Skip to main content

For incoming Physics and Phys/Bus students

Complex Numbers Worksheet

The worksheet on complex numbers is your first piece of coursework (your answers are due in on the first Friday of term by 11:00). You should work through this sometime between now and then. Should you have any questions about the material, you will be able to discuss them with your tutor on the first day of term.

Mathematical Techniques

One of the major differences between the way you have been taught physics up until now, and the way it is taught at university, is the increased role that mathematics plays. It is our experience that this transition does not cause any significant problems, provided that you are reasonably fluent in the mathematics that you have learnt at school or college.

To give you an idea of the mathematical skills we expect you to have here is a list of topics. We ask that you spend some time between now and the beginning of the academic year revising this material. To help you assess your knowledge here is a mock diagnostic test, which is similar in scope, and difficulty, to a test you will take in the first week of term. You can check your answers by following the link on the right hand side. Ultimately you will be expected to pass all four sections of this test and there will be opportunities to retake sections during the first term. Obviously the more sections you can pass at the first attempt the better.

For revision there are some good online resources. If you go to mathcentre you will find links to many tutorial resources. The most relevant are in the second group down (after any news items) on the main page entitled mathtutor video tutorials available on-line where there are many video tutorials, practise exercises etc.

Physics Textbook

The physics course in year 1 will follow closely the text book University Physics with Modern Physics with Mastering Physics (International Ed.) by HD Young and RA Freedman. We provide you with a copy, so please do not go and buy it! For the mathematics component of the course (it covers mathematics in year 2 as well) a recommended textbook is Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering, 3rd Edition, by KF Riley, MP Hobson and SJ Bence, Cambridge University Press (ISBN 0521679710).