Computational Physics II

PH 465 / PH 565
3 Credits, CRN 18437
 Oregon State University
(565 Students Use 465 Blackboard Course)

Winter 2011

Mathematical, numerical, and conceptual elements forming foundations of scientific computing: computer hardware, algorithms, precision, numerical analysis & parallel computing. Video-based lectures plus labs.

CP Survey Cover

An eCampus (online) course with no regularly-scheduled lab or office hour, but with video lectures including encapsulated slides. The instructor gladly works with students via email or phone. Email is the preferred approach (communication through Blackboard is less immediate). If there is sufficient interest, we can arrange a regular Skype Office Hour and lab meetings; please let the instructor know via email if you are interested.
Note, for this online course to work for you, you must be proactive in putting questions to the instructor, to other students, and in getting help quickly before you fall behind. You are encouraged to ask questions about the assignment before handing them in.

Professor:  Rubin H Landau

Midterm  10 Feb 11
Final Exam  17 Mar11

 Syllabus & Assignments

Office 499 Weniger (part time)
CP Lab: Weniger 412, 497

Course Description & Aims

Learning Outcomes

CPUG A CP Curriculum

Project Instructions

Sample Project Report

Video Lectures, Only Slides

Student Expectations

Acceptable Cooperation with Others

Prerequisites:   PH 464/564 or equivalent ,                 Corequisites:    Jr level physics

Curricular Materials


 Landau, Paez, Bordeianu A Survey of Computational Physics; introductory computational science, Princeton University Press, 2008.

eTextBook (Python)

We  are creating a Python version of the text in the form an eTextBook. We will provide free access to it if you agree that it is for your personal use only, and if you agree to partake in a survey about the book at the beginning and end of the term. If you want access, please email the instructor


 Sample Codes in multiple languages, Animations, Applets, Visualizations, etc., see text's CD


Quality and completeness of projects (best N-1 of N)

55%  Midterm   20%
Final Exam 20% Participation 5%
The projects involve some programming and explorations, usually done with a modification of a sample code. In order to receive a full grade, each project, to the extent possible, must describe in your own words the five major elements (use these as headings):
1. Equation solved 4. Results; preferably visualization
2. Algorithm used 5. Critical analysis (what you learned or not)
3. Code listing (preferably link  to it)  

The exams emphasize assigned readings, understanding of concepts and vocabulary, but not programming details Use of any compiled language is acceptable, with Python or Java recommended.

eCampus has an on-campus office where you will take the midterm and final exams. There is flexibility in the exact time of the exam.
You must sign up for the exams via the link

Acceptable Cooperation: You are encouraged to discuss assignments with the instructors and other students. Even if you work in a group, it is still your responsibility to understand the work you hand in. When you place your name on an assignment, it is viewed as a signed statement that it is your work and that if asked to, you can explain it. Warning: Handing in another student's assignment (either in original or modified form) without acknowledgement is academic dishonesty and will result in an F grade for the entire course. Sample codes are given to you, there is no credit for just running them.

College Science Computer Support Physics Department Computer Support

Needed Software and Computational Physics Lab: You should be able to load up your personal computer with all the software you will need for this course (and it's all free!). The text describes how to do this, although you may want find a friend if you have trouble with installation. Just what you will need depends on the computer language you use (see text). There are two Computational Physics labs in the OSU Physics Department that were set up for use of this course. You may have to get a key from the Physics Department office.

Partial support for this course has been provided by the National Science Foundation for the CPUG degree program and the BMACC project.
2011, Rubin H LandauOregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, 97331