

Special methods of programming computers to obtain numerical solutions to a wide range of problems. Includes simulation, graphing techniques, visualization and Web page creation. Prerequisites: PH 203 and some experience in programming. 

Instructor: Dean Sieglaff, deansieglaff@augustana.edu 

Mathcad is used as the primary software in this course. Mathcad performs mathematics using equations that are written out as they are on paper. The results are calculated instantly. It can take derivatives, find integrals, take roots, solve systems of equations and solve ordinary differential equations. Numeric and symbolic calculations can be combined and results may be tabulated or graphed. It also provides for 3D color graphs and contour plots. 

VPython is also used in this course. This is a free 3D programming language developed at Carnegie Mellon University. 

There are three other free programs that are
used in this course. 



Class photographs  SPS  Department of Physics and Astronomy  Augustana College  Science at Augustana  
Last update: January 12, 2007 

Project 04 Floating Object Dynamics 
Click
here to download
the Mathcad file that demonstrates how to compute the CG position of the
body, and how to produce the force vector "wire frame" that can be used to
add it to the graphical display. To download, see below: 

Useful Documents: 
Getting Started is a
Mathcad document that describes how to assign and evaluate quantities
including physical units, how to express equations and solve them
symbolically, and how to graph math functions. To download, DON'T JUST CLICK! Rather, right click, save target as..., select the "save as type" to be All Files, edit the File name to be a *.xmcd file (a Mathcad 13 doc, not *.xml), navigate to your desktop, and hit OK. 

Project 05 Visualizing the Floating Block Using VPython 
Click here to download a zip archive of the
Python and VPython installation applications (for Windows). Included
is an instruction page. Extract the archive to the desktop and view
the "View_Me" page for further instructions. Visit the VPython
download page
http://www.vpython.org/download.html for more info/other platforms. Here is the file bounce2.py. 

Project 06 Electrostatic Potential Calculations (Ion Gun) 
Click here to obtain an Excel sheet nicely setup and formatted for Project 06.  
Project 07 Ion Trajectories (Ion Gun) 
Click here to download the Project 07 Getting Started Mathcad Document. Please adhere to the instructions above regarding the downloading of Mathcad sheets.  
Exam #2 
Here is an example video for problem 3.
Also, you may find the following helpful: A function to calculate the heading angle of a vector r (where r is a twoelement array whose 0th element is its x component and whose 1st element is its y component) is shown below. This function treats the builtin ambiguity of the arctangent function. Arctangent evaluates correctly only for vectors pointing into the +x half of the Cartesian plane. Also, the "pipe" key (SHIFT + \) is the vector magnitude operator. 