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PHYS 508, Fall 2019

9:30 to 10:50 Monday, Wednesday, Room 136 Loomis Laboratory.

Intructor: Professor Michael Stone

This web-page contains links to documents such as handouts and other useful stuff. These files are now only in PDF (.pdf) format.

Syllabus Outline

The course covers four related areas:

Homework Sets

There are 11 weekly homework sets that will count towards the final grade, and one end-of-term set of optional problems. Your solutions sets must be deposited in the Phys 508 homework box before 5pm on the due date, which will usually be a Monday.

Homework number 1, due Tuesday Sept 3rd.
Solutions 1

Homework number 2, due Monday Sept 9th.
Solutions 2

Homework number 3, due Monday Sept 16th.
Solutions 3

Homework number 4, due Monday Sep 30th.
Solutions 4

Homework number 5, due Monday Oct 7th.
Solutions 5

Homework number 6, due Monday Oct 14th.
Solutions 6

Homework number 7, due Monday Oct 21st.
Solutions 7

Homework number 8, due Monday Oct 28th.
Solutions 8

Homework number 9, due Monday Nov 17th.
Solutions 9

Homework number 10, due Monday Dec 2rd.
Solutions 10

Homework number 11 due Monday Dec 09th
Solutions 11

Homework number 12, Further optional problems.


The midterm will be in class on November 6th. There will be review session in class on Monday 4th. The exam will cover everything up to the end of chapter 5.

The final exam will be in our usual classroom on Wednesday Dec 18th from 1:30 to 4:30pm. It will cover everything.

Some old exams for you to review:

Midterm Exam, Fall 2013

Final Exam, Fall 2003

Final Exam, Fall 2014


I recommend (but do not require) that you purchase Mathematics for Physics: A guided tour for graduate students by myself and Paul Goldbart. (Cambridge University Press 2009). The list price is $90, but Amazon has it for $72 (+shipping). I do not yet know what the UI bookstore is selling it for. (I do not recommend the Kindle version of the Book. The equations do not scale correctly.) Our book is an expanded version of the lecture notes for both PHYS 508 and PHYS 509. Here is a list of typos and outright errors that readers have found in the printed text.

A draft version of the book is still available for download, but, now that it is published, I am no longer maintaining this version, so typos are not being corrected.

As a cheaper alternative you can buy Mathematics for Physicists by Phillipe Dennery and Andre Krzywicki (Dover Publications, $12.95). This book covers a fair bit of the material in this course, and will be useful for the complex-variable part of PHYS 509.

Grades and Gradebook

Registered students may access the on-line gradebook by using your university username and password. You will need to accept cookies, and have JavaScript turned on for the gradebook to work.

Your grade in the course will be determined as from your total scores weighted as follows: Homework 50%, Midterm exam 20%, Final Exam 30%.

Cultural Enrichment Links

Some of the material in the course is supposed to introduce you to the wider culture of mathematical physics and its applications in the real world. Here are links relating to some of the topics discussed:


Finding me:
Office: 2117 ESB.
Phone: 3-2891.
My office hour is Moday 8-9am, outside 2117 ESB. If this is inconvenient for you send me an email and I will schedule an appointment at another time.


Destry Newton
Office hrs: 1:00pm to 2:00pm on Fridays.
Place: 3rd floor ESB/MRL Bridge

Last updated Aug/11/2019