Numerical Methods for Physics

Summer Semester 2022 (lecture notes; exercises; codes)

Thur., 12:00-14:00, Room 02.116; Frid.,   12:00-13:00, Room 02.116;
To compensate for missing lectures due to holidays, a couple of lectures will also be offered on Tuesday 16:00 – 18:00 (02.114) and Thursday 10:00 – 11:00 (02.116). Changes to this schedule are announced in the Hochschulportal and will reported here as well. 
The lecture of April 29: 12:00-13:00 will be given on April 28: 10:00-11:00
The lecture of May 12: 12:00-14:00 will be given on May 10: 16:00-18:00
The lecture of June 23: 12:00-14:00 will be given on June 24: 11:00-12:00
Thur., 16:00-18:00, Room 02.120; Frid., 10:00-12:00; Room 02.120; Frid., 10:00-12:00, Room __.102.
The tutors for the course are Keiwan Jamaly,  Carlo Musolino, and Tom Olsen. Tutoring will start on the week of 18.04. Instructions on the exercises can be found here
Please register to the course by sending an email to Frau Steidl; this will help create a mailing list.

Information on the course

The course aims at providing the student with many of the “tools” frequently used in the solution of physical problems. The course is meant to be an applied course, in which the actual programming is a key feature. For this reason, each lecture will have one or more exercises involving the solution of a specific physical problem via the use of numerical codes implementing the techniques discussed in the lecture. The codes can be written in any of the following languages: fortran (77, 90, 95), C, C++, python. However no specific computational knowledge is necessary. Each exercise must be completed (ideally) before the subsequent lecture in the course starts. Topics covered include:

  • Root Finding
  • Linear Algebra
  • Interpolation and Extrapolation of functions
  • Integration of Functions
  • Random Numbers and Montercarlo Techniques
  • Solution of Ordinary Differential Equations
  • Solution of Partial Differential Equations:
    • Hyperbolic Equations
    • Parabolic Equations
    • Elliptic Equations
  • Fourier Transforms


  • Computational Physics, D. Potter, Wiley, NY
  • Numerical Methods for Conservation Laws, R. J. LeVeque, Birkhauser, 1992.
  • Numerical Recipes, W. H. Press et al., Cambridge Univ. Press, 1992
  • Relativistic Hydrodynamics, L. Rezzolla and O. Zanotti, Oxford Univ. Press, 2013