Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


After completing the course, the student

  • can identify and describe basic models and simulation techniques that are frequently used to solve physical problems in various fields of computational physics, such as quantum, statistical, condensed matter or materials physics
  • can use these approaches to solve their own computational physics problems
  • can implement these tools into their own codes

Credits: 5

Schedule: 12.01.2021 - 27.05.2021

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Adam Foster, Patrick Rinke

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Adam Foster, Patrick Rinke

Contact information for the course (valid 08.12.2020-21.12.2112):

Use MyCourses forums and messaging.

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Understand and implement various models appearing in computational quantum, statistical condensed matter and materials physics. 

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Understand and implement various models appearing in computational quantum, statistical condensed matter and materials physics. 

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Computational assignments

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Graded through exercises and a final project.

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Contact teaching: 48 hrs
    Independent work: 70 hrs

  • Applies in this implementation:

    24 hours lectures

    24 hours exercise sessions

    70 hours solving exercises and project


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Lecture notes and additional supporting material

  • Applies in this implementation:

    The course is based on the revised edition of the book Computational Physics by Mark Newman, but several aspects have been expanded upon and updated. The extended material in MyCourses should cover everything needed for the course, but the book is still an excellent general introduction and is strongly recommended to those interested.

Substitutes for Courses
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    This course will replace the course Tfy-3.4423

SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    5 Gender Equality


Details on the schedule
  • Applies in this implementation:

    The lecture schedule for 2021 is as follows:

    • Topic 1 (12.1, 19.1) - Python programming for physicists (Prof. Adam Foster)
      • Intro to Python and Jupyter Lab
      • Controlling output format, writing data files, using modules, optional and keyword function arguments, list comprehensions
      • Numpy and external packages
      • Graphics and visualization
      • Accuracy and speed
    • Topic 2 (26.1, 2.2) - Integrals and derivatives (Prof. Patrick Rinke)
    • Topic 3 (9.2, 16.2) - Solution of linear and nonlinear equations (Prof. Patrick Rinke)
    • Topic 4 (2.3, 9.3) - Fourier transforms (Prof. Adam Foster)
    • Topic 5 (16.3, 23.3) - Differential equations (Dr. Dorothea Golze)
    • Topic 6 (30.3, 13.4) - Random processes and Monte Carlo methods (Prof. Adam Foster)