Note: this page is in the process of being updated from last year's PHY 201 page, so some links may not yet be working.

PHY201 - Physics Computations II (Fall 2005)

All course materials and worksheets will appear here.


Prof. Jon Pumplin - Office 3240 BPS (517) 355-9200 ext. 2126,

Course Overview

This one-credit course is the second of three lab-style courses (PHY102, PHY201, PHY301) designed to teach undergraduate physics students how to use computers to solve physics problems.
PHY102 introduces or develops your knowledge of Mathematica.
PHY201 introduces or develops your knowledge of programming in Fortran 90.
PHY301 introduces or develops your knowledge of programming in C++.
Physics 201 and 301 are taught concurrently, but they are independent of each other: it is not necessary to take 201 as a prerequisite to 301. Most students will want to choose one of the two languages and ignore the other. Familiarity with Mathematica at the level of Physics 102 is required, however, as a prerequisite for both Physics 201 and 301. It will mainly be used for checking results.

PHY201 and PHY301 meet simultaneously in Room 1240 BPS (Biomedical and Physical Sciences Building).

There are no lectures: the class is entirely hands-on-keyboard. You will probably need about 2 hours per week to complete the assignments. The room will be open and I will be there to offer help at the following times:

  10:20am - 11:20 Thursday
   2:00pm - 4:00 Thursday
   9:10am - 10:10 Friday
   3:00pm - 5:00 Friday

Course Assessment

  • Your grade will be based on successful completion of the weekly worksheets. The grade begins with 4.0, and is reduced by 0.5 for any worksheet that is not completed. There will be no final exam.

    The worksheets

    Worksheet 1 - due Sept 9 at 5pm.
    Worksheet 2 - due Sept 16 at 5pm.
    Worksheet 3 - due Sept 23 at 5pm.
    Worksheet 4 - due Sept 30 at 5pm.
    Worksheet 5 - due Oct 7 at 5pm.
    Worksheet 6 - due Oct 21 at 5pm (two weeks for this worksheet).
    Worksheet 7 - due Oct 28 at 5pm.
    Worksheet 8 - due Nov 4 at 5pm.
    Worksheet 9 - due Dec 9 at 5pm.

    Reference materials

  • Introduction to Linux Computing in 1240BPS.
  • Introduction to Mathematica (Written by Ellen Lau)

  • Text that will be followed quite closely: "An introduction to Fortran 90 for scientific computing," by James M. Ortega.
  • There are many online introductions to fortran which can be found by Google.
  • Useful www site: Numerical recipes online .
  • A www site with lots of free fortran stuff.
  • "Fortran 90/95 explained" second edition. by Michael Metcalf and John Reid. Oxford University Press, 1999. More advanced than Ortega and more recent.