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PX277-7.5 Computational Physics

Academic year
Undergraduate Level 2
Module leader
Yorck Ramachers
Credit value
Module duration
10 weeks
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

This module develops programming in the Python programming language and follows from PX150 Physics Programming Workshop

Module web page

Module aims

To acquire programming skills necessary to solve physics problems with the help of the Python programming language, a language widely used by physicists

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

  1. Handling, processing and analysing physics data: plotting distributions, least square and
    maximum likelihood fit.
  2. Monte Carlo simulation for physics modelling. Different types of random numbers, quality of
    random number generators. Generation of random numbers according to specific distributions.
    Brownian motion and diffusion.
  3. Numerical integration and differentiation. Mass and centre of mass of object with variable
    density. Electric fields generated by distributed charge.
  4. Numerical solutions of ordinary differential equations. Mechanical oscillations, motion with
Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Explain how computers can be used to solve physics problems
  • Translate physics problems into a form suitable for implementing in computer program
  • Design algorithms and implement them.
  • Handle and analyse physics data
Indicative reading list

M. Newman, Computational Physics, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, ISBN: 978-
1480145511 (2012).

Subject specific skills

Knowledge of programming. Skills in numerical modelling.

Transferable skills

IT skills, analytical, communication, problem-solving, self-study

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 5 sessions of 2 hours (13%)
Practical classes 10 sessions of 1 hour (13%)
Private study 55 hours (73%)
Total 75 hours
Private study description

Working through lecture notes, formulating problems, programming and testing code, discussing with others taking the module, preparing and submitting coursework


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group A1
Weighting Study time
Assessed Computing Assignments 100%

Programmning and reports

Feedback on assessment

Timetabled workshops


This module is Option list A for:

  • Year 2 of UPXA-FG33 Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (BSc MMathPhys)
  • Year 2 of UPXA-GF13 Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (BSc)
  • Year 2 of UPXA-FG31 Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (MMathPhys)
  • Year 2 of UPXA-F304 Undergraduate Physics (BSc MPhys)
  • Year 2 of UPXA-F300 Undergraduate Physics (BSc)
  • Year 2 of UPXA-F303 Undergraduate Physics (MPhys)
  • Year 2 of UPXA-F3N1 Undergraduate Physics and Business Studies

This module is Option list B for:

  • Year 2 of UMAA-G105 Undergraduate Master of Mathematics (with Intercalated Year)
  • Year 2 of UMAA-G100 Undergraduate Mathematics (BSc)
  • Year 2 of UMAA-G103 Undergraduate Mathematics (MMath)
  • Year 2 of UMAA-G106 Undergraduate Mathematics (MMath) with Study in Europe
  • Year 2 of UMAA-G1NC Undergraduate Mathematics and Business Studies
  • Year 2 of UMAA-G1N2 Undergraduate Mathematics and Business Studies (with Intercalated Year)
  • Year 2 of UMAA-GL11 Undergraduate Mathematics and Economics
  • Year 2 of UECA-GL12 Undergraduate Mathematics and Economics (with Intercalated Year)
  • Year 2 of UMAA-G101 Undergraduate Mathematics with Intercalated Year