Physics 606

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 developes.

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: 

Course Instructor:

Course Information

Course Materials:

Course Objectives:

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: 

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

Meeting Date Lecture Topic Supporting Materials
Aug. 26 Course  Introduction  and Introduction to Unix
Sept. 1 Unix II  UNIXhelp for Users Tutorial Material
Sept. 3 Unix III  Beginner's Guide to Unix Shell Programming 
Sept. 8 Beginner's Guide to Unix Shell Programming
Sept. 10 Numerical Differentiation,Introduction to fortran90
Sept. 15 Numerical Integration Basics, Introduction to fortran90

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.