Methods in Mathematical Physics

Module code: PA7111

Module co-ordinator: Dr Sergei Nayakshin

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of this module, typical students should be able to:

  • Explain aspects of the scientific method, types of logical reasoning and data analysis
  • Critically analyse statistical and scientific arguments
  • Calculate and interpret common quantitative and graphical data summaries using statistical software
  • Use the calculus of probability to manipulate basic probability functions
  • Apply and interpret basic model fitting (e.g. maximum likelihood)
  • Master calculus of variations to solve simple variational problems
  • Derive the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian for a given dynamical system and solve the resultant equations of motion.  


  • Inference in science
  • Quantitative and graphical summaries of data
  • The calculus of probability
  • Random variables
  • Building a model and estimating its parameters 
  • Testing the model 
  • Classical Dynamics 
  • Calculus of Variations 
  • Equations of motion: Lagrangian and Hamiltonian methods 
  • Conserved quantities and symmetry
  • Transition to quantum theory


  • 18 one-hour lectures
  • 6 one-hour workshops


  • Exam (35%)
  • Problem assignment (15%)
  • Portfolio of workbook exercises and projects (50%)