This course “Computational Physics” aims to introduce numerical methods of computational physics of relevance to the research performed in the IMPRS. The course splits in two parts: The first half discusses numerical solutions of linear systems, of ordinary differential equations, and of partial differential equations. The second half of the course lays the foundations for numerical relativity.

There will be 16 lectures of 50 minutes each between March 7 and April 14, 2022. The course will be given by several lecturers:

  • Prof. Dr. Tim Dietrich, Max-Planck Fellow at the AEI-Potsdam and Junior Professor at the University of Potsdam
  • Dr. Kenta Kiuchi, group leader at the AEI-Potsdam
  • Dr. Serguei Ossokine, scientific programmer at the AEI-Potsdam
  • Prof. Dr. Harald Pfeiffer, group leader at the AEI-Potsdam and Professor at the University of Potsdam
  • Prof. Dr. Masaru Shibata, director at the AEI-Potsdam
  • Dr. Vijay Varma, Marie-Curie Fellow and postdoc at the AEI-Potsdam

Lectures will take place from 2pm to 3pm on Mondays and Fridays, and from 11am to 12pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays of each week, with the exceptions March 14 – 17 (break due to the LVC Meeting) and March 21 – 25 (break due to the DPG Spring Meeting.

All lectures can be attended in person in room 0.01 at the AEI Potsdam (all attendees must wear a mouth-and-nose cover during the lectures), or via Zoom.

When available, the lecture notes and lecture recordings can be found under “Course Materials” on the pages of the individual lectures.

There will be three problem sets and four discussion sessions with the lecturers. All students should do at least half of the problems, and are strongly encouraged to participate in the discussion sessions.

Provisional plan for lecture topics

Week 1 (March 7 – 11): 4 lectures

  • Mon, March 7, 2pm-3pm (Tim Dietrich): Basics, Linear Algebra (part 1)
  • Wed, March 9, 11am-12pm (Tim Dietrich): Basics, Linear Algebra (part 2)
  • Thu, March 10, 11am-12pm (Harald Pfeiffer): PDEs and their discretization (part 1)
  • Fri March 11, 2pm-3pm (Harald Pfeiffer): PDEs and their discretization (part 2)
    • problem set 1 handed out

Week 2 (March 14 – 18): 1 lecture

  • Mon – Th, March 14 – 17: break due to LVC-meeting
  • Fri, March 18, 11am-12pm (Harald Pfeiffer): PDEs and their discretization (part 3)

Week off (March 21 – 25): no lectures

  • break due to DPG Spring meeting

Week 3 (March 28 – April 1): 4 lectures

  • Mon, March 28, 2pm-3pm (Sergei Ossokine): ODE solvers (part 1),
    • followed by: 3pm-4pm discussion of problem set 1
  • Wed, March 30, 11am-12pm (Vijay Varma): ODE solvers (part 2)
  • Thu, March 31, 11am-12pm (Masaru Shibata): 3+1 decomposition (part 1)
  • Fri, April 1, 2pm-3pm (Masaru Shibata): 3+1 decomposition (part 2)
    • problem set 2 handed out

Week 4 (April 4 – 8): 4 lectures

  • Mon, April 4, 2pm-3pm  (Masaru Shibata): BSSN evolution equations
    • followed by: 3pm-4pm discussion of problem set 2 (only 3+1 and BSSN part)
  • Wed, April 6, 11am-12pm (Harald Pfeiffer): GH evolution equations
  • Thu, April 7, 11am-12pm (Harald Pfeiffer): Initial value problem
  • Fri, April 8, 11am-12pm (Harald Pfeiffer): Apparent Horizons & Spin
    • preceded by: 10am-11am discussion of problem set 2 (only ODE part)
    • problem set 3 handed out

Week 5 (April 11 – 14): 3 lectures

  • Mon, April 11, 2pm-3pm (Vijay Varma): overview BBH results
  • Wed, April 13, 11am-12pm (Kenta Kiuchi):  Hydrodynamics (part 1)
  • Thu, April 14, 11am-12pm (Kenta Kiuchi):  Hydrodynamics (part 2)

Wed, April 20, 11am-12pm discussion of problem set 3