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Semester 1

Linear Algebra and Several Variable Calculus (PHYS08042)


Physics and Astronomy





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Course Summary

This course is designed for pre-honours physics students continuing from PH1. It covers linear algebra and multivariate calculus, which are used to describe concepts in physics. The course consists of lectures to present new material, and workshops to develop understanding, familiarity and fluency.

Course Description

- Vectors. Basic vector algebra. (1)- Dot and cross products. Triple products. (3)- Linear independence. Expansion in a basis. Change of basis. (1)- Matrices. Matrix algebra. Orthogonal transformations. (3)- Determinant, rank and inverse. Eigenvalues and eigenvectors. Matrix diagonalisation(4)- Complex vectors. Hermitian and unitary matrices. (2)- Taylor expansions. Maxima, minima and saddle points (1)- Partial derivatives. Chain rule. Change of variables. Spherical and cylindrical polar coordinates. (3)- Multivariate integration. (2)

Assessment Information

Written Exam 80%, Coursework 20%, Practical Exam 0%

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