homework problems have parts to them that need a computer. Those parts are strictly optional. You are not required to turn any of those parts in. However if you are able to program, you may wish to do some of these problems out of your own interest.

Web Resources

Amazing 2321 page book in Applied Math from Sean Mauch of Caltech.

Graphs and properties of Bessel functions

Josh's more physically motivated treatment of Bessel Functions

I have some notes relevant to the last part of the course, on probablity and statistics, that is an attempt at a somewhat humorous introduction to probability and statistics: .

Web Demos and Pictures

Midterm 1 10/25/07


average = 70/120,

Homework 1 due on 10/4/07

Boas, Chapter 13, problems 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 2.1


Homework 2 due on 10/11/07



Homework 3 due on 10/18/07

Boas, Chapter 13, problems 3.7. 4.5, 5.9, 5.12, 5.13, 5.14, 6.3


Homework 4 due on 10/25/07



Homework 5 due on 11/1/07




Homework 6 due on 11/13/07




Discussion section Wed Nov 21 moved to Mon Nov 19, 7-8:30PM ISB 231.

Practice Problems for Midterm 2

1997 Physics 114B midterm exam and solutions Note that problem 1 is now covered in 116A but the the other problems are highly relevant.

Homework 7 due on 11/20/07

Boas, Chapter 13, problems 8.4, 9.4, 9.5


Midterm 2 11/15/07


average = 79/120,

Homework 8 due on 11/29/07

Boas, Chapter 15, problems 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.9, 1.10, 3.18, 3.22, 4.7, 4.8, 4.10, 5.1, 5.9, 5.13, 5.16


Homework 9 due on 12/6/07

Boas, Chapter 15, problems 6.1, 6.9, 7.9, 8.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.8, 9.10, 10.3


Practice Problems for the final

1992 Physics 114B final exam and solutions. Note that problem 4 is now covered in 116B so is less relevant than the other problems.

Extra practice problems and solutions

final exam


average = 99/140,