A classical particle in a
two-dimensional box

Conceptual goal: Develop familiarity in applying statistics to
classical physics.

Modeling goal: Develop an
understanding of how a computational model is developed and
implemented.

Computational goal:
Introduction to Matlab, for loops and if statements, basic plotting.

As no prior exposure to Matlab is assumed in this course, the first
week is dedicated to familiarizing the students with Matlab
through tutorials. We have developed a handout that guides students
in using Matlab to model a classical particle in a two-dimensional box
and to track statistics for the particle (time spent on the left half
vs. the right half of the box, for example). Students will understand
what it means to discretize an equation, and will have to decide on an
appropriate time-step and how long to run their model in order to get
adequate data.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number DUE-1140034.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.