Course Title: Mathematics for Physicists

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Mathematics for Physicists

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

To participate in any RMIT course in-person activities or assessment, you will need to comply with RMIT vaccination requirements which are applicable during the duration of the course. This RMIT requirement includes being vaccinated against COVID-19 or holding a valid medical exemption. 

Please read this RMIT Enrolment Procedure as it has important information regarding COVID vaccination and your study at RMIT:

Please read the Student website for additional requirements of in-person attendance: 

Please check your Canvas course shell closer to when the course starts to see if this course requires mandatory in-person attendance. The delivery method of the course might have to change quickly in response to changes in the local state/national directive regarding in-person course attendance. 


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


145H Mathematical & Geospatial Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 1 2016


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022

Course Coordinator: Dr Donna Baker

Course Coordinator Phone: N/A

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: N/A

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment, by email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

MATH1142 (Calculus and Analysis 1) and MATH1144 (Calculus and Analysis 2) or their equivalents.

Course Description

Mathematics for Physicists aims to provide a broad introduction to the more advanced mathematical methods needed by physicists. It consists of six mathematics modules which have been selected, in consultation with the Physics Discipline in the School of Science to provide the necessary mathematical training that will assist and expand your learning experience within your specialisation of study.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

On completion of this course you should be able to:

1. Model applied physical problems by applying vector calculus methods
2. Use complex function techniques
3. Manipulate Fourier transforms 
4. Employ analytical techniques to solve boundary value problems 
5. Apply Sturm-Liouville expansions to solve ordinary differential equations
6. Manipulate special functions used in quantum mechanics

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for BP228 - Bachelor of Science (Applied Physics), BP229 - Bachelor of Science (Physics) and BP247 - Bachelor of Science (Nanotechnology)/Bachelor of Science (Applied Sciences):

Scientific knowledge

You will have knowledge in at least one discipline other than your primary discipline and some understanding of interdisciplinary linkages.

Inquiry and Problem Solving

You will be able to choose appropriate tools and methods to solve scientific problems within your area of specialization.
You will demonstrate well-developed problem solving skills, applying your knowledge and using your ability to think analytically and creatively.


You will be able to communicate the solution to a problem or the results of a scientific investigation using effective oral, written and presentation skills.
You will be able to communicate the solution to a problem or the results of a scientific investigation using appropriate methods for different audiences.

Personal and professional responsibility
You will develop a capacity for independent and self-directed work. You will work responsibly, safely, legally, ethically, collaboratively.

Overview of Learning Activities

Key concepts, theory and its applications will be explained and illustrated in lectures. Physical problems will be presented and solved during teacher-oriented sessions and further explored in interactive practice classes. These activities will develop your mathematical skills and your ability to think critically and analytically to address more challenging physics problems using mathematical tools. This course is supported by the use of Canvas where course information, learning materials and out-of-class exercises will be made available. 

Assessment will consist of regular practice classes, an early assignment, and other authentic in-class assessments. The assessments will gauge your understanding of the content of each of the modules studied. 

Overview of Learning Resources

Detailed lecture notes/PPT-slides will be provided online. Other learning resources including reading materials, online notes for different learning units, references, weekly exercise questions and solutions will be made available on the online Canvas. 
A library guide is available at

Overview of Assessment

Note: This course has no hurdle requirements. 

Assessment Tasks: 

Assessment Task 1: Assignment  

Weighting 20% 

This assessment task supports CLOs 1 & 2 

Assessment Task 2:  Class Exercises 

Weighting 40% 

This assessment task supports CLOs 1-6 

Assessment Task 3: In-class Authentic Practical Assessments 

Weighting 40%   

This assessment task supports CLOs 1-6