Physics 281 - Computational Physics
Project Report Guidelines
Our projects involve investigation of the behavior of a physical system
through simulation. The heart of the assignment is your investigation
of the system, and there are several basic elements to a report that
describes your work.
Please be aware that, since everyone will solve the problem in these
assignments, you will be evaluated on your understanding of the system
and the numerical techniques involved, as evidenced by
your written report.
General Items to Include in a Report
- Introductory Remarks - describe the physics of the
system and introduce any special numerical approach that is required.
- Describe the Numerical Method - describe the algorithm
that is used to solve the problem. Give example listings of your program
to show how it is implemented. Sometimes, as described below, development
steps are identified in the assignment. In this case, you should be sure
to show the program as it appeared at these milestone points.
- Program Verification - tell what you did to verify
that the program gives correct results.
- Presentation of Results - present the results of
running the program to demonstrate the behavior of the system under
different circumstances. Results might be presented in graphical form
or as tables, as appropriate. Be sure that results that are presented
are labeled properly, so that the reader can figure out what has been
calculated and what is being displayed.
- Analysis - sometimes, we will take the results of
many runs and derive relationships between the variables of the model
and computed quantities. When this occurs, you should present this
analysis and comment on the accuracy of the relationship.
- Discussion - present a discussion of the physical
behavior of the system based on your simulations and answer any special
questions posed in the assignment.
Dealing with Assignment "Steps"
In posing an assignment, I
will sometimes give you a series of developmental steps and questions
to lead to a final working program or suggest topics for
investigation when the final model is complete. Usually, these
steps fall naturally among the points in the general outline
When explicit project steps are identified,
the project report should explicitly address these points.
When the steps refer to project milestones, it is appropriate to
listings, sample output and discussion as requested in the
If the step is a set of questions, then the point is
to be sure that these questions are answered in your writeup.
Submission of Project Reports
Please submit a HARD COPY of your project report, along with program listings
and any supplemental information that is needed.
In addition to the above, please submit an electronic copy (preferably in PDF
format) of the report as well as the MATLAB scripts used in the calculations.