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Homework Help: Looking for a numeric classical mechanics problem for project

  1. Mar 12, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    I was recently assigned an assignment where my instructor told us to come up with an idea for a numeric classical mechanics problem that is solved by computer methods. Some ideas the instructor gave was to simulate motion of a sun-earth-moon system or simulate the tides of a sun-earth-moon system. The instructor said a project such as this would have to be completed using a computer language such as python, etc. The instructor hasn't given info besides this.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I am confused on where to start. I have little experience with python (most likely not enough to write code for a computer simulation). I also am having trouble finding "numeric problems" online which might give me further ideas on the topic of my paper.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 12, 2016 #2


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    Science Advisor

    @Mike Garlow:

    I get the feeling you haven't typed in the full problem statement. But anyway...

    When someone tells you to "come up with an idea", it means "go do some research". In your case: consult textbooks, or be more tenacious and creative in hunting down Google links.

    What precisely is the course you're doing? E.g., is it "classical mechanics", or "numerical methods", or... some computer science course? Knowing more of your context might enable better answers here.

    As for Python, etc, sometimes this type of assignment is given to force students to acquire/improve their programming skills. Python sounded like just an example. Do you know other programming languages? In any case, it wouldn't hurt your future career to try and learn some Python, possibly by studying examples from elsewhere. You could also ask on the computing forums here about potential alternatives for that type of problem.

    Then you didn't try very hard. Sometimes you've got to think a bit laterally about varying the search terms in Google. E.g., try Googling numerical solutions classical mechanics which seems to give a few leads. Also trying the alternate searches suggested by Google at the bottom of the page.

    BTW, I'm also curious why you felt you couldn't ask your teacher for more guidance before approaching PF?
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