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SI1200 Mathematical Methods in Physics 4.0 credits

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Choose semester and course offering to see current information and more about the course, such as course syllabus, study period, and application information.


For course offering

Spring 2025 Start 14 Jan 2025 programme students

Application code


Headings with content from the Course syllabus SI1200 (Autumn 2017–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

Physical problems leading to different types of differential equations, e.g., the wave equation, Laplace's equation, and Poisson's equation.

Separation of variables in Cartesian, cylinder, and spherical coordinates. Bessel functions, Legendre polynomials, and spherical harmonics. Introductory theory and application of Green's function methods in physics. Variational calculus and physical modelling using energy arguments.

Intended learning outcomes

Upon completing the course a student shall be able to:

  • Formulate problems in terms of differential equations based on fundamental physical problems
  • Use expansion in eigenfunctions as a tool to solve stated problems that appear in, e.g., quantum mechanics and electromagnetism
  • Define and in basic situations apply Green's functions on physical problems such as diffusion and wave propagation
  • Analyse physical problems using variational principles and energy arguments

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

No information inserted

Recommended prerequisites

In order to assimilate the course material, it is recommended that the student has previously taken the following courses, or obtained the corresponding knowledge by other means:

  • Single variable calculus
  • Multi variable calculus
  • Linear algebra
  • Vector analysis (SI1146, ED1110))

It is also recommended that the first part of the course in differential equations and transforms as well as complex valued functions has been studied.


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Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • TEN1 - Exam, 4.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade

At least grade E in the exam. In the normal case, the exam should be a written exam.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination



Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course room in Canvas

Registered students find further information about the implementation of the course in the course room in Canvas. A link to the course room can be found under the tab Studies in the Personal menu at the start of the course.

Offered by

Main field of study


Education cycle

First cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Edwin Langmann (