• Offered by Physics Education Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Physics
  • Areas of interest Mathematics, Physics, Engineering, Theoretical Physics
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Vladimir Mangazeev
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

The purpose of this course is to give an in-depth introduction to mathematical methods used in modern physics. This course concentrates on different approaches and techniques which help to solve a variety of problems in theoretical and applied areas of physics. It will review and develop methods of Complex Analysis and their applications to calculation of integrals, finding and analysing solutions of differential equations which appear in physical problems. It will give a basic introduction to groups and their representations which appear in physical problems including rotation group, Lorentz group and simple unitary groups. Asymptotic methods used in modern quantum theory will also be explored. The course will provide strong integration of conceptual and applied elements from the physicists' point of view. All methods will be illustrated by working computational examples in Mathematica, so that students could get practical experience of application of mathematical methods to various problems in physics.  

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Demonstrate accurate and efficient use of complex analysis in physical problems
  2. Explain fundamental concepts of group theory and its use for analysis of physical symmetries.
  3. Apply knowledge of methods and practical skills in solving differential equations and their role in physical applications.
  4. Demonstrate effective use of asymptotic methods in physical problems.
  5. Demonstrate high level communication skills in oral and written formats.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Quizzes (approx 12 over the semester) (20) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  2. Assignments (x2) (20) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  3. Mid semester and Final exams (50) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  4. Oral or written presentation on a chosen topic (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • Face-to face component which may consist of 3 x 1 hour lectures per week (total 36 hours) and weekly tutorials.
  • Approximately 90 hours of self-study which will include preparation for lectures, presentations and other assessment tasks.
  • Students are expected to actively participate and contribute towards discussions.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

Students must be active in the Master of Science in Theoretical Physics or Master of Science (Adv) in Theoretical Physics programs. Incompatible with PHYS4301

Prescribed Texts


Preliminary Reading

J. Mathews and R.L. Walker, "Mathematical Methods of Physics" (printed, ANU library)

H.J. Weber and G.B. Arfken, "Essentials of Math Methods for Physicists" (printed, ANU library)

Assumed Knowledge

24 units of university advanced level physics. 24 units of university level mathematics for physicists and engineers including Maths knowledge equivalent to MATH2306.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4050
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4229 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 08 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 In Person View

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