Physics 116B (Spring 2011): Mathematical Methods in Physics II
Course information
Instructor: Stefano Profumo
Office: ISB, Room 325
Phone Number: 8314593039
Office Hours: Wednesday 2PM  3:30PM, or by appointment
Email: profumo AT scipp.ucsc.edu
Teaching Assistant: Max Wainwright
Office: ISB, Room 320
Phone Number: 8314594762
Office Hours: Tuesday 6PM  7:10PM, or by appointment
Email: cwainwri AT ucsc.edu
Homework Grader: Geno Viscuso
Email: gviscuso AT ucsc.edu
Click here to download the syllabus in PDF format
Class Hours
Lectures: TuTh, 4:00 PM  5:45 PM, Soc Sci 2 075
Discussion Section (a.k.a. "Wednesday Quizzes"):
Regular Section: Wednesdays 3:30 PM  4:40 PM, Phys Sciences 110
Special Section: Tuesdays 6:00 PM  7:10 PM, Room ISB 231
Course description
 Fourier Series and Transforms
 Ordinary Differential Equations
 Calculus of Variations
 Functions of a Complex Variable
Prerequisites
 Physics: 5A/L, 5B/M, 5C/N, 116A
 Mathematics: 23A, 23B
Required Textbook
 Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences by Mary L. Boas
Other Textbooks
 Mathematical Methods for Scientists and Engineers by Donald A. McQuarrie
 Essential Mathematical Methods for Physicists by George B. Arfken and Hans J. Weber
Course Outline
Topic 
Reading 
Period 
Fourier Series and Transforms 
Boas, Chapter 7 
Mar 29  Apr 7 
Ordinary Differential Equations 
Boas, Chapter 8 
Apr 12  Apr 28 
Calculus of Variations 
Boas, Chapter 9 
May 3  May 10 
Functions of a Complex Variable 
Boas, Chapter 14 
May 12  May 26 
Course Review 

May 31  Jun 2 
Course Grading and Requirements
Student evaluations will be based on their performance in the following four tasks. The tasks and their relative weights in determining the students' overall course grades are given below:
 20% Weekly Homework (9 problem sets)
 20% Wednesday Quizzes (during 7 Discussion Sections)
 20% Midterm Exam (Thursday April 28, 4:45 PM)
 40% Final Exam (Tuesday June 7, 12:003:00 PM)


Weekly Homework
Weekly homework assignments will be handed out each Thursday and are due at
the beginning of class on the Thursday of the following week. The homework problem
sets are (effectively) not optional, and will consist of a few problems from Boas' textbook. You are encouraged to discuss the class material and homework
problems with your classmates and to work in groups, but all submitted problems
should represent your own work and understanding. Late homeworks can be submitted to the grader, but will not contribute any points to the final grade.
The Grader will grade each homework, and is responsible for the given grade.
Grades for each homework set will consist of 2 points (mostly correct), 1 point (less than 50% correct) or 0 points (no homework returned in time).
Homework solutions will be typically made available on the course website on the homework due date.
Wednesday Quizzes
This class will have only one midterm.
Effectively, the second midterm will be spread out over discussion sections in the form of 7 "Wedensday Quizzes" (WQ), on the following Wednesdays: April 6, 13, 20, and May 4, 11, 18, 25.
During the first 20 minutes of discussion section you will be asked to solve one or two problems on the material discussed during the previous week in class.
You will then hand in your work to the TA, who will grade it on a 210 points scale.
The rest of discussion section will be devoted to understanding the solution to the assigned problems, and, time permitting, to questions on homework or class material.
The idea behind Wednesday Quizzes is to keep you "on pace" with the material discussed in class.
If you regularly attend class and pay attention, you shouldn't have any problems tackling the questions that will be assigned on WQ. Notice that WQ will all be open book tests.
Special arrangements will be made with the TA if you absolutely cannot make it to discussion section on a regular basis.
Midterm and Final
The midterm exam and the final exam will be held in the same classroom as
the lectures. The midterm will be a 1 hour written exam in class (regular lecture time) on Thursday April 28th, on the material covered up to
Tuesday April 26th, while the final (Tuesday June 7, 12:00PM) will be three hours long and cover
the complete course material. Both the midterm and the final will be openbook (you can bring with you any book or notes), but only nongraphical,
nonprogrammable calculators will be allowed (it will be up to the discretion of the Instructor to decide whether a calculator is or not allowed). Laptop
computers and cellular phones of any kind will not be allowed. A practice midterm and final will be handed out a week before the exams. You must take the
final exam to pass the course.
The minimal score not to fail the class is 60%.
The final grade will follow the percent guideline below:
 60% to 70%: C range
 70% to 85%: B range
 85% to 100%: A range


Homework exercises
The solutions are password protected, please email the instructor if you don't know the username and password.
FOR THOSE USING THE 2ND EDITION: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE CORRELATION LIST OF 2ND AND 3RD EDITION PROBLEM NUMBERS FOR PROBLEMS WHICH APPEAR IN BOTH EDITIONS (PASSWORD PROTECTED)
Galileo's Corner
La filosofia e' scritta in questo grandissimo libro che continuamente ci sta aperto innanzi a gli occhi (io dico l'universo), ma non si puo' intendere se prima non s'impara a intender la lingua, e conoscer i caratteri, ne' quali e' scritto. Egli e' scritto in lingua matematica, e i caratteri son triangoli, cerchi, ed altre figure geometriche, senza i quali mezzi e' impossibile a intenderne umanamente parola; senza questi e' un aggirarsi vanamente per un oscuro laberinto. (Galileo Galilei, Il Saggiatore, 1623)
Philosophy (Knowledge) is written in that great book which ever lies before our eyes (I call it the Universe), but we cannot understand it if we do not first learn the language and grasp the symbols in which it is written. It is written in mathematical language, and the letters are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without which means it is humanly impossible to comprehend a single word; without knowledge of those, it's a useless wandering in a dark labyrinth.