PHYS 3750: Foundations of Wave Phenomena


Instructor:  T.-C. Shen (, 797-7852)

Foundations of Wave Phenomena  (Charles Torre)
Lecture Notes on Wave Phenomena  (Mark Riffe)

Class meets: Tu, Th 9:00-10:15 at Merrill-Cazier Library 411

Class website:

Recitation: Mon 4:30-5:30 at SER 122 by Kenneth Zia

We will discuss the solutions for various wave equations appeared in classical mechanics, electromagnetics, and quantum mechanics. Meanwhile we will also pick up Fourier analysis and vector analysis to strengthen your mathematical toolbox. I plan to cover the entire textbook. 

This is mathematically heavy physics class and mathematics can only be learned from practicing.  I will not repeat the derivations in the textbook, but spend time on addressing your questions and working on problems. Therefore, you should read the textbook before coming to class so you can ask your questions and answer my questions.  Roughly, we will cover one chapter a week, so I recommend you read one chapter in advance before you enter the classroom each Tuesday including the first week.  To keep you in phase with class progress, we will have a weekly 30-min tests each Tuesday covering the topics we discussed in the previous week. The questions in the weekly exams will be similar to the exercises and problems in the textbook.  Therefore, it is really important when you read the textbook you should work them out immediately instead of putting it off until the test time. We plan to have 13 weekly tests of which three worst scores (including 0 if you are absent that day) will be dropped in the final grade.  The weekly test will be counted for 50% of the final grade and the other 40% will come from the final examination.  The last 10% will be evaluated by classroom participation including questions, comments, responses to my questions, and short presentations of what you have learned.  Passive attendance will not be sufficient to get credit in this category. Everyone can have 3 absences, but my advice is saving them for emergencies.  You are welcome to drop by my office (SER 222C) or e-mail me to make an appointment to discuss issues relevant to this course.