Methods of Mathematical Physics

Subject MAST30031 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 one-hour lectures (three per week); 12 one-hour practice classes (one per week)
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


One of:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

MAST30029 Partial Differential Equations (prior to 2014)


Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2

MAST30021 Complex Analysis may be taken concurrently with MAST30031 Methods of Mathematical Physics

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Prof Omar Foda


Subject Overview:

This subject builds on, and extends earlier, related undergraduate subjects with topics that are useful to applied mathematics, mathematical physics and physics students, as well as pure mathematics students interested in applied mathematics and mathematical physics. These topics include:

  • Special functions: Spherical harmonics including Legendre polynomials and Bessel functions, including cylindrical, modified and spherical Bessel functions;
  • Integral equations: Classification, Fourier and Laplace transform solutions, separable kernels, singular integral equations, Wiener-Hopf equations, and series solutions;
  • Further vector analysis: Differential forms, and integrating p-forms;
  • Further complex analysis: The Schwarz reflection principle, and Wiener-Hopf in complex variables.
Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject, students should:

  • Be familiar with the most important special functions of mathematical physics, including Legendre polynomials and Bessel functions, and how they arise in solving the Laplace equation in different coordinate systems using separation of variables.
  • Learn how a physical problem formulated as a differential equation and a set of boundary conditions can be recast as an integral equation, and how that may offer a way to solve the problem that is not available in the original formulation.
  • Be familiar with differential forms as tools that allow one to solve physical problems with maximal notational simplicity.
  • Learn new, fundamental concepts that extend the basic concepts of a first subject in complex analysis to allow for the solution of more sophisticated physical problems.

Three written assignments of up to 60 pages due at regular intervals during the semester (30%); 3-hour written exam in the examination period (70%)

Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

In addition to skills that are useful in careers in science, engineering, commerce and education, students will develop useful generic skills that include:

  • The problem-solving skills of identifying strategies to solve unfamiliar problems;
  • The analytic skills of constructing and expressing logical arguments, and of working in abstract, general terms to clarify and improve available solutions;
  • The time-management skills of meeting regular deadlines while balancing competing commitments.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Applied Mathematics
Applied Mathematics
Applied Mathematics
Applied Mathematics
Applied Mathematics (specialisation of Mathematics and Statistics major)
Mathematical Physics
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG.
Selective subjects for B-BMED

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