PHY 411-506 Computational Physics 2 Spring 2014   |   |   Quizzes   |   Syllabus   |   Tools

Final Exam

Monday, May 12, 7:15 - 10:15 pm, Knox 04

15 problems, similar to quizzes, on Topics 4, 5, 6, and 7. See the Syllabus for more information.

Lecture notes:    topic4.pdf    topic5.pdf    topic6.pdf    topic7.pdf

Lecture 39, Friday, May 9

Read P. Hut and J. Makino, An Introduction to the N-Body Problem with computer simulation codes in C++

Properties of galaxies reproduced by a hydrodynamic simulation

Lecture slides: topic7-lec6.pdf


Lecture 38, Wednesday, May 7

Read M.M. May and R.H. White, "Hydrodynamic Calculations of General-Relativistic Collapse", Phys. Rev. 141, 1232-1241 (1966).

YouTube Supernova Simulation

Lecture slides: topic7-lec5.pdf


Lecture 37, Monday, May 5

Read Baym, Pethick and Sutherland Astrophys. J. 170, 299-317 (1971).

Lecture slides: topic7-lec4.pdf


Homework Assignment 10

Homework 10 hw-10.pdf is due on UBlearns before 11:59 pm on Sunday, May 11.

Lecture 36, Friday, May 2

Read J.A. Font, "Numerical Hydrodynamics and Magnetohydrodynamics in General Relativity", Living Rev. Relativity 11 (2008), 7.

Lecture slides: topic7-lec3.pdf


Lecture 35, Wednesday, April 30

Read G. Mellema's Lecture notes on astrophysical gas dynamics.

Lecture slides: topic7-lec2.pdf


Lecture 34, Monday, April 28

Read P. Anninos, Computational Cosmology: From the Early Universe to the Large Scale Structure, Living Reviews in Relativity 4 (2001).
Review Lecture 29 on the advection and Burgers equations from PHY 410-505 Fall 2013.

Lecture slides: topic7-lec1.pdf


Lecture 33, Wednesday, April 23

Read Thijssen Chapter 15 Computational methods for lattice field theories
Section 15.7 Gauge field theories

Lecture slides: topic6-lec5.pdf


Homework Assignment 9

Homework 9 hw-9.pdf is due on UBlearns before 11:59 pm on Sunday, April 27.

Lecture 32, Monday, April 21

Read Thijssen Chapter 15 Computational methods for lattice field theories
Section 15.7 Gauge field theories

Lecture slides: topic6-lec4.pdf


Lecture 31, Friday, April 18

Lecture slides: topic6-lec3.pdf


Lecture 30, Wednesday, April 16

Read G.P. Lepage VEGAS documentation

Lecture slides: topic6-lec2.pdf


Lecture 29, Monday, April 14

Read G.P. Lepage VEGAS documentation

Lecture slides: topic6-lec1.pdf


Homework Assignment 8

Homework 8 hw-8.pdf is due on UBlearns before 11:59 pm on Sunday, April 13.

Lecture 28, Friday, April 11

Read Thijssen Section 12.4 Path-Integral Monte Carlo

Lecture slides: topic5-lec5.pdf


Lecture 27, Wednesday, April 9

Read Thijssen Section 12.3 Diffusion Monte Carlo

Lecture slides: topic5-lec4.pdf


Lecture 26, Monday, April 7

Read Thijssen Section 12.2 The Variational Monte Carlo Method

Lecture slides: topic5-lec3.pdf


Lecture 25, Friday, April 4

Read Thijssen Section 12.2 The Variational Monte Carlo Method

Lecture slides: topic5-lec2.pdf


Lecture 24, Wednesday, April 2

Read Thijssen Chapter 12 "Quantum Monte Carlo Methods"
Section 12.1 Introduction and Section 12.2 The Variational Monte Carlo Method

Lecture slides: topic5-lec1.pdf


Homework Assignment 7

Homework 7 hw-7.pdf is due on UBlearns before 11:59 pm on Sunday, April 6.

Physics Webserver Transfer to CIT

Due to a security issue, I was informed on Tuesday March 25 that the physics webserver will be shut down as soon as the department website is moved to a CIT server. Course websites, including will not be supported on the CIT server. I am in the process of moving the website to

I also need to complete and post some missing codes needed for homeworks 5 and 6. Late submissions or updates will be accepted without penalty.

Lecture 23, Monday, March 31

Read Thijssen Chapter 6 "Solving the Schroedinger equation in periodic solids"
G.A. Burdick, "Energy Band Structure of Copper", Phys. Rev. 129, 138-150 (1963)

Lecture slides: topic4-lec5.pdf


Lecture 22, Wednesday, March 26

Read Thijssen Chapter 5 "Density Functional Theory" Section 5.3 A density functional program for the helium atom.
We will write a code based on the detailed instructions given in this section.
See also Chalmers University CMP Exercise in CE1.pdf.

Lecture slides: topic4-lec4.pdf


Lecture 21, Monday, March 24

Read Thijssen Chapter 5 "Density Functional Theory"

Lecture slides: topic4-lec3.pdf


Lecture 20, Friday, March 14

Read Thijssen Chapter 4 "The Hartree-Fock Method"

Lecture slides: topic4-lec2.pdf


Lecture 19, Monday, March 10

Read Thijssen Chapter 3 "The variational method for the Schroedinger equation"

Lecture slides: topic4-lec1.pdf


Homework Assignment 6

Homework 6 hw-6.pdf is due on UBlearns before 11:59 pm on Sunday, March 23.

Lecture 18, Friday, March 7

Read C. Peterson and T. Rognvaldsson, "An introduction to artificial neural networks", Proc. 1991 CERN Summer School of Computing, CERN Yellow Report 92-02, 113-170 (1992)
J. Therhaag, "Introduction to neural networks in high energy physics", EPJ Web of Conferences 55, 02003 (2013).

Lecture slides: topic3-lec6.pdf

Lecture 17, Wednesday, March 5

Read J.J. Hopfield, "Neural networks and physical systems with emergent collective computational abilities", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 79, 2554-2558 (1982)
Scholarpedia: Hopfield network

Lecture slides: topic3-lec5.pdf


Hopfield Java Applet

Lecture 16, Monday, March 3

Read A.L Hodgkin and A.F. Huxley, "A quantitative description of membrane current and its application to conduction and excitation in nerve", J. Physiol. 117(4), 500-544 (1952)
Wikipedia Hodgkin-Huxley model

Lecture slides: topic3-lec4.pdf


YouTube: Hodgkin experimenting on squid axon and How the Sodium Potassium Pump Works

Homework Assignment 5

Homework 5 hw-5.pdf is due on UBlearns before 11:59 pm on Sunday, March 9.

Lecture 15, Friday, February 28

Read R. Unger and J. Moult, "Genetic algorithms for protein folding simulations", J. Mol. Biol. 231, 75-81 (1993)

Lecture slides: topic3-lec3.pdf


Protein Folding Java Applet

Lecture 14, Wednesday, February 26

Read H.S. Chan and K.A. Dill, The Protein Folding Problem, Physics Today, 46, 24-32 (1993) or

YouTube: Folding of the Trp-cage Miniprotein

Lecture slides: topic3-lec2.pdf

Lecture 13, Monday, February 24

Read F.T. Wall and F. Mandel, Macromolecular dimensions obtained by an efficient Monte Carlo method without sample attrition, J. Chem. Phys. 63, 4592 (1975)

Lecture slides: topic3-lec1.pdf


Lecture 12, Friday, February 21

Lecture slides: topic2-lec6.pdf


Homework Assignment 4

Homework 4 hw-4.pdf is due on UBlearns before 11:59 pm on Sunday, March 2.

Lecture 11, Wednesday, February 19

Read U. Wolff, "Collective Monte Carlo Updating for Spin Systems", Phys. Rev. Lett. 62, 361-364 (1989)

Lecture slides: topic2-lec5.pdf


OpenGL Ising Animation ising-gl.cpp

Lecture 10, Monday, February 17

Read Wikipedia D.P. Landau, "Finite-size behaviour of the Ising square lattice", Phys. Rev. B 13, 2997 (1976)

Lecture slides: topic2-lec4.pdf


Lecture 9, Friday, February 14

Read Wikipedia Ising Model

Lecture slides: topic2-lec3.pdf


Lecture 8, Wednesday, February 12

Read N. Metropolis, A.W. Rosenbluth, M.N. Rosenbluth, A.H. Teller, and E. Teller, "Equation of State Calculations by Fast Computing Machines", J. Chem. Phys. 21, 1087 (1953)

Lecture slides: topic2-lec2.pdf


Metropolis Java Applet

Lecture 7, Monday, February 10

Numerical Methods for Random Numbers: Tools

Lecture slides: topic2-lec1.pdf


Homework Assignment 3

Homework 3 hw-3.pdf is due on UBlearns before 11:59 pm on Sunday, February 16.

Lecture 6, Friday, February 7

OpenGL and Visualization: Tools

Lecture slides: topic1-lec6.pdf


Lecture 5, Wednesday, February 5

Lecture slides: topic1-lec5.pdf


Lecture 4, Monday, February 3

Read A. Rahman, "Correlations in the Motion of Atoms in Liquid Argon", Phys. Rev. 136, A405-A411 (1964) and L. Verlet, "Computer 'Experiments' on Classical Fluids. I. Thermodynamical Properties of Lennard-Jones Molecules", Phys. Rev. 159, 98-103 (1967)

Lecture slides: topic1-lec4.pdf


Homework Assignment 2

Homework 2 hw-2.pdf is due on UBlearns before 11:59 pm on Sunday, February 9.

Lecture 3, Friday, January 31

Read N.J. Zabusky and M.D. Kruskal, Interaction of "Solitons" in a Collisionless Plasma and the Recurrence of Initial States, Phys. Rev. Lett. 15, 240-243 (1965) and Scholarpedia: Soliton

Lecture slides: topic1-lec3.pdf


Lecture 2, Wednesday, January 20

Read Fermi-Pasta-Ulam nonlinear lattice oscillations, and Los Alamos Report LA-1940.pdf, May 1955.

Lecture slides: topic1-lec2.pdf


Lecture 1, Monday, January 27

Lecture slides: topic1-lec1.pdf


Homework Assignment 1

Read Thijssen Chapter 1 and do Exercise 1.1, see hw-1.pdf for details.

Submit your writeup on UBlearns before 11:59 pm on Sunday, February 2.


Welcome to Computational Physics 2, Spring 2014.

The first class will meet in Capen 201 on Monday, January 27 at 5:00 pm

The syllabus is available

The main recommended textbook is Computational Physics, 2nd Edition by J.M. Thijssen. Course Reserve has a copy of the E-Book.

Last semester: PHY 410-505 Computational Physics 1, Fall 2013 Syllabus (PDF)

Last year: PHY 411-506 Spring 2013

Copyright © 2014

Richard J. Gonsalves  |  Department of Physics  |  University at Buffalo