The course is intended to give students a deeper understanding of basic physics concepts through a series of computational projects. Projects will cover topics from introductory physics courses including projectile motion, oscillatory motion, Newton's law of gravity and electric and magnetic fields. Students will learn to write computer programs in C++ on computers using the Linux operating system. The ability to solve differential equations and Newton's equations of motion will be developed by writing programs to investigate different topics. Toward the end of the course numerical integration will be introduced. Students will learn to use the LateX word processing language to generate their project reports. No prior computer programming experience is required.
- Projectile Motion: Rectilinear motion, motion in two dimensions, motion in a viscous fluid (air), motion of a spinning baseball
- Oscillatory Motion: Simple harmonic motion, simple pendulum, chaotic motion
- Newton's Law of Gravity: Planetary motion - Kepler's laws, stability of orbits, precession of Mercury
- Electricity and Magnetism: Laplace's equation - Gauss's law, potentials and fields, magnetic fields due to currents - Biot-Savart law