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PH30056: Computational physics B

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2012/3
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Physics
Further information on credits Credits: 6
Further information on unit levels Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment: CW 100%
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: Before taking this unit you must take PH20018
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
The aim of this unit is to provide students with experience in the application of some of the major techniques used in the simulation of physical systems, and to develop their ability at using computers in physical modelling. Topics will be chosen for study to encourage a greater understanding of both the model and the underlying physics. The emphasis will be on the application and interpretation of the techniques, not on programming.

Learning Outcomes:
After taking this unit the student should be able to:
* identify issues which influence the choice of programming environment, language and architecture;
* write and develop C code for computer simulations, including interfacing to a 2d graphics package;
* outline applications of the molecular dynamics technique and the surrounding computational issues;
* outline the physics and computational issues arising in the phenomenon of diffusion limited aggregation such as random walks;
* outline the physics and computational issues illustrated by the Ising model;
* explain the methodology and output of the simulations performed.

Written Communication T/F A, Numeracy T/F A, Data Acquisition, Handling, and Analysis T/F A, Information Technology T/F A, Problem Solving T/F A.

Overview of computer languages for scientific work: Computer architecture and code optimisation. Revision of C programming in the UNIX environment.
Lattice-based simulations: Overview of contemporary applications. Diffusion limited aggregation as a physical model for growth processes. Development of a practical algorithm. Implementation in C, including graphical visualisation.
Molecular dynamics, MD: Overview of contemporary applications. Application to multi-particle 2d Lennard-Jones system. Numerical solution of equations of motion. Potential cut-off. Implementation of MD in C, including graphical visualisation. Calculation of observables; temperature, pressure, diffusion coefficient, structural information including pair correlation function g(r).
Diffusion limited aggregation: Investigation of properties of clusters formed by diffusion limited aggregation, DLA. Effects of varying the growth rule.
Monte Carlo simulation in statistical physics: The Ising model. Revision of elementary statistical physics. Revision of Monte Carlo methods. Importance sampling. Markov states. Metropolis algorithm; Implementation in C, including graphical visualisation. Look-up tables. Computation of thermal averages; magnetisation, energy density, specific heat, susceptibility. Spin correlation function.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

PH30056 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Physics
  • USPH-AFB05 : BSc (hons) Physics with Computing (Full-time) - Year 3
  • USPH-AKB06 : BSc (hons) Physics with Computing (with Placement) (Full-time with Thick Sandwich Placement) - Year 4
  • USPH-AAB06 : BSc (hons) Physics with Computing with Year Abroad (Full-time with Study Year Abroad) - Year 4
  • USXX-AFM01 : MSci (hons) Mathematics and Physics (Full-time) - Year 3

PH30056 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Physics
  • USXX-AFB03 : BSc (hons) Mathematics and Physics (Full-time) - Year 3
  • USXX-AKB04 : BSc (hons) Mathematics and Physics with Placement (Full-time with Thick Sandwich Placement) - Year 4
  • USXX-AAB04 : BSc (hons) Mathematics and Physics with Study Year Abroad (Full-time with Study Year Abroad) - Year 4
  • USPH-AFB09 : BSc Physics (Full-time) - Year 3
  • USPH-AKB09 : BSc Physics (with Placement) (Full-time with Thick Sandwich Placement) - Year 4
  • USPH-AFM02 : MPhys Physics (Full-time) - Year 3
  • USPH-AFM04 : MPhys Physics with Research Placement (Full-time) - Year 3

* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2012/13 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2013/14 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2012/13.
* Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.
* Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.