PHYS 4150 Computational Physics

PHYS 4150 Computational Physics
Spring Semester 2016-2017

TUE 12:30-13:20 KK LG107
FRI 12:30-14:20 KK LG107

Course Instructor
Prof. Jian Wang

Course Description

The use of computers in physics, as well as most other branches of science and engineering, has increased many times along with the rapid development of faster and cheaper hardware. This course aims to give the student a thorough grounding in the main computational techniques used in modern physics. It is particularly important in this course that the students should learn by doing. The course is therefore designed such that a significant fraction of the students' time is spent actually programming specific physical problems rather than learning abstract techniques. The course will cover the following problems:

Introductory Computational Physics and Computer Algebra

Integration and Differentiation

Interpolation and Extrapolation

Ordinary differential equations, such as those of classical mechanics.

Partial differential equations, such as the Maxwell's equations, the Diffusion equation, and the Schrodinger equation.

Matrix methods, such as systems of equations and eigenvalue problems applied to Poisson's equation and electronic structure calculations.

Monte Carlo and other simulation methods, such as the Metropolis algorithm and molecular dynamics.

Several Physics Projects

This is neither a short course in computing science nor in programming. It focuses specifically on methods for solving physics problems. Students will be expected to be familiar with basic programming. There is no requirement that the practical work be done using MATLAB, but anyone wishing to use some other programming language or computer should consult the lecturer beforehand. This is to make sure there is both help available from demonstrators and that it will be possible to assess the work satisfactorily.

Course Assessment

1. Assignment: 20%

2. Project: 40%

3. Two-hour written exam: 40%


Lecture Notes


Tutorial Notes

Tutorial Codes

Reading Materials for Tutorial

Textbook and References

Samuel S. M. Wong, "Computational Methods in Physics & Engineering"

Nicholas J. Giordano and Nisao Nakanishi, Computational Physics

Department of Physics, The University of Hong Kong