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Undergrad computational physics text?

  1. Jul 8, 2013 #1
    Hi everyone. I've had my BS in physics for 5 years now, and I'm looking to brush up on some areas that I never covered in my undergrad career. Specifically, I'm looking for an undergrad computational physics textbook that I could use to work through some "real-world" physical examples and teach myself a bit of numerical analysis. (For programming languages, I'd like to use Python, but I'm also familiar with C++, and wouldn't be opposed to learning FORTRAN.) I've found plenty of textbooks on Amazon (Giordano, Pang, Yevik, Thijssen, Vesely, etc...), but I'm unsure which one to get. At the moment, I'm leaning towards Giordano, because the topics/chapter titles sound appealing. So, does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 8, 2013 #2
    I think Giordano is a good bet. It was the recommended textbook in a comp phys course back at my old university. (Not that I took said course myself, but I've looked in the book a couple of times and it seems to deal with the topics well.) It was written specifically for an undergrad course, deals with "real-world" examples and does introduce numerical techniques along the way. For some reason the authors provide example code in a dialect of BASIC, but that's not too far from pseudo code. Shouldn't be a problem to translate that if you have some familiarity with programming.

    The only other book I'm familiar with is Thijssen's. It focuses on condensed matter physics and is basically on the graduate level. Unless that's your cup of tea, you'd probably want to deal with the differential equations and so on in Giordano first.
  4. Jul 9, 2013 #3
    Thanks. I'll definitely be skipping the Thijssen book in that case. Looks like Giordano would be a safe bet.
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