Syllabus for Physics 373 –Fall 2015


             (Check here frequently for important announcements related to the course)

Official Course Description: Title: Mathematical Methods for Physics II Credits: 3; Grade Method: REG/P-F/AUD;
PHYS273 and 274 (or equivalent); Topics: This is a second course in mathematical methods for physics. Topics include Fourier Analysis; Power Series Solution of Differential Equations; Partial Differential Equations; Complex Analysis and (time permitting) Green’s Function Method Applied to Ordinary Differential Equations.


Instructor:         Professor Kaustubh Agashe                                  Phone: (301)-405-6018

                             Office (note different building than lecture!): Room 3118 of Physical Sciences Complex (PSC), e-mail:

                               Office Hours (note locations and days carefully): Tuesday 2.00-3.00 pm. in Rm. 1304 of Toll building (this will be sort of an informal discussion session, i.e., you are not required to attend it, but it will be useful to do so!) and Thursday 3.00-4.00 pm. in Rm. 3118 PSC. It might be possible to have office hours at other times by appointment.





Teaching Assistant: Donggeun Tak [email:; office: Rm 3101 of Toll building; Phone: (301) 219-0836]; Office hours (note locations and days carefully): Monday 3.00-4.00 pm. in Rm  3101 of Toll building and Wednesday 12.00- 1.00 pm. in Rm. 1304 of Toll building (this will be sort of an informal discussion session, i.e., you are not required to attend it, but it will be useful to do so!). It might be possible to have office hours at other times by appointment.



Lecture Time:                    11:00 am.-12:15 pm. on Tuesday and Thursday

Lecture Room:                  Room 1204 of Toll Physics Building

Required Textbook: Mathematical Methods in Physical Sciences by Boas

Recommended textbook: A Guided Tour of Mathematical Methods by Snieder


Homework: The homework assignments (problem sets) will generally be assigned here on Tuesdays, and should be handed in class the following Thursday or in folder outside Room 3118 of PSC by 5 pm.. Late homework will be accepted at the discretion of the instructor (in particular, a valid documented excuse such a medical problem, religious holiday, or serious family crisis is required), but not after solutions have been handed out.


No homework will be dropped for any reason.  For full credit for any written homework or exam problem,

in addition to the correct answer, you must show the steps/justify your approach as much as possible.


Solutions to homework (and exams) will be posted here.


Exams: There will be 2 exams given during the lecture periods (1 hours 15 minutes in length). Both exams will contribute to the final grade for the course. Tentatively, these are scheduled for October 13 (Tuesday) and November 19 (Thursday). The final exam will be given during the standard exam period (8.00-10.00 am. on Monday, December 14). You must take the final exam to pass the course. There will be no make-up for the exams, unless there is a strong documented excuse (medical problem, religious holiday, or serious family crisis).

Details such as which topics will be covered in each exam, whether crib sheets will be allowed etc. will be posted later.

Grade: The semester grade will be based on the homework, in-class exams and the final exam
with the following tentative weights: 2 in-class exams: 50%, homework: 15%, final exam: 35%




Attendance: Regular attendance and participation in this class is the best way to grasp the concepts and principles being discussed. Please try to attend every class and to read up the relevant chapter(s) of the textbook before coming to the class.


Some class notes will be posted here.


Academic Honesty: Note that, although you are encouraged to discuss homework with other students, any work you submit must be your own and should reflect your own understanding. In fact, the main way you will understand Physics (and thus do well on the exams) is by doing the homework (that too by yourself).


In addition, academic dishonesty, such as cheating on an exam or copying homework, is a serious offense which may result in suspension or expulsion from the University.


The University of Maryland, College Park has a nationally recognized Code of Academic Integrity, administered by the 
Student Honor Council.  This Code sets standards for academic integrity at Maryland for all undergraduate and graduate 
students.  As a student you are responsible for upholding these standards for this course.  It is very important for you to 
be aware of the consequences of cheating, fabrication, facilitation, and plagiarism. For more information on the Code of 
Academic Integrity or the Student Honor Council, please visit here.
To further exhibit your commitment to academic integrity, please sign the Honor Pledge (which covers all 
examinations and Assignments) and turn it in as “Homework 1”: 

"I pledge on my honor that I will not give or receive any unauthorized assistance (including

from other persons and online sources) on all examinations, quizzes and homework assignments 
in this course."


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(TENTATIVE) schedule of Physics 373 topics, exams, and holidays (more detailed schedule, for example, by chapter-sections, might be posted as part of the “announcements” here roughly at the beginning of each week; the homework assignments will also indicate this.)




Main Topics

Chapter in Boas


Sept. 1, 3

(I) Fourier Analysis



Sept.. 8, 10

(I) Fourier Analysis; Review of Linear Algebra (as needed)

7, (review from 3)


Sept.  15, 17

(II) Review of Ordinary Differential Equations (as needed); Power Series Solutions to Differential Equations

(review from 8), 12


Sept.  22, 24

(II) Power Series Solutions of Differential Equations



Sept. 29, Oct. 1

(II) Power Series Solutions of Differential Equations; Review of Special Functions (as needed)

12, (review from 11)


Oct., 6, 8

(III) Partial Differential Equations



Tuesday, Oct. 13

Exam I

7, 12


Oct. 15

(III) Partial Differential Equations



Oct. 20, 22

(III) Partial Differential Equations



Oct. 27, 29

(III) Partial Differential Equations, (IV) Complex Analysis

13, 14


Nov. 3, 5

(IV) Complex Analysis



Nov. 10, 12

(IV) Complex Analysis



Nov. 17

(IV) Complex Analysis



Thursday, Nov. 19

Exam II

12, 13, 14


Nov. 24

(IV) Complex Analysis



Dec. 1, 3

(IV) Complex Analysis



Dec. 8

(IV) Complex Analysis



Dec. 10 (Thurs., usual lecture)

Final exam review



Dec. 14 (Mon.): 8.00-10.00 am.


All of the above