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Physics 129 A: Mathematical Methods of Physics

    Instructor: Hirosi Ooguri
  Lectures: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 - 10:25 am at 107 Downs
  Office Hours: Tuesdays, 14:00 - 15:00 at 452 Lauritsen
  Teaching Assistant: Jimmy Huang
  TA Office Hours: Wednesdays, 14:00 - 15:00 at 453 Lauritsen
  Homework Return 453 Lauritsen,, or by appointment
  • No class meetings on: October 18, November 29, and December 4.
  • Makeup class meeting at 12:00 -13:00 on October 30, November 20, and November 27 at 107 Downs.
  • Letter Grades: 50% homework, 20% midterm exam, 30% final exam
  • Homework is assigned on every Thursday, due on Thursday of the following week.
  • Homework extension policy: one-time one week extension is allowed.
  • Midterm exam (take home): assigned on November 1, due on November 8.


  • George Arfken, Hans Weber, and Frank Harris, "Mathematical Methods for Physicists," Elsevier.

Recommended books (not required):

  • Lars Ahlfors, "Complex Analysis," McGraw-Hill.
  • Richard Courant and David Hilbert, "Methods of Mathematical Physics," Wiley-VCH.
  • E. T. Whittaker and G. N. Watson, "A Course of Modern Analysis," Cambridge University Press.
  • There are excellent on-line resources such as WolframAlpha.

We will cover:

  • Complex Analysis
  • Special Functions
  • Differential Equations
  • Integral Transforms

Lecture NotesLecture Notes (updated on Nov 25, 2018)

Homework Problem Sets (assigned on every other classs, due in one week):

  • Homework 1, assigned on October  4, due on October 11
  • Homework 2, assigned on October 11, due on October 18
  • Homework 3, assigned on October 18, due on October 25
  • Homework 4, assigned on October 25, due on November 1
  • Homework 5, assigned on November 8, due on November 15.
  • Homework 6, assigned on November 15, due on November 22.
  • No homework on November 22, because of the Thanksgiving Holiday.
  • Homework 7, assigned on November 29, due on December 6.

Midterm and Final Exams

The exams are take-home. You can use my lecture notes on the class webpage and your own notebooks. You are not allowed to use other books or computer softwares. You should not search solutions on internet. You can take as long as you like to solve the problems, provided you submit your solutions by the due date. You can collaborate with other students, but you should write your own solutions.

  • Midterm Exam Problem Set (assigned on November 1, a typo in Problem (2-a) corrected on November 4, a typo in Problem (4-b) corrected on November 7, due on November 8)