L31 Physics 501 Theoretical Physics

The first part of a two-semester course reviewing the mathematical methods essential for the study of physics. Theory of functions of a complex variable, residue theory; review of ordinary differential equations; introduction to partial differential equations; integral transforms. Prerequisite: undergraduate differential equations (Math 217), or permission of instructor.

Credit 3 units.

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Physics is the discipline that deals with the most fundamental aspects of our universe, such as the properties of atoms, nuclei and elementary particles; the nature of the forces between them; and the collective behavior of atoms in solids, liquids and gases. It deals with the entire universe, from its birth to its ultimate fate. At the same time, physics provides the tools that help us to understand extremely complex everyday things, like the behavior of sand piles, the strength of materials, or processes in the brain. Physics seeks to discover and understand the mathematical rules that govern the behavior of things. Its early successes in comprehending motion, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism provided a foundation upon which other physical sciences have grown.