Most disciplines within physics require computational methods in some way. It is our intention to train students to apply computational methods to physics problems using Fortran or C code. We will provide a three-way balance between understanding the theory behind the methods, actually implementing the method to a specific problem (programming from scratch, using existing libraries), and becoming accustomed to doing so within a Unix-like environment (which might entail, for example, using scripts to manage data sets and program execution).
We will select a few methods that may include, but are not limited to, the following: numerical differentiation and integration; linear algebra, including solving systems of equations and finding the eigenvalues of a matrix (vibrational normal modes of a set of oscillators); ordinary differential equations (charged particles in an electromagnetic); partial differential equations (shallow water wave dynamics); Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations (properties of condensed matter systems).
Martin Leblanc (TA)