Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title Mathematics for Physicists I
Code PHYS107
Coordinator Professor B Cheal
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2021-22 Level 4 FHEQ First Semester 15


To provide a foundation for the mathematics required by physical scientists. To assist students in acquiring the skills necessary to use the mathematics developed in the module.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) A good working knowledge of differential and integral calculus

(LO2) Familiarity with some of the elementary functions common in applied mathematics and science

(LO3) An introductory knowledge of functions of several variables

(LO4) Manipulation of complex numbers and use them to solve simple problems involving fractional powers

(LO5) An introductory knowledge of series

(LO6) A good rudimentary knowledge of simple problems involving statistics: binomial and Poisson distributions, mean, standard deviation, standard error of mean

(S1) Problem solving skills



Introduction to statistics. Binomial and Poisson distributions, mean, standard deviation, standard error on mean, chi-squared, application to experimental analysis.

Vectors Scalar and vector products. Simple vector equations. Applications of vectors to solving physics problems.

Single variable differentiation from first principles. Product, chain and quotient rules. Application to physical systems.

Introduction to Series. Arithmetic Series, Geometric Series. Taylor and Maclaurin Series.

Partial Differentiation. Applications of partial differentiation to finding solutions to physics problems.

Definite integrals. Volumes of rotation. Integration. Integration by substitution. Trigonometric integration. Integration by parts. Integration by partial fractions.

Multi-dimensional integration.

Polar coordinate systems. Spherical polar coordinates. Cylindrical polar coordinates. Using polar coordinates to find simple solutions to physical problems.

Complex Numbers

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1 - Lectures delivered online
Description: Lecture to entire cohort on all course topics incorporating active learning sessions

Teaching Method 2 - Workshops
Description: = 12 x 2 hour workshop
In each workshop, students complete a problem sheet, supported by staff and peers.

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours           36


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 90


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Examination  150 minutes    70       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Coursework - 5 problem sets  5 x2 hours (10 hours    15       
Coursework 5 problem sets  5x 2hours (10 hours     15       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.