The object of Physics 281 is to introduce students to computational methods for simulating physical systems and solving problems arising in physics and astronomy, as well as in other related fields. Students carry out their work primarily using the MATLAB computing language on Unix workstations. The emphasis of the course will be on using computational methods to solve physical problems that cannot be handled analytically.
The course is designed for sophomore level students in the physical sciences, but it is also suitable for interested juniors and seniors. No prior experience with computer programming is required. Computational methods taught in this course will be used in upper level courses in physics and astronomy.
Physics 281 is taught as a laboratory course in which students create simulations of a series of physical simulations and then investigate their behavior. Each simulation project begins with a discussion of the physical system and the numerical methods required to perform the calculations. The students then write the computer code to simulate the system and produce a report describing their results.
Info --- basic information about the course, including meeting times and instructor information.
Topics --- schedule of the classes and the topics being discussed each week.
Assignments --- schedule of assignments and due dates.
Links --- useful links for the course are shown here.
Sample Scripts --- MATLAB examples used in class.