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Mathematical Methods of Physics


Admission Requirements

Analyse 1(NA) and 2(NA) and Lineaire Algebra 1(NA) and 2(NA)


The course Mathematical Methods of Physics deals with a number of different topics from algebra and geometry that are applied in physics.

Course Objectives

After finishing this course you have an operational knowledge of the following concepts and you are able to make (simple) problems concerning the following subjects:

  • advanced linear algebra: dual of a vector space, quotient spaces, tensor product

  • tensors

  • differentiable manifolds, metric tensor

  • covariant derivative, parallel displacement, geodesics, curvature

  • groups and homomorphisms

  • representations of groups (mainly finite groups)

  • some applications in physics

Transferable Skills

  • further training in general mathematics skills

  • learning to write down a conclusion in a clear and precise way.


For detailed information go to Timetable in Brightspace

You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of instruction

See Brightspace

Assessment method

  • written exam with open questions

  • (optional) homework

By handing in homework (optional!) a bonus of 0.5 maximum can be earned that will be added to the total grade of the exam. This bonus is only given if the total grade of the exam is at least 5.5.

In the same academic year a retake exam will be organised. The homework bonus grade is not valid for the retake. It is not possible to retake the homework.

Reading list

Lecture notes, to be downloaded from Brightspace. A hard copy can be purchased at the secretariat of the Mathematical Institute.


From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.
Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.


Dr. Robert-Jan Kooman Contactgegevens docent: Dr. R.J. Kooman


This course is part of the "variation space" of the bachelor study programs Physics and Astronomy