PHY102 - Physics Computations I

Maintained by Phil Duxbury
All course materials, worksheets and solutions will be posted here


  • Prof. Phil Duxbury - Rm 205PA, 353-9179,

    Teaching assistant

  • Chris Morling -

    Course Outline

    This is the first in a series of three one credit classes in physics computations(PHY102, PHY201 , PHY301 ). The objective of these courses is to give students a sound knowledge of the important computational techniques and tools used in physics. PHY102 concentrates on Mathematica. This is a powerful general purpose program to do algebraic and numerical calculations, graphics and animation for a variety of mathematics and physics problems.

    During PHY102 you will apply Mathematica to physics problems drawn from material covered in PHY183 and/or PHY193H during the same week of class. In addition to the algebraically solvable problems typically assigned in courses, you will also solve more complex problems numerically. Examples include the non-linear pendulum, motion in a gravitational field and chaos in simple maps. A weekly worksheet forms the core of the course.

    Lab. Schedule - Room 346 Giltner Hall

    Tuesday: 7-10pm.
    TA: : Chris Morling
    Students:Anthony, Carrick, Lockwitz, Poxson, Sliwka, Wells(?), Ziehmer

    Thursday 11:30am - 2:30pm
    TA: Chris Morling
    Students: Carroll, Green, Jones, Kneisel, Rittersdorf, Young

    Thursday: 7pm-10pm.
    TA: Chris Morling
    Students: Brinkman, Butts, Doemer, Huberts, Klaes, Pelligrini Pergande(?)

    You should set aside at least 2 hours per week to work through the weekly worksheet.

    Course Assessment

  • 75% will come from your solution to the weekly worksheets. For each worksheet which is not completed your grade is reduced by 0.5. If you complete all the worksheet you get a 3.0 grade.
  • 25% will come from a one hour practical exam at the end of the semester. This exam will be held in the last week of semester during your regular lab. time. In the exam you will be asked to perform mathematica functions you have used in the worksheets during the semester. Nothing new will be introduced. You will need to know how to use the online help facility.

    Lab. Exam

    The lab. exam is intended to test how well you know mathematica. If you know the basic commands well and work efficiently, you will finish in the allocated 1 hr.

    Less than two questions complete -> 0.0
    Between two and four questions complete -> 0.5
    Four or more questions complete -> 1.0

    The worksheets for PHY102

  • Worksheet 1 - Due Jan. 18th ( html)
  • Worksheet 2 - Due Jan. 25th ( html)
  • Worksheet 3 - Due Feb. 1st ( html)
  • Worksheet 4 - Due Feb. 8th ( html)
  • Worksheet 5 - Due Feb. 15th ( html)
  • Worksheet 6 - Due Feb. 22nd ( html)
  • Worksheet 7 - Due Mar. 1st ( html)
  • Worksheet 8 - Due Mar. 15th ( html)
  • Worksheet 9 - Due Mar. 29th ( html)
  • Worksheet 10 - Due April 5th ( html)
  • Review sheet 1 - Due April 12th ( html)
  • Review sheet 2 - Due April 19th ( html)
    1 hour lab. exam next week(April 23 or April 25) during your scheduled lab. time

    Helpfiles for PHY102

  • Introduction to Mathematica (Written by Ellen Lau)
  • Introduction to Linux Computing in rm346G.
  • The mathematica website , it is very cool. In particular there are variety of tutorials to get you started. In addition the entire mathematica book is there. You will be asked to read sections of the practical introduction to mathematica at various stages of the course.