Help me come up with a computational physics project

In summary, the student is trying to figure out what to do for a final project. They are considering modeling various physics concepts, but are unsure if it is too easy or if it is too close to being a PhD thesis. They also mentioned consulting a website that offers suggestions for final projects.
  • #1
lstellyl
41
0

Homework Statement



I am taking a computational physics course right now and we have to do a project for the semester.

I have been trying to think of a project to do. It can be a pretty wide range of things. So far we have been doing various numerical approximations with different systems with coupled differential equations, etc.

I am probably going to use MATLAB to do the modeling. We can really choose just about anything, but i would like it to be at least loosely connected with physics.


The Attempt at a Solution



I have thought of a couple of things, but nothing yet that seems really that compelling...

1. I was thinking about modeling the heat equation for solids of either 2 or 3 dimensions with multiple point sources of heat.
2. An airplane achieving lift.
3. Simple bridge/truss stress analyzer.

The problem is that it is really hard to find a problem that, while being interesting, is not too easy, and not close to being a PhD thesis.

If anyone has any ideas of something i could do, i'd really appreciate it.

Thanks.
 
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  • #2
When I took computational physics some years ago, the professor suggested the following subjects as the final project.

1. complex networks
2. protein folding
3. synchronization (oscillator)
4. stochastic resonance
5. fractal surface growth phenomena
6. granular media
7. pattern formation
8. contact process
9. Chaos
10. Econo-physics
11. bio-physics, genetic networks
12. membrane
13. Ising model, XY-model, Potts model (Josephson junction array)
14. Traffic problem
15. SOC
16. Neural networks
17. Minority game (agent based model)
18. Random walk
19. Percolation
20. Polymer
21. Phase Transition
22. Monte Carlo method (quantum, cluster …)
23. Computer Algorithm

He also told us to consult with the following website.

http://sip.clarku.edu/projects.html

Hope this would help.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #3
Thanks for the prompt reply!

These are great ideas... i was actually thinking a lot about granular flow before you made your post, but thought that it could possibly be a bit too complicated...

after looking for some similar materials and such, as well as checking out the site that you gave me, i think that this may be what i go with.

any other ideas are appreciated!
 
  • #4
You could study the application of the concept of Nash equilibrium to traffic flow. I can't find the article now, but IIR a large highway in a Korean city was discontinued so a park could be built. The locals expected huge traffic jams due to the closing, which did not materialized. It seems that when everybody acts in his or her own self-interest, the end result can be less-than-optimal for almost everybody. If I find the article, I'll post a link here.
 

Related to Help me come up with a computational physics project

1. What is computational physics?

Computational physics is a branch of science that combines the principles of physics with computer science and mathematics to solve complex problems and simulate real-world scenarios.

2. How can I come up with a project idea?

One way to come up with a project idea is to think about a specific area of physics that interests you and brainstorm how computer simulations or models could be used to study it. You could also look at current research in computational physics for inspiration.

3. What skills are needed for a computational physics project?

Some important skills for a computational physics project include a strong understanding of physics principles, proficiency in programming languages such as Python or MATLAB, and the ability to analyze and interpret data.

4. What are some examples of computational physics projects?

Examples of computational physics projects include simulating the motion of particles in a gas, modeling the behavior of fluids, and studying the behavior of complex systems such as the stock market or the Earth's climate.

5. How can I make sure my project is original?

To ensure your project is original, it is important to do thorough research on existing studies and simulations in your chosen area of physics. You can also consult with your mentor or peers to get feedback and ensure your project is unique and innovative.

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