Physics 410/609Computational Physics
Course SyllabusSpring 2013
Instructor: 
Prof. Steven Gottlieb 
Office: 
Swain West 226 
Phone Number: 
8550243 
Email: 
sg at indiana.edu 
URLs: 
www.physics.indiana.edu/~sg/
www.physics.indiana.edu/~sg/p609.html

Office Hours: 
any mutually convenient time when I am in or by appointment 

This policy is designed to make it easier for you to see me. Please
take advantage of it. 




 Course
 Physics 410 and Physics 609 meet TH 9:30
a.m.10:45 a.m. in Swain West 246A, a cluster of Apple
computers.
Prerequisites
 Electricity and Magnetism (P332) or consent of instructor
 Introduction to Computer Programming (C201 or C301) or consent of instructor
 MathematicsElementary ordinary differential equations; matrix algebra;
complex variables; Fourier analysis will be freely used
Text

An Introduction to Computer Simulation MethodsApplications to
Physical Systems (3rd edition), by Harvey Gould, Jan Tobochnik and
Wolfgang Christian is required.
Description
 We will apply computing methods and numerical techniques to a broad
spectrum of physics problems. In the beginning of the course we will concentrate
on deterministic systems such as mechanics. In the latter part of the course
we will discuss nondeterministic systems as encountered in statistical
mechanics. Monte Carlo methods will be discussed. We will also
introduce symbolic and numerical computing using Mathematica.
Course Goals
 1. To be able to use a computer to solve a variety of problems that
arise in solving or modeling problems in the physical sciences.
 2. To understand how simulations of physical systems can result in
new insights and a better physical understanding.
 3. To be able to judge the effort involved in differing approaches
to problems and to be able to select the most appropriate one.
 4. To gain familiarity with error analysis in numerical approaches
to physical problems.
 5. To be able to quickly produce publication quality graphs.
 6. To be able to write structured, readable computer code.
 7. To develop computer skills that will be useful for class work and research.
 8. To have fun.
Homework
 There will be assignments about every two weeks.
There will be from 3 to 5 problems depending on the difficulty.
Exam/Project
 There will be no final examination, as such an exercise seems inappropriate
for this course. However, there will be a final project due Wednesday, May
1 at 5:00 p.m. The final project will be selected by each student in consultation
with the instructor. For P410, the project should take 1215 hours to
complete. For P609, the project should take about 20 hours for completion.
You will be given more information about how you should organize the report
on your final project several weeks before it is due.
Grading
 Homework will count for threequarters of the final grade and the final
project will count for onequarter. A detailed description of how the final
project is graded will be presented later in the semester.
Attendance
 Attendance is optional, but highly recommended.
Anyone who can learn the material by reading
the text, the notes on the web or through discussion with others is welcome
to do so. However, you should be forewarned that most of the students who have
tried this approach in the past have not fared very well. Regular attendance
will help you to learn the skills that will make carrying out the homework
managable. A significant amount of instruction is interactive and not
captured by the web notes.
Late Assignments

It is unwise to expect to be able to
do your assignments the night before they are due.
Start work early on each assignment.
Homework handed in within 48 hours of time due will have 10% of the
value of the assignment subtracted. Homework handed in between 48 and 72
hours late will have 20% of its value subtracted. Homework handed in later
will be accepted at the discretion of the instructor and will be reduced
in value by 40%.
Academic Honesty
 One of the best ways to learn and to enjoy physics is by discussing
it with colleagues. It is expected that you may wish to discuss the problems
with others in the class. However, when you write programs and run them,
the work should be your own, not copied from someone else.
In most homework assignments you are expected to write your own code
to carry out the assignment. If I expect you to write your own code, but
you use my code or executable, you will not receive full credit. If in doubt
about what is expected please ask me (in person, on the phone or via email).
I have had problems in the past on the final project with students who do not
give proper attribution for work that they use. Make sure to give proper
references to all sources of information. If I find that you have copied
work without attribution you will be penalized.
COURSE OUTLINE (dates approximate)

I. Introduction to the Unix
Environment


Jan 714

Unix, Awk and Axis

Suppl. readings, Chap1, CSM


II. Classical Systems


Jan 1416

Coffee Cooling

Notes

Jan 2330

Falling Objects

Chap 3 CSM

Feb 411

Simple Linear and Nonlinear
Systems

Chap 4 CSM, Chap 16 NR


III. Symbolic Manipulation


Feb 1327

Intro. to Mathematica

Mathematica, handouts


IV. Classical Systems (continued)


Mar 427

Chaos

Chap 6 CSM

Apr 110

Numerical Integration, Errors

Chap 11 CSM, Chapter 4 NR


V. Nondeterministic Systems


Apr 1517

Random Numbers

Chap 7 CSM, Math. Notes

Apr 2224

Data Fitting

Chap 15 NR




BIBLIOGRAPHY
Required Text
Harvey Gould, Jan Tobochnik, and Wolfgang Christian,
An Introduction to Computer Simulation
Methods  Applications to Physical Systems, Third Edition, Pearson/Addison
Wesley (2006).
Other References
Forman S. Acton, Numerical Methods That Work, Harper Row (1970).
A.V. Aho, B. W. Kernighan and P. J. Weinberger, The AWK Programming
Language, AddisonWesley (1988).
*R.L. Burden and J. D. Faires, Numerical Analysis, Seventh Edition,
BrooksCole (2001).
D.M. Etter, Problem Solving with Structured FORTRAN 77, Benjamin/Cummins
(1984).
F.L. Friedman and E.B. Koffman, Problem Solving and Structured Progamming
in FORTRAN, Addison Wesley (1990).
R. Gass, Mathematica for Scientists and Engineers, Prentice Hall
(1998).
N.J. Giordano and H. Nakanishi, Computational Physics, Second Edition,
Prentice Hall (2006).
*R. Glassey, Numerical Computation Using C, Academic (1993).
R.W. Hamming, Numerical Methods for Scientists and Engineers,
McGrawHill (1987).
Dieter W. Heermann, Computer Simulations Methods in Theoretical Physics,
Springer (1990).
Malvin H. Kalos and Paula A. Whitlock, Monte Carlo Methods, WileyInterscience
(1986).
*Steven E. Koonin and Dawn Meredith, Computational Physics (FORTRAN
Version), AddisonWesley (1990).
Donald E. Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming, Vols. 13,
Addison Wesley (1973).
*Brian W. Kernighan and P. J. Plauger, The Elements of Programming
Style, McGrawHill (1978).
*Daniel D. McCracken and William I. Salmon, Computing for Engineers
and Scientists with FORTRAN 77, Wiley (1988).
*Henry McGilton and Rachel Morgan, Introducing the UNIX System,
McGraw Hill (1983); Introducing the UNIX System V, McGraw Hill
(1987).
A. Oram and S. Talbott, Managing Projects with make, O'Reilly
& Associates (1991).
*William H. Press, Brian P. Flannery, Saul A. Teukolsky, and William
T. Vetterling, Numerical Recipes  The Art of Scientific Computing,
Cambridge.
*J. Denbigh Starkey and Rockford J. Ross, Fundamental Programming
with FORTRAN 77, West Publishing (1987).
L. Wall and R.L. Schwartz, Programming perl, O'Reilly & Associates
(1991).
*S. Wolfram, Mathematica Book, Cambridge (latest edition).
*On reserve in Swain Hall Library.
UNIX is a trademark of Bell Laboratories.