FY8304 - Mathematical Approximation Methods in Physics


Lessons are not given in the academic year 2023/2024

Course content

The course is given every second year, next time fall 2024. The aim of the course is to give an introduction to, and training of, useful methods of finding approximate solutions to physics problems, in particular situations where regular perturbation expansions cannot be used. Even in cases where a given problem must be treated numerically, approximative solutions may give valuable information of qualitative behaviour for choice and implementation of numerical method. The course covers e.g. local analysis of differential equations, approximate evaluation of integrals, asymptotic expansions, singular perturbation expansions, the boundary layer method, the WKB method, multiple scale expansions.

Learning outcome

Knowledge - the candidate should have knowledge about - the most useful methods for finding approximate analytical solutions of mathematical problems which often occur when modeling physical systems Skills - the candidate should be able to - identify various classes of mathematical problems - simplify or rewrite the problem to a form which enables use of an appropriate method - apply the method to find an approximate analytical solution General competence - the candidate should - know about relevant mathematical reference works and software - be able to use these to find/extract information efficiently

Learning methods and activities

Lectures and problem sessions. Some problems may be formulated to be solved by use of computer algebra programs. When lectures and lecture material are in English, the exam may be given in English only.

Further on evaluation

Exam registration requires course registration in the same semester.

If there is a re-sit examination, the examination form may be changed to oral.

Specific conditions

Admission to a programme of study is required:
Biophysics (PHBIFY)
Physics (PHFY)

Course materials

Literature: C.M. Bender and S.A. Orszag: Advanced Mathematical Methods for Scientists and Engineeres, McGraw-Hill 1978.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
DIF4943 7.5
FY3107 7.5 AUTUMN 2018
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Doctoral degree level



Language of instruction: English, Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Physics
Contact information

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Physics


  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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