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Durham University

Department of Physics

PHYS2611 Mathematical Methods in Physics (2012/13)

Details of the module's prerequisites, learning outcomes, assessment and contact hours are given in the official module description in the Faculty Handbook - follow the link above.  A detailed description of the module's content is given below, together with book lists and a link to the current library catalogue entries.  For an explanation of the library's categorisation system see


Part I

Dr D. Maitre

20 lectures + 3 workshops in Michaelmas Term

Syllabus: Vector algebra, Matrices and vector spaces, Vector calculus, Line and surface integrals, Fourier series, Fourier transforms, Laplace transforms.

Part II

Dr C. Boehm

18 lectures + 3 workshops in Epiphany Term


Required: Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering, A Comprehensive Guide, K. F. Riley, M. P. Hobson and S. J. Bonce (CUP, 3rd Ed.)

Syllabus: Higher order ODEs, Series solutions of ODEs, PDEs: general and particular solutions, PDEs: separation of variables, Special functions.


2 lectures in Easter Term, one by each lecturer

Teaching methods

Lectures: 2 one-hour lectures per week.

Workshops: These provide an opportunity to work through and digest the course material by attempting exercises and assignments assisted by direct interaction with the lecturers and workshop leaders. Students will be divided into four groups, each of which will attend one one-hour class every three weeks.

Problem exercises: