Wake Forest Physics
Nationally recognized for teaching excellence;
internationally respected for research advances;
a focused emphasis on interdisciplinary study and close student-faculty collaboration; committed
to a diverse and inclusive environment.
Videos Explaining Math Relevant to Physics
Compiled by the Physics Faculty
- Cross products - used in the definition of angular momentum, torque, force on a charged particle moving in a magnetic field, Biot-Savart law for finding magnetic fields due to current line elements, etc.
Several Khan Academy videos; first one - https://www.khanacademy.org/math/linear-algebra/vectors-and-spaces/dot-cross-products/v/linear-algebra-cross-product-introduction
- Line integrals - used in the concept of work, potential energy, electric potential.
See Khan Academy, where the first video is at this link https://www.khanacademy.org/math/multivariable-calculus/integrating-multivariable-functions/line-integrals-vectors/v/line-integrals-and-vector-fields.
There are a substantial number of subsequent videos that gradually increase the level of complexity for handling line integrals.
- Eigenvalues and eigenvectors - used in moment of inertia tensor or matrix, normal modes of vibration, measureable values of operators corresponding to physical quantities in quantum mechanics, etc.
See Khan Academy - https://www.khanacademy.org/math/linear-algebra/alternate-bases/eigen-everything/v/linear-algebra-introduction-to-eigenvalues-and-eigenvectors
- Fourier Series - useful in mechanics to describe the forced harmonic oscillator, in E&M to describe time-varying fields, and in Quantum Mechanics to describe the wavefunctions for the particle in a box.
See Khan Academy - https://www.khanacademy.org/science/electrical-engineering/ee-signals/ee-fourier-series/v/ee-fourier-series-intro
- Series solutions to differential equations - useful in E&M and in solving the Schrodinger Eqn for the hydrogen atom, etc.
YouTube video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJJKq7Uc-9I
- Fourier Transforms - useful in forced harmonic oscillator, E&M for describing Electric field pulses, Optical fields, Heisenberg uncertainty principle, resolution of a microscope, etc.
YouTube video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQLH7qTeJRM
- The Del operator, gradient, divergence, and curl - used to determine force from potential and in the differential formulation of Maxwell's equations.