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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PHYS2370 Maths 3- Matrices and Operators

10 creditsClass Size: 200

Module manager: Prof. Jiannis Pachos

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Pre-requisite qualifications



PHYS1290Maths 1- Scalars and Vectors
PHYS1300Maths 2- Multivariable Calculus

Module replaces


This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Fluency in mathematical techniques is essential for solving physics problems. This module introduces vector calculus and linear algebra concepts and techniques indispensable for modern physics, including electromagnetism and quantum mechanics. Exercises that allow practicing actual calculations are an integral and important part of the module.


Manipulate numerical and other quantitative information, and apply manipulative skills to the solution of problems.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- evaluate integrals using the theorems of Green, Stokes and Gauss and be able to apply these theorems to physics problems;
- multiply matrices and evaluate determinants;
- solve a set of linear equations;
- invert matrices and find their eigenvalues and eigenvectors.
- know the properties of Hermitian matrices and be able to use them in physics problems.

Skills outcomes
Basic mathematical methods needed in all branches of science.


Vector calculus:
Line, surface and volume integrals, i.e integration along curves, over areas and volumes. Use of spherical and cylindrical polar coordinates.
Integral theorems of Green, Stokes and Gauss. Application of these concepts to physics problems.
Multiplication of matrices, inverses and linear transformations. Determinants and the solution of linear equations, eigenvalues and eigenvectors.
Diagonalisation of matrices, real symmetric matrices, Hermitian matrices, their eigenvalues and eigenvectors, and physics applications.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Example Class111.0011.00
Office Hour Discussions111.000.00
Private study hours67.00
Total Contact hours33.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Online AssessmentOnline Mid-Term Assessment30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)30.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment48 hr 00 mins70.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)70.00

Students will have to complete an online assessment at the end of the module. This will take place during the examinations period at the end of the semester and will be time bound. The assessment will not take 48 hours to complete, but students will have a 48 hour time period in which to complete it. Students are required to pass all assessments for this module in order to pass the module overall.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 12/10/2020 15:48:24


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