Computational Physics II
PH 465 / PH565
a 3 Credits eCampus Course
Oregon State University

Winter 2012

Applications of computational techniques to physics and science problems. The second term focuses on realistic physical problems which apply and extend the techniques discussed in PH 464/564. Video-based lectures plus labs.

This is an eCampus (online) course with no regularly-scheduled lab or office hour, but with video lectures including encapsulated slides. The instructor gladly works with students via email, and since he is often out of town, this is the preferred approach (communication through Blackboard is less immediate). Please do note, for this online course to work for you, you must be proactive in putting questions to the instructor, to other students, and in getting help quickly before you fall behind.

Professor:  Rubin H Landau

Midterm 14 February
Final Exam 21 March
You must sign up with eCampus

 Syllabus & Assignments

Office 499 Weniger Hall
CP Labs: Weniger 412, 497

Course Description & Aims

Learning Outcomes

CPUG A CP Curriculum

Project Instructions

Sample Project Report

Video Lectures, Only Slides

Student Expectations

Acceptable Cooperation with Others

Prerequisites:   PH 464/465, or equivalent.
   MTH 306 (Series & Matrices), or equivalent.

Curricular Materials


 Landau, Paez, Bordeianu A Survey of Computational Physics; introductory computational science


 Princeton University Press, 2008.

eTextBook (Python)

With NSF and OSU support, we  have created a Python version of the text in the form an eTextBook. A complete version of it is available from Compadre (AAPT Physical Science Resource Center) and Merlot (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching).

Electronic Enhancements

 Sample Codes in multiple languages, Animations, Applets, Visualizations, etc., see text's CD

Electronic Lectures (Videos)

 All on line, some on DVD available from instructor.


Quality and completeness of projects (best N-1 of N)

60%  Midterm 25%
    Participation 15%

The projects involve some programming and explorations, usually done with a modification of a sample code. In order to receive a full grade, each project, to the extent possible, must describe in your own words the five major elements (use these as headings):
1. Equation solved 4. Results; preferably visualization
2. Algorithm used 5. Critical analysis (what you learned or not)
3. Code listing (preferably link  to it)  

 The exam emphasizes assigned readings, understanding of concepts and vocabulary, but not programming details Use of any compiled language is acceptable, although we recommend Python or Java.

Acceptable Cooperation: You are encouraged to discuss assignments with the instructors and other students. Even if you work in a group, it is still your responsibility to understand the work you hand in. When you place your name on an assignment, it is viewed as a signed statement that it is your work and that if asked to, you can explain it. Warning: Handing in another student's assignment (either in original or modified form) without acknowledgement is academic dishonesty and will result in an F grade for the entire course. Sample codes are given to you, there is no credit for just running them.

College Science Computer Support On-line Unix tutorial Physics Department Computer Support

Needed Software and Computational Physics Lab: You should be able to load up your personal computer with all the software you will need for this course (and it's all free!). The text describes how to do this, although you may want find a friend if you have trouble. Just what you will need depends on the computer language you use (we recommend Python or Java). There are two Computational Physics labs in the OSU Physics Department that were set up for use of this course. You may have to get a key from the Physics Department office.

Partial support for this course has been provided by the National Science Foundation for the CPUG degree program and the BMACC project.
Rubin H LandauOregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, 97331