Phys 509 Spring 2017

The worm

Lectures are Tuesday and Thursday from 09:30 to 10:50pm in 158 Loomis

Syllabus Outline

The course will have three related components:

Below are links to various course-related documents. These files will now be in PDF format only

Homework Sets

Homework number 0, due 4pm Jan 23rd. , ( Yun's solutions. )
Homework number 1, due 4pm Jan 30th. , ( Yun's solutions. )
Homework number 2, due 4pm Feb 6th, ( Yun's solutions. )
Homework number 3, due 4pm Feb 13th. ( Yun's solutions. )
Homework number 4, due 4pm Feb 20th. ( Yun's solutions. )
Homework number 5, due 4pm March 13th. ( Yun's solutions. )
--- Spring Break ---
Homework number 6, due 4pm March 27th. ( Yun's solutions. )
Homework number 7, due 4pm April 3rd .
Homework number 8, due 4pm April 17th.
Homework number 9, due 4pm April 24th .
Homework number 10, due 4pm May 1st.

Lecture notes

The lecture notes are available to the general public. Please give me feedback - tell me of typos, sign errors, obscurities, or plain conceptual errors.


I recommend (but do not require) that you purchase Mathematics for Physics: A guided tour for graduate students by myself and Paul Goldbart. (Cambridge University Press 2009). The list price is $90, but Amazon has it for $72 (+shipping). I do not yet know what the UI bookstore is selling it for. This beautifully produced book is an expanded version of the lecture notes for both PHYS 508 and PHYS 509.

If you do not want to shell out $90, I recommend three other books: Differential Forms with applications to the Physical Sciences by Harley Flanders, Group Theory by Morton Hammermesh, and Mathematics for Physicists by Phillipe Dennery and Andre Krzywicki. All three are published by Dover Publications, and should cost no more than $15 or so each.


The gradebook is now accessed though "my.physics" by using your UIUC net-id and password.

Grades for the part of the course will be based on you total score on the homework (60%), and a term paper (40%). You may choose your own term paper topic, but I will wish to check its suitability. Here is short list of papers that might provide some inspiration.

Please e-mail me with your suggested topics by the end of the spring break. The papers should be in the order of five pages long --- although there will be no penalty for longer works if you need the space --- and should be typeset in TeX (or LaTex). You may find this this essay on the art of writing mathematics to be of use. Another useful article is this article by N. David Mermin.

People who figure in our story:

Elie Cartan
De Rham
H. Hopf
W. Killing
Sophus Lie
Issai Schur
Hermann Weyl

Finding me:

Office: 2117 ESB.
Phone: 3-2891.
My office hour is Monday 8-9am.

Tianci Zhou
Office 4133 ESB
Office hours at Friday 3-4pm in 3rd floor open space between MRL and ESB

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Last updated /01/12/2015