Techniques of Computational Physics
Welcome to the Techniques of Computational Physics
course web page. This course is offered Fall Semester 1999. Here we will
provide information about the course as well as materials. Both lecture
materials and other background materials will be provided as the course
Note that we intend to make extensive use of this web page. Please refer
to it on a regular basis for occasional extra materials, lecture notes,
and hand-outs. The url for this web page is:
Professor of Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, 173 Oveman Hall;
Office Hours by appointment; Telephone: 372 8108; you may also visit my
Hand-outs on various computational physics methods will be provided.
When possible, links in this web page to the lectures and selected hand-outs
will be made as the term proceeds.
A bibliography of some key references will be provided.
This course is an introduction to the methods of analytical and computational
physics for upper division undergraduate science majors. The emphasis will
be on the development of tools useful in formulating and solving problems
in the physical sciences. Among the topics to be covered are:
Numerical Methods--differentiation, integration, root finders
Logistic Map and Chaos
Some Numerical Methods for Ordinary differential equations
Hyperbolic Partial Differential Equations
Introdution to Computational Fluid Dynamics
The Schrodinger Equation--Time evolution of the Wave Function
Elliptic Partial Differential Equations
The Gravitational N-Body Problem--a few basic methods
There may be other topics that can be covered. We shall tailor the
topics somewhat to the interests of the students and instructor.
The course will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:30 to 8:45
p.m. in the Workstation Lab in room 304 of Eppler North as well as
in the Physics and Astronomy conference room, Overman 106.
Tentative Course Syllabus
Requirements for the course:
A knowledge of Physics at the undergraduate level is assumed. Any further
study in mathematics would be helpful, but not necessarily a requirement.
If you already know a high level language [such as C, C++, fortran] that
will help. Mathematica will be a component in the course delivery. We intend
that the student will learn Mathematica during the semester. Matlab may
also be used in some situations. The student will be expected to learn
Mathematica and Matlab programming as needed. Both Mathematica and Matlab
are available on the bgunix machines.
There will be problem sets given approximately every two weeks, but probably
not more than seven sets. I will also assign two projects during the term.
These will be more in depth studies of some topic from the physics which
can be meaningfully understood using the tools covered in this course.