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Other Computational physics bachelor project any ideas?

I am coming closer to finishing my undergraduate studies, and thus, I need to write a bachelor project on a certain topic. There are millions of topics, and fields to choose from, and I simply don't know what to choose. I did some thinking, and research, and realized that the most feasible area of physics to write my project is computational physics and simulations.
I started doing some research of possible project ideas, but I am at a dead end. I would like to ask for some suggestions for a topic for a bachelor project in computational physics. Ideas from any computational physics areas will be appreciated, but I am mostly interested in optics, and quantum mechanics, maybe nanophysics as well, and the application of that topic in the real world.
Thanks for the help!
 

Dr. Courtney

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It would be helpful to know the requirements for the course, the time constraints, and your experience and computational abilities.

Also,do you need to write all the code from scratch, or can you start with existing code from a third party?
 
It would be helpful to know the requirements for the course, the time constraints, and your experience and computational abilities.

Also,do you need to write all the code from scratch, or can you start with existing code from a third party?
If have sufficient time for a larger project. I doesn't matter if I write code from scratch or work on an existing code. I have enough knowledge of computational physics obtained by a regular course. I know all the basics.
 
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If have sufficient time for a larger project. I doesn't matter if I write code from scratch or work on an existing code. I have enough knowledge of computational physics obtained by a regular course. I know all the basics.
Most likely you don't know 'all' the basics, since computational physics can land pretty much everywhere and the word 'basics' can assume very different meanings in different contexts. You should give a better description of what you do know, and what you are asked to do in order to receive proper suggestions.

Still, a 'standard' for a first approach to various aspects of computational physics is indeed a study of the Ising Model(and/or some of its variants), which is a showcase of wonderful physics phenomena: on the theoretical side, approachable at undergrad level, you have arisal of ferromagnetism from exchange interactions, critical dimension-dependent behaviour(i.e. 1D is a simple Statistical Mechanics exercise, 2D requires a mathematical tour-de-force but can be solved analytically, 3D has no exact solution yet), phase transitions, and the list goes on; on the strictly computational side you'll have to learn about Monte Carlo simulations, how to do a proper data analysis, optimization methods for efficient sampling of systems with ''''complex'''' energy landscapes(i.e. with lots of metastable states) and/or which manifest ergodicity breaking, estimation of critical exponents and the list goes on and on... the possibilities are almost endless, you'll most likely have to select just a few topics.
I can provide quite a lot of references on these subjects if you like.


If you like optics a first computer experiment might involve some application of the Beam Propagation Method, or maybe ray tracing. When I studied optics I was really puzzled by the appearance of evanescent waves in total internal reflection and the phenomenon of frustrated total internal reflection; these could be starting points for some fun ideas..

In the end it just boils down to what you like and what you are exactly asked to do, since I believe that spending (a lot of) time on learning things is not a problem for someone who chose physics as its field of interest.
 

DEvens

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Such a project requires a supervisor, yes? So, get yourself to the office of a candidate prof. Be extra nice. Ask directly if he/she is willing to be the supervisor of such a project. If you have some ideas it's time to suggest them.

The dangers are selecting something you can't possibly finish, selecting something that won't be sufficient to satisfy your degree requirements, or picking something so boring you can't stand to work on it. The prof will be able to provide help on this.
 
Most likely you don't know 'all' the basics, since computational physics can land pretty much everywhere and the word 'basics' can assume very different meanings in different contexts. You should give a better description of what you do know, and what you are asked to do in order to receive proper suggestions.

Still, a 'standard' for a first approach to various aspects of computational physics is indeed a study of the Ising Model(and/or some of its variants), which is a showcase of wonderful physics phenomena: on the theoretical side, approachable at undergrad level, you have arisal of ferromagnetism from exchange interactions, critical dimension-dependent behaviour(i.e. 1D is a simple Statistical Mechanics exercise, 2D requires a mathematical tour-de-force but can be solved analytically, 3D has no exact solution yet), phase transitions, and the list goes on; on the strictly computational side you'll have to learn about Monte Carlo simulations, how to do a proper data analysis, optimization methods for efficient sampling of systems with ''''complex'''' energy landscapes(i.e. with lots of metastable states) and/or which manifest ergodicity breaking, estimation of critical exponents and the list goes on and on... the possibilities are almost endless, you'll most likely have to select just a few topics.
I can provide quite a lot of references on these subjects if you like.


If you like optics a first computer experiment might involve some application of the Beam Propagation Method, or maybe ray tracing. When I studied optics I was really puzzled by the appearance of evanescent waves in total internal reflection and the phenomenon of frustrated total internal reflection; these could be starting points for some fun ideas..

In the end it just boils down to what you like and what you are exactly asked to do, since I believe that spending (a lot of) time on learning things is not a problem for someone who chose physics as its field of interest.
First, thank you a lot for the reply, which is very, very useful! I'd really appreciate it if you provide me the references you offered.
 
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11
Aharoni - Introduction to the Theory of Ferromagnetism
Baxter - Exactly Solved Models in Statistical Mechanics
McCoy, Wu - The Two-Dimensional Ising Model
Newman, Barkema - Monte Carlo Methods in Statistical Physics
(comprehensive and clear textbook, first few chapters deal with general MC theory and simulation of Ising model)
Adler - Monte Carlo Simulations of the Ising Model
Sokal - Monte Carlo Methods in Statistical Mechanics: Foundations and new algorithms
(this is indeed advanced, but the first few pages should be a must-read for anyone getting into MC simulations)
Kertész, Kondor (eds.) - Advances in computer simulation
(this is a set of lectures held at a summer school, Krauth gives a nice and friendly introduction to MC methods)
Hjorth-Jensen - Computational Physics Lectures
Fitzpatrick - Computational Physics Lectures
Landau, Binder - A Guide to Monte Carlo Simulations in Statistical Physics
(not L.D. Landau, but Binder is a big name in the field; I honestly didn't like this very much, but it's praised by many people I know so I'll just leave it here for the sake of it)

Before embarking on a tour-de-force to read all these and sort the relevant/interesting stuff, indeed listen to DEvens's suggestion and talk to a supervisor if you are meant to. I don't know what a 'bachelor project' is, what are its constraints etcetera, so I don't take any responsibility for overloading you with stuff to read.

Just a little closing tip: if you choose the Ising Model you are gonna work with magnetic fields, magnetization, spins... but always remember that the spin alignment phenomenon is due to Pauli's exclusion principle and is completely electrostatic in nature. I was impressed to learn how many people don't get it.
 
Aharoni - Introduction to the Theory of Ferromagnetism
Baxter - Exactly Solved Models in Statistical Mechanics
McCoy, Wu - The Two-Dimensional Ising Model
Newman, Barkema - Monte Carlo Methods in Statistical Physics
(comprehensive and clear textbook, first few chapters deal with general MC theory and simulation of Ising model)
Adler - Monte Carlo Simulations of the Ising Model
Sokal - Monte Carlo Methods in Statistical Mechanics: Foundations and new algorithms
(this is indeed advanced, but the first few pages should be a must-read for anyone getting into MC simulations)
Kertész, Kondor (eds.) - Advances in computer simulation (this is a set of lectures held at a summer school, Krauth gives a nice and friendly introduction to MC methods)
Hjorth-Jensen - Computational Physics Lectures
Fitzpatrick - Computational Physics Lectures
Landau, Binder - A Guide to Monte Carlo Simulations in Statistical Physics
(not L.D. Landau, but Binder is a big name in the field; I honestly didn't like this very much, but it's praised by many people I know so I'll just leave it here for the sake of it)

Before embarking on a tour-de-force to read all these and sort the relevant/interesting stuff, indeed listen to DEvens's suggestion and talk to a supervisor if you are meant to. I don't know what a 'bachelor project' is, what are its constraints etcetera, so I don't take any responsibility for overloading you with stuff to read.

Just a little closing tip: if you choose the Ising Model you are gonna work with magnetic fields, magnetization, spins... but always remember that the spin alignment phenomenon is due to Pauli's exclusion principle and is completely electrostatic in nature. I was impressed to learn how many people don't get it.
Thank you very much again! I am gonna do my best to fulfill my task. Also, thanks for the advice, I am gonna take them into account!
 

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