Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 9 lectures
Practical 26 Hours. 8 workshops (2 hours each); project lasting 10 hours


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Exercises set in semester week 6 comprising of a portfolio drawn from coursework.  40%
Semester Assessment Mini project set in semester week 8 for completion by the end of term.  60%
Supplementary Assessment SUPPLEMENTARY ASSESSMENT  As determined by Departmental Examination Board.  100%

Learning Outcomes

After taking this module students should be able to:

  • demonstrate a familiarity with various techniques for scientific computing and analysis
  • implement and modify worksheets so as to perform the relevant analysis
  • develop simple numerical analysis codes, based on the governing laws and equations

Brief description

Computational physics provides an alterative approach for the solution of practical and theoretical problems. Solutions intractable by analytical techniques may be evaluated using numerical techniques or, alternatively, numerical simulation may allow lthe influence of a range of variables to be investigated without recourse to extensive experiments. In the present course, basic techniques of numerical analysis will be introduced, including interpolation, functions, roots and integration. The module will also introduce approaches for the solution of ordinary differential equations and Fourier transforms as well as finite element techniques for solving partial differential equations. A knowledge of the MATHCAD programming environment is required.


Linear interpolation and extrapolation

Roots of equations

Numerical integration

Fourier analysis

Ordinary Differential Equations: Runge-Kutta

Application of numerical methods to physical problems

Each of the above will be illustrated by reference to appropriate topics in Physics

Transferable skills

In addition to formal lectures on basic techniques, the students will have significant opportunities to investigate and implement numerical analysis methods on personal computers.

Reading List

General Text
(1996-) FORTRAN numerical recipes /William H. Press ... [et al.]. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press Primo search (1996.) Numerical recipes in FORTRAN 90 :the art of parallel scientific computing /William H. Press ... [et al.] ; foreword by Michael Metcalf. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press Primo search Ellis, T. M. R. (c1994 (various) Fortran 90 programming /T.M.R. Ellis, Ivor R. Philips, Thomas M. Lahey. Addison-Wesley Primo search Kincaid, David. (c2002.) Numerical analysis :mathematics of scientific computing /David Kincaid, Ward Cheney. 3rd ed. Brooks/Cole Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6