Phys690 : (Spring 2007)
The combination of computers and physics presents exciting opportunities for tackling problems not only in physics, but also in areas spanning chemistry, biology, material science, engineering, and even financial and economic modeling. This course teaches the fundamentals of computer simulations and how they are used to treat real problems that are otherwise intractable. Examples of such real problems include particle transport (e.g., in accelerator physics), fluid and traffic flows, earthquakes and forest fire, fracture mechanics, quantum physics, protein folding, and phase transitions and statistical physics.
The course is for graduate students and advanced undergraduate students in physics and related disciplines. It assumes knowledge of calculus, mechanics, some statistical physics, and basic quantum mechanics. Extensive computer background is not required; homework and course projects are designed to facilitate a steady accumulation of hands-on experience.
Preliminary course outline:
Content will be adjusted according to students' background and interests.
Textbook: On reserve
M.T.Heath, Scientific computing : an introductory survey, New York : McGraw-Hill, c1997.
N.J.Giordano, Computational Physics, Prentice Hall, 1997.
M.H. Kalos and P.A. Whitlock, Monte Carlo Methods, Vol I, Wiley, 1986.
W. H. Press, B. P. Flannery, S. A. Teukolsky, W. T. Vetterling, Numerical Recipes -- the Art of Scientific Computing, Cambridge.
P.L. DeVries, A first course in computational physics, Wiley, 1994.
A. L. Garcia, Numerical Methods for Physics, Prentice Hall, 1994.
M.P. Allen and D.J. Tildesley, Computer Simulation of Liquids, Oxford, 1987.
S. E. Koonin and Dawn Meredith, Computational Physics, Addison-Wesley, 1989.
D. Frenkel and B. Smit, Understanding molecular simulations, 2nd edition, Academic Press, 2002.
Grade: (not entirely based
on a curve!)