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PH30056: Computational physics B

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2015/6
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 Summary: CW 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (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 module 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 two of the following four topics: (i) diffusion limited aggregation; (ii) the Ising model; (iii) molecular dynamics; and (iv) polymers and protein folding;
* for each of the two topics, outline the physics and computational issues and 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.

C# programming basics.
Two projects are assigned to each student from the following four topics:
Lattice-based simulations: Diffusion limited aggregation as a physical model for growth processes. Investigation of properties of clusters formed by DLA. Effects of varying the growth rule.
Molecular dynamics: Overview of contemporary applications. Application to multi-particle 2d Lennard-Jones system.
Numerical solution of equations of motion. Potential cut-off. Calculation of observables; temperature, pressure, diffusion coefficient, structural information including pair correlation function g(r).
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. Computation of thermal averages; magnetisation, energy density, specific heat, susceptibility. Spin correlation function.
Polymers and Protein Folding Hydrophobic-polar protein folding model on a 2d lattice. This model captures an essential feature of protein structures, namely the core of a folded protein typically consists of residue with hydrophobic side chains which cluster together and exclude water. The aim is to explore move types and interactions between the chain components.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

PH30056 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Physics
  • USXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Mathematics and Physics (Year 3)
  • USXX-AAM01 : MSci(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USXX-AKM01 : MSci(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • USPH-AFB05 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Computing (Year 3)
  • USPH-AAB06 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Computing with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USPH-AKB06 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Computing with Year long work placement (Year 4)

PH30056 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Physics
  • USXX-AFB03 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Physics (Year 3)
  • USXX-AAB04 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USXX-AKB04 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • USPH-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Physics (Year 3)
  • USPH-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USPH-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • USPH-AFB09 : BSc Physics (Year 3)
  • USPH-AFM02 : MPhys(Hons) Physics (Year 3)
  • USPH-AKM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional and Research Placements (Year 4)
  • USPH-AKM03 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional Placement (Year 4)
  • USPH-AFM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Research placement (Year 3)

* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2015/16 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2016/17 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2015/16.
* 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.