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Course Details

Course Department: Department of Physics
Course Code: PHY 347
Course Title: Computational Physics
Number of ECTS: 6
Level of Course: 1st Cycle (Bachelor's Degree) 
Year of Study (if applicable):
Semester/Trimester when the Course Unit is Delivered: Fall Semester 
Name of Lecturer(s): Halil Saka 
Lectures/Week: 1 (2 hours per lecture) 
Laboratories/week: 1 (2 hours per lecture) 
Tutorials/Week: -- 
Course Purpose and Objectives:
To expose the students to the power and applicability of various computational methods in solving physics problems that are otherwise very difficult to be solved with the ordinary methods provided by an experimental or theoretical approach. To emphasize the pertinence of using computational methods in solving problems from other scientific disciplines and every day life. To introduce the students to a modern programming language like C++ and to expose the power of the object oriented programming. To enable students develop the necessary skills for applying the various computational methods for solving physics problems by providing adequate time and opportunities for hands on experience instead of the presentation of the abstract ideas of the various algorithms.  
 
Learning Outcomes:
By the end of the course it is expected that the student will have acquired a good knowledge of a variety of computational methods and hands on experience in applying them to obtain numerical solutions to a variety of scientific problems from different physics disciplines. To develop the ability to model and analyze large data volumes and to extract results and conclusions with the use of appropriate graphics packages. To develop the skills to design the strategy to tackle and solve different problems by using one or more computational methods and to be able to code the solution with the use of the C++ computing language. To develop critical and analytical reasoning to interpret their results and to present and explain them in scientific manner. To realize the importance and vast applications of the computational methods skills they acquire to their future scientific or working career.
 
Prerequisites: Not Applicable 
Co-requisites: Not Applicable 
Course Content:
A C++ based computational physics course covering topics such as solving problems in linear algebra, finding of eigenvectors and eigenvalues, solutions of ordinary and partial differential equations, methods for chaotic and stochastic situations, use of Markov chains, Monte Carlo simulations with applications in physics, Metropolis algorithm and applications in physics problems, random walks and the 2-D Ising model, fitting techniques with and without constraints.
 
Teaching Methodology:
Lectures and compulsory laboratory sessions during which the students can have hands on experience and develop the skills and practice the use of the computing language and the computational methods to solve a variety of problems.
 
Bibliography:
«Numerical Recipes» – W. H. Press et al. – publ. Cambridge University Press.
«Numerical Methods for Physics» – A. Garcia – publ. Prentice Hall. 
«An Introduction to Computer Simulation Methods” – H. Gould and J. Tobochnik – publ. Addison-Wesley.
«Computational Physics» - N. Giordano – publ. Prentice Hall. 
«C++ Primer» - S. B. Lippman, J. Lajoie, B. E. Moo - publ. Addison-Wesley
 
Assessment:
The final grade mark is based on a continuous evaluation scheme outlined as follows. Weekly laboratory exercises and problem solving in close collaboration with the instructor for immediate addressing of any problems or misunderstandings, biweekly homework problems inspired from other physics courses, development, implementation, execution and presentation of the results of a project inspired directly from a contemporary research topic, a written midterm examination and a final written examination. Each part of the evaluation scheme counts a specific percentage towards the final grade. Failure to satisfy the evaluation requirements the course needs to be repeated along with all requirements of the evaluation scheme.
 
Language of Instruction: Greek
Delivery Mode: Face-To-Face 
Work Placement(s): Not Applicable