(This originally appeared over on my physics blog. Enjoy!)

Lately, as a form of review, I’ve been taking a quantum mechanics course on Coursera. (It was, in fact, that course which prompted me to recently post a derivation of the Schrödinger equation a few weeks ago.) A couple of the lectures were devoted to a brief introduction to Feynman’s path-integral formulation of quantum mechanics, something typically not brought up in courses at that level, which was a refreshing change of pace. A key component of deriving Feynman’s approach is Laplace’s method, a mathematical technique that I’ve probably not thought about since taking Mathematical Methods for Physicists way back in the Dark Ages when I rode a dinosaur to grad school. (Now, where the heck is my copy of Arfkin?) A review was definitely in order.

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