Course Description

Course Name

Computational Physics

Session: VDNS3121

Hours & Credits

18 Credit Points

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Computational methods for solving physics problems. Introduction to Matlab. Graphical visualisation. Numerical techniques for solving classes of equations in a variety of physical examples. Curve fitting, Fourier transforms. Non-linear dynamics and chaos.

This paper aims to provide the basic tools and methodology of computational physics. The emphasis is on gaining practical skills, and a key objective is that students gain the techniques and the confidence to tackle a broad range of problems in physics. Topics have been selected to provide a broad basis of skills, and each is illustrated by application to physical systems. The paper is based around the Matlab package, for which prior knowledge is not essential.

Learning Outcomes
After completing this paper students will be able to:

  • Understand and apply the basic methodology of computational physics to a broad range of physics problems
  • Write well-structured Matlab programmes and independently acquire additional coding skills
  • Process, analyse and plot data from a variety of physical phenomena and interpret its meaning
  • Use specific computational techniques to solve ordinary differential equations and systems of linear equations, to analyse and manipulate spectral content of digitised data and to simulate simple stochastic processes
  • Present well-structured reports of the results of computational investigations

*Course content subject to change