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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Physics and Astronomy : Undergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy)

Undergraduate Course: Modelling and Visualisation in Physics (PHYS10035)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Physics and Astronomy CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course covers the process of mapping a scientific problem onto a computer algorithm to enable it to be modelled, along with an introduction to Java graphics to help visualise the solution. Example problems will be drawn from the Junior Honours physics programme, with additional examples from 'everyday' problems.
Course description Theoretical background of core simulation techniques including: sampling from a distribution (Monte Carlo), solution of initial- and boundary-value partial differential equations, time evolution of deterministic and stochastic equations of motion
Implementation of these core techniques in Java to solve specific (and potentially unseen) physics problems
Integration of visualisation (evolving fields, moving particles, live graphs etc) and graphical user interfaces into simulation codes
The notion and origin of errors and instabilities in numerical algorithms, and simple techniques for handling them
Key issues that arise in the development of scientific software, such as: compromises between efficiency and flexibility, the incorporation of third-party library code (and its distinction from plagiarism) and the utility of good-quality documentation and coding style
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( Numerical Recipes (PHYS10090) OR Computer Simulation (PHYS08026) OR Computer Modelling (PHYS09057)) OR ( Informatics 2B - Algorithms, Data Structures, Learning (INFR08009) AND Informatics 2C - Introduction to Software Engineering (INFR08019))
It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Statistical Mechanics (PHYS09019) AND Electromagnetism (PHYS09060)
Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesNone
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2014/15, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 11, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 33, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 51 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Checkpoint assessments based on computational laboratory tasks, 50%
Unseen practical examination in CP Lab, 50%.
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)3:00
Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion it is intended that the student will be able to:

1)Write complex simulation codes in Java.
2)Design and write simple visualisation software in Java, depicting evolving fields, moving particles, and graphs; interface this software to simulation codes
3)Design and write simple graphical user interfaces in Java.
4)Locate, understand, download and incorporate useful publicly-available methods from outwith the course materials using the internet; appreciate the difference between reusable object-oriented coding and plagiarism
5)Understand and apply three major techniques of computer coding: integrating an equation, minimising a function and sampling from a distribution
6)Have completed simulations of molecular dynamics of many particles; cellular automata; the Ising model for ferromagnetism and antiferromagnetic phase transitions; Maxwell's equations, understanding the usefulness of the vector potential; Develop a deeper understanding of these physical problems through simulation
7)Understand the notion of equilibration of a simulation, and efficient data-gathering, and their relation to simulation time
8)Appreciate the aspects of a code which limit computer performance, the conflict between object-oriented and computationally efficient code, and the occasions where each is to be preferred
9)Appreciate the importance of documentation and commenting in ensuring reusability; Write user guides in English to enable third parties to use the codes.
10)Have built a personal library of methods which will enable the student to complete a simple, unseen coding task effectively and quickly
Reading List
None
Additional Information
Course URL WebCT
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsModVi
Contacts
Course organiserDr Davide Marenduzzo
Tel: (0131 6)50 5283
Email: dmarendu@ph.ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMs Rebecca Thomas
Tel: (0131 6)50 7218
Email: R.Thomas@ed.ac.uk
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