Physics 2305

Computation for the Physical Sciences

Course Outline---Fall Semester 2012

Instructor: Thomas L. Gibson      Office: Sc 27      Phone:742-1606
Office Hours: 10:00-11:00 a.m. T,Th or 1:30-3:00 p.m. M,W (or by appointment)

Recommended Texts: Linux in Easy Steps, 4th Edition, by Mike McGrath (In Easy Steps Limited, 2008)  ISBN-13: 9781840783513, Gnuplot in Action: Understanding Data with Graphs, by Philipp K. Janert (Manning Publications, 2009)  ISBN-13: 978-1933988399.
Required Texts: Digital Media Ethics (Digital Media and Society), by Charles Ess (Polity Press, 2009)  ISBN-13:978-0-7456-4164-5, Engineering Problem Solving with C++, by D.M. Etter and J.A. Ingber (Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008) ISBN-13:978-0-13-601175-0.

The objective of the course is to enable the student to understand how profoundly scientific, technological, and computational developments affect society and the environment.

Course Purpose
Students graduating from Texas Tech University should be able to demonstrate understanding of how technology and applied science affects society and the environment and to demonstrate understanding of the relationship of ethics and technology.

Expected Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcome Assessment
Describe examples of ethical implications associated
with use of technology and applied science.
Abstract and original in class presentation.
Understand the limitations of finite representation. Pre-instruction and Post-instruction exams.
Develop facility with the production and display
of quantitative information.
In class presentation and critique of student projects.

Course Coverage

  1. Rights, Ethics, and Responsibilites in the Digital Environment
  2. Introduction to Linux
    1. Commands, Files, and Directories
    2. Finding Help
    3. Editors
    4. Internet Browser
    5. Online Library
  3. Introduction to C++
    1. Precision and Arithmetic Computations
    2. Manipulation and Importation of Data Files
    3. Introduction to Simple Two-Dimensional Plotting
      1. Using gnuplot and xmgrace
    4. Introduction to Modeling Physical Systems
      1. Realistic Projectile Motion
      2. Oscillatory Motion and Chaos
      3. Potentials and Fields
      4. Energy Levels of the Finite Square Well
      5. Curve Fitting and Data Analysis
      6. Random Systems

    Important Notes

    Grading Policy

    Post deadline work will not be accepted.
    No one should expect a high grade based on simply doing the minimum for each assignment; correct, but perfunctory work is, at best, average, i.e., a C.
    Credit Breakdown
      Abstract and In-Class Presentation: 20%
      Assigned Projects: 60%
      Comprehensive Final Exam: 20%
      (1:30-4:00 p.m. 12/10/2012)  
    Grading Scale
    I do use +/- grades one point either side of a grade boundary, e.g., grades of 90 or 91 earn a B+ while grades of 92 or 93 earn an A-.

    Strategy for Success