PHYSICS 542A / Spring, 2011
Applications of Numerical Methods in Physics
R. J. Wilkes
TIME: T, Th, 7:00--8:50 pm
Tuesdays: A114 Physics Astronomy Building
Thursdays: online session (or in-person, go to B305 Physics Astronomy Building)
INSTRUCTOR: R. Jeffrey Wilkes, Professor of Physics
OFFICE: B303 Physics-Astronomy Building
OFFICE HOURS: after class, or by arrangement
TEACHING ASSISTANT: TBA
TA will be responsible only for grading exam papers, and will hold evening office hours after each exam is returned.
TEXTBOOKS: Numerical Recipes, W. Press, et al, Cambridge
University Press, 3rd Ed. (2nd Ed. OK) C++ version will be the official
text, but each student should select the version of the text which uses
his/her preferred programming language. Discussions and examples are
the same in all versions, only the source code supplied with the book
differs. If you have no preference, C++ is recommended. [NOTE: see
http://www.nr.com/ for downloadable
Optional: Numerical Recipes Example Book, which contains sample problems solved using the methods discussed in the text.
Recommended: Data Reduction and Error Analysis for the Physical Sciences, P. Bevington, McGraw-Hill, 1991 (earlier editions are OK).
REFERENCE MATERIALS: Lecture notes and copies of handouts will be posted on the class website, http://courses.washington.edu/phys542/. Relevant books will be put on reserve in the Physics Library, which means they can be accessed only during library open hours: M-Th 9 am to 7 pm, F 9-5, Sundays 1-5, closed Saturdays. The initial reserve list is posted on the website; additional books may be put on reserve as needed.
COMPUTERS: A cluster of PCs with a common disk server is available in B101 PAB. Macintosh computers are also available in AM018 PAB (the undergraduate study center on the mezzanine level). Numerical Recipes libraries have been set up in FORTRAN, C and PASCAL versions on both of these clusters. Any matriculated student may open an account on the UW Academic Computing Center cluster; see http://www.washington.edu/computing/#started . Extension and non-matriculated students who do not have a regular UW student ID number should contact the UW extension office to arrange an account. The Numerical Recipes subroutine package is available in FORTRAN only, on Meade, a UNIX system; terminals for student use are available in B241 PAB.
GRADING: Grades will be based on two exams and a term project (100 points each). Students will select a topic for a term project and prepare a written report or a brief presentation in class. Exam problems will be similar to the non-graded exercises supplied in class. Students who miss either exam for any reason may choose to take an oral exam by the instructor, OR have their grade based on one exam and the term project only - no written makeup exams can be provided. Note that there will be NO final exam during finals week after classes end.
SECURITY: Students concerned about walking alone to their car or bus after class may call the ASUW campus escort service (UW-CARES) at 685-WALK.