Course Title: Mathematics for Physicists

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Mathematics for Physicists

Credit Points: 12.00


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,
Sem 1 2023

Course Coordinator: Dr Minh Dao

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 8483

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: N/A

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment, by email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Required Prior Study

You should have satisfactorily completed following course/s before you commence this course.

Alternatively, you may be able to demonstrate the required skills and knowledge before you start this course.

Contact your course coordinator if you think you may be eligible for recognition of prior learning.

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

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. 

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

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

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through myRMIT Studies Course

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal.

Overview of Assessment

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 

If you have a long-term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.