PHY201 Physics Computations
Teaching Fortran to Physics Majors
Aleksandar Donev, Dr. Phillip Duxbury
Michigan State University, December 2000

This webpage contains sample worksheets for a model introductory course in computational physics that attempts to teach physics majors Fortran 90/95. In a somewhat modified form, these have been used in an actual PHY201 course at MSU during Fall 2000. These worksheets are by no means complete, and there are significant gaps in the coverage.

Worksheet 1: Introduction
The way students are introduced to this material should vary greatly depending on the students' backgrounds. The worksheets that follow are not an introduction to computation. Experience with programming is assumed, such as the PHY102 course. Some students found the course easy, some challenging, some difficult. We see no easy fix for this one. So put any worksheet(s) here that you deem appropriate.
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The Error function
This next series of worksheets deals with the calculation of the error function using Fortran 90. It is meant to introduce basic Fortran tools such as program structure, control flow, as well as some aspects of numerical accuracy, precision and speed. These worksheets have nothing to do with physics and can be used in any scientific programming course. Further below are physics-related worksheets.

Worksheet 2:  (PDF, HTML):  Solution {Fortran 90 codes [real, complex] , Compilation and Execution}
Worksheet 3:  (PDF, HTML):  Solution {Fortran 90 codes [calculation module, main program, high-precision module by Allan Miller], Compilation and Execution}
Worksheet 4:  (PDF, HTML):  Solution {Fortran 90 code, xmgrace plot, Compilation and Execution}
Worksheet 5:  (PDF, HTML):  Solution {Fortran 90 code [calculation module, main program], Compilation and Execution}
Worksheet 6:  (PDF, HTML):  Solution (Fortran 90 code [using SimpleGraphics (HTML documentation, source code, initialization script), using FunGraphics (HTML documentation, source code)], DISLIN plot, Compilation and Execution)

Electromagnetism in Fortran and Mathematica
This next series of worksheets do some meaningful and interesting physics using Fortran 90 and Mathematica. They may be too complicated to move to immediately after finishing the previous series of worksheets. For yet more advanced interesting worksheets with more emphasis on numerical analysis, please look at the Spring 2000 PHY480 webpage of problems and solutions.
Worksheet 7:  (PDF, HTML):  Solution {Fortran 90 code [source code, graphs (as surface plot, as contour plot, as vector field plot) , Compilation and Execution], Mathematica solution (HTML, notebook)}
Worksheet 8:  (PDF, HTML):  Solution {Fortran 90 code [using Allan Miller's quadrature code (utility module & initialization script, source of quadrature routines & dependency module), example of trapezoid integration, vector plot of field, Compilation and Execution], Mathematica solution (HTML, notebook)}
Worksheet 9:  (PDF, HTML):  Solution {Fortran 90 code [using RKSUITE (ODE utility module, & initialization script, source of quadrature routines & example of RK4 Fortran 90 code), example of harmonic oscillator ODE using RKSUITE & using Euler integration (the plot), plots (case 1, case 2, case 3, case 4), Compilation and Execution], Mathematica solution (HTML, notebook)}

Example for Final Exam
Use numerical integration to calculate the value of the error function for a given real argument x. Write the result to a file and follow the good-programming guidelines you've been given in class. Write your Fortran 90 code by hand, and pay attention to program organization and efficiency as much as you can!
Here is a sample solution that uses the module from worksheet 2 for validation.