PHY102 - Physics Computations I (Spring 2009)

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


  • Prof. Phil Duxbury - BPS4260, 884 5632, duxbury at

    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. 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.

    Laboratory Times - BPS1240

    Tuesday 5-8pm, Wednesday 12-4pm, Thursday 2-5pm

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

    The worksheets for PHY102

  • Worksheet 1 - Due Thursday, January 22nd ( Sample notebook, pdf )
  • Worksheet 2 - Due 6pm Friday, January 30th ( pdf )
  • Worksheet 3 - Due 6pm Friday February 1st ( pdf )
  • Worksheet 4 - Due 6pm Friday February 8th ( pdf )
  • Worksheet 5 - Due 6pm Friday February 15th ( pdf )
  • Worksheet 6 - Due 6pm Friday February 22rd ( pdf )
  • Worksheet 7 - Due 6pm Friday February 29th ( pdf )
  • Worksheet 8 - Due 6pm Friday March 14th ( pdf )
  • Worksheet 9 - Due 6pm Friday March 21st ( pdf )
  • Worksheet 10 - Due 6pm Friday March 28th ( pdf )
  • Worksheet 11 - Due 6pm Friday April 4th ( pdf )
  • Worksheet 12 - Due 6pm Friday April 11th ( pdf )
  • Worksheet 13 - Due 6pm Friday April 18th ( pdf )

    Helpfiles for PHY102

  • Introduction to Mathematica (Written by Ellen Lau)
  • Introduction to Linux Computing in BPS1240.
  • The mathematica website , it is very useful. In particular there are variety of tutorials to get you started. In addition the entire mathematica book is there.