PHZ 3113:
Mathematical Physics

Instructor: Horst D Wahl,

Office 316 Keen Bldg.
Phone 644-2338, 2867
Office Hours: Monday, Wednesday after class and by appointment, any time you can get a hold of me

TA: Mengtian Liu,
Office TBA Keen Bldg.

Class meetings: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:15 to 12:05 in HCB314
Tutorial session: time and place to be defined.
Prerequisite: PHY3101, PHY3045
Corequisite: MAP 2302 or MAP 3305.

Text: no textbook required. Useful information is posted in Blackboard, and lecture notes will be available in Blackboard.

Homework: Weekly, due every Friday.
Homework turned in late without valid excuse will be given 50% credit.
Midterms: One hour during class time, twice.
First midterm: Friday, 10 February during class time.
Second midterm: Friday, 24 March during class time.
Pop Quizzes: There will be a few Pop Quizzes at random times which will allow you to earn extra points.
Final exam: Thursday, 4 May, 12:30am - 14:30 HCB 314.

About the course:
The purpose of this course is to provide the student with some of the essential mathematical tools necessary for advanced physics courses. The aim is not mathematical rigor, but a process of familiarizing you with some of the mathematical concepts and techniques that you are liable to encounter later in your studies and giving you an occasion to acquire some of the skills that you should have. There will be examples and problems, but only few mathematical proofs. We will cover a number of topics drawn from the following areas:

The emphasis will be on developing intuition by paper-and-pencil analytical work.
The homework, which is due weekly, is an integral part of the course and acounts for 25% of the total grade. Working problems is absolutely essential to developing a true understanding of the material. There will be tutorial sessions where you will have occasion to ask questions and get help with solving problems. You will be expected to show how far you got in your solution, and we'll go from there. Attending these tutorials is highly recommended.

Grade ingredients:
1st midterm exam
2nd midterm exam
Final exam 35%

The following table contains the approximate minimum number of points (for 100 points maximum) necessary to achieve a given letter grade:
grade limits:

If, for example, you earn 90 points, your grade will be no worse than an A-, etc.


Here follow a few additional statements which by FSU rules have to be part of a syllabus (see

  • ADA statement (Americans With Disabilities Act):

  • Students with disabilities needing academic accommodations should:
    (a) register with, and provide documentation to, the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC); and
    (b) bring a letter to the instructor indicating the need for accommodation and what type. This should be done during the first week of class.
    For more information about services available to FSU students with disabilities, contact the: Student Disability Resource Center:
    874 Traditions Way 108
    Student Services Building
    Florida State University
    Tallahassee, FL 32306-4167
    (850) 644-9566 (voice) (850) 644-8504 (TDD)
    email ,    Resource Center's web site..

  • Academic honor code:
  • Students are expected to uphold the Academic Honor Code published in The Florida State University Bulletin and in the Student Handbook. The Academic Honor System of Florida State University is based on the premise that each student has the responsibility

    The Florida State University Academic Honor Policy outlines the University's expectations for the integrity of students' academic work, the procedures for resolving alleged violations of those expectations, and the rights and responsibilities of students and faculty members throughout the process. Students are responsible for reading the Academic Honor Policy and for living up to their pledge to ". . . be honest and truthful and . . . [to] strive for personal and institutional integrity at Florida State University." (Florida State University Academic Honor Policy, found at
    and http://

  • University Attendance Policy:
  • Excused absences include documented illness, deaths in the family and other documented crises, call to active military duty or jury duty, religious holy days, and official University activities. These absences will be accommodated in a way that does not arbitrarily penalize students who have a valid excuse. Consideration will also be given to students whose dependent children experience serious illness.

  • Free Tutoring from FSU:

  • On-campus tutoring and writing assistance is available for many courses at Florida State University. For more information, visit the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) Tutoring Services' comprehensive list of tutoring options - see or contact for more information. High-quality tutoring is available by appointment and on a walk-in basis. These services are offered by tutors trained to encourage the highest level of individual academic success while upholding personal academic integrity.

  • Syllabus Change Policy

  • Except for changes that substantially affect implementation of the evaluation (grading) statement, this syllabus is a guide for the course and is subject to change with advance notice

    Last Updated by HDW, 14 December 2015.