Student Records
Programme & Unit Catalogues

## PH30055: Computational physics A

Owning Department/School: Department of Physics
Credits: 6      [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Period:
Semester 1
Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Assessment Detail:
• Coursework (CW 100%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Requisites: Before taking this module you must take PH20105 OR take PH20018
Description: Aims:
The aims of this unit are to introduce students to the practical use of computer modelling as a complement to theoretical and experimental solution of physical problems, to introduce a contemporary package available to the modeller, and to explore topics in physics that lend themselves to computational modelling.

Learning Outcomes:
After taking this unit the student should be able to:
* identify the strengths and weaknesses of a computational approach to modelling;
* demonstrate a practical knowledge of the Maple computer algebra system;
* construct Maple worksheets to analyse physical problems;
* use computational modelling to perform in-depth investigations into selected topics;
* explain the methodology, relevant issues and output of the investigations performed.

Skills:
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.

Content:
Introduction to computational modelling as a means of gaining physical insight: Contemporary applications of computer modelling.
Computer algebra packages as a scientific computer environment: Problems solved effectively in this environment and those that are not.
Practical introduction to Maple: Data structures; constants, variables, expressions, functions, lists, arrays and sets. Basic calculus; integration, differentiation, limits. Standard functions. Graphics. Data i/o. Solving equations; symbolic, numerical, systems of equations, ordinary differential equations. Linear Algebra. Programming; logic, loops, procedures.
Exercises and projects based upon construction of Maple worksheets: Examples may include: Bound state problems in quantum physics by shooting method, basis set expansion. Coupled oscillators; normal modes, time-series analysis. Planetary dynamics; orbit prediction, three-body problems, chaotic motion. Electrons in molecules and solids; linear combination of atomic orbitals, energy levels/bands, bonding/antibonding. Fractals; generation, characterisation via fractal dimension. Stochastic systems; random walkers, diffusion limited aggregation. Dynamics of non-linear systems; logistic map, Lorentz equations, limit cycles, chaos. Percolation; cluster counting algorithms, percolation threshold.
Programme availability:

#### PH30055 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)
• 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-AFM02 : MPhys(Hons) Physics (Year 3)
• USPH-AFM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Research placement (Year 3)
• USPH-AKM03 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional Placement (Year 4)
• USPH-AKM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional and Research Placements (Year 4)

 Notes: This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2017/18 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2018/19 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2017/18. Programmes and units are subject to change 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. Undergraduates: Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here. Postgraduates: Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.