Overview and Authoring Guidelines

The PICUP Collection of Exercise Sets

The fundamental unit of the PICUP collection of educational materials is the "Exercise Set". All Exercise Sets are peer-reviewed and adaptable for faculty use. Standard Exercise Sets use numerical approaches that can be adapted to multiple platforms and Specialized Exercise Sets take advantage of particular computational platforms.

Exercise Type Any
Course Any
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Course Level Any
Programming Language Any
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47 Exercise Sets

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A Rigid Three-bar Pendulum

Beyond the First Year Mechanics

Developed by E. Behringer

Example Implementation: Python

Binary Stars with Equivalent One Body Problem

Beyond the First Year Mechanics

Developed by A. Titus

Example Implementation: IPython/Jupyter Notebook

Center of Mass for Point Particles

First Year Mechanics

Developed by Deva O'Neil

Example Implementation: Glowscript

Energy and Phase Space of a Damped Oscillator

Beyond the First Year Mechanics

Developed by Deva O'Neil

Example Implementations: Glowscript, IPython/Jupyter Notebook, and Mathematica

Falling Sphere with Air Resistance Proportional to $v^2$

First Year and Beyond the First Year Mechanics

Developed by K. Roos

Example Implementations: C/C++, Fortran, Glowscript, Haskell, IPython/Jupyter Notebook, Mathematica, Octave*/MATLAB, Python, and Spreadsheet

Foucault Pendulum

Beyond the First Year Mechanics

Developed by Andy Rundquist

Example Implementation: Mathematica

Harmonic and Anharmonic Oscillations of a Boat

First Year and Beyond the First Year Mechanics

Developed by E. Ayars

Example Implementations: Python, Easy Java Simulations, IPython/Jupyter Notebook, and Mathematica

Lagrangian dynamics

Beyond the First Year and Advanced Mechanics

Developed by Andy Rundquist

Example Implementation: Mathematica

Lunar Lander

First Year and Beyond the First Year Mechanics

Developed by A. Titus

Example Implementations: Glowscript and Easy Java Simulations

Pascal’s Law and the Origin of Buoyancy

First Year Mechanics

Developed by Deva O'Neil

Example Implementation: Glowscript

Plane Rigid Pendulum

First Year and Beyond the First Year Mechanics

Developed by K. Roos

Example Implementations: C/C++, Easy Java Simulations, Fortran, IPython/Jupyter Notebook, Mathematica, Octave*/MATLAB, Python, and Spreadsheet

Simple Hanging Harmonic Oscillator

First Year and Beyond the First Year Mechanics

Developed by K. Roos

Example Implementations: C/C++, Easy Java Simulations, Fortran, Glowscript, IPython/Jupyter Notebook, Mathematica, Octave*/MATLAB, Python, and Spreadsheet

Traveling to Mars

First Year and Beyond the First Year Mechanics

Developed by A. Titus

Example Implementations: Glowscript and Easy Java Simulations

Calculating the magnetic field with the Biot-Savart Law

Beyond the First Year Electricity & Magnetism

Developed by J. D. McDonnell

Example Implementations: IPython/Jupyter Notebook and Fortran

Charges in a conductor and Gauss's Law

First Year and Beyond the First Year Electricity & Magnetism

Developed by Larry Engelhardt

Example Implementations: C/C++, Easy Java Simulations, Fortran, Glowscript, IPython/Jupyter Notebook, Mathematica, and Octave*/MATLAB

Chargesweeper (similar to Minesweeper)

First Year Electricity & Magnetism

Developed by Deva O'Neil

Example Implementation: Glowscript

Charging/Discharging RC circuits

High School and First Year Electricity & Magnetism

Developed by Chris Orban

Specialized Programming Language: Javascript

Electric Dipole in an Uniform Field

First Year Electricity & Magnetism

Developed by David Urminsky

Example Implementation: IPython/Jupyter Notebook

Electric Field Due to a Uniformly Charged Ring

First Year Electricity & Magnetism

Developed by A. Titus

Example Implementation: IPython/Jupyter Notebook

Electric Field Due to a Uniformly Charged Rod

First Year and Beyond the First Year Electricity & Magnetism

Developed by A. Titus

Example Implementation: IPython/Jupyter Notebook

Equipotentials and Electric Field Lines: Collections of Point Charges and the Method of Images

First Year and Beyond the First Year Electricity & Magnetism

Developed by J. D. McDonnell

Example Implementation: IPython/Jupyter Notebook

Lenz's Law: Induction in a Circular Loop

First Year Electricity & Magnetism

Developed by Stephen Robinson

Example Implementation: VPython

Motion of a Charged Particle in a Magnetic Field

Beyond the First Year Electricity & Magnetism

Developed by J. D. McDonnell

Example Implementations: IPython/Jupyter Notebook and Easy Java Simulations

Solving systems of linear equations: resistor networks

First Year and Beyond the First Year Electricity & Magnetism

Developed by E. Ayars

Example Implementations: Python, Easy Java Simulations, and Mathematica

The Wien (E x B) Filter

First Year and Beyond the First Year Electricity & Magnetism

Developed by E. Behringer

Example Implementations: Python and Easy Java Simulations

Laser Beam Profile

Beyond the First Year Waves & Optics

Developed by E. Behringer

Example Implementations: Python and Easy Java Simulations

Rainbows

First Year and Beyond the First Year Waves & Optics

Developed by E. Behringer

Example Implementations: Python and Easy Java Simulations

Shadows (Ray Optics)

First Year and Beyond the First Year Waves & Optics

Developed by E. Behringer

Example Implementations: Python and Easy Java Simulations

Wave Interference (with sound!)

First Year Waves & Optics

Developed by Chris Orban

Example Implementation: Javascript

Heat flow -- Dynamics of a 1D rod

First Year and Beyond the First Year Thermal & Statistical Physics

Developed by L. Engelhardt

Example Implementations: IPython/Jupyter Notebook, Python, and Easy Java Simulations

Ice thickness

Beyond the First Year Thermal & Statistical Physics

Developed by Andy Rundquist

Example Implementation: Mathematica

Relativistic Dynamics in 1D with a constant force

Beyond the First Year Modern Physics

Developed by Larry Engelhardt

Example Implementations: IPython/Jupyter Notebook, Python, and Easy Java Simulations

Quantum Dynamics in 1D with a Series Solution

First Year and Beyond the First Year Modern Physics and Quantum Mechanics

Developed by Gardner Marshall

Example Implementations: Mathematica and IPython/Jupyter Notebook

Shooting method for solving 1D quantum potentials

Beyond the First Year Modern Physics and Quantum Mechanics

Developed by Andy Rundquist

Example Implementation: Mathematica

Using the Finite-Difference Approximation and Hamiltonians to solve 1D Quantum Mechanics Problems

Beyond the First Year Modern Physics and Quantum Mechanics

Developed by M. Lopez del Puerto

Example Implementations: Octave*/MATLAB and IPython/Jupyter Notebook

Monte Carlo error propagation

First Year Mathematical/Numerical Methods

Developed by Andy Runquist

Example Implementations: Mathematica, Easy Java Simulations, and Python

Separation of Variables in Cartesian Coordinates

Beyond the First Year Electricity & Magnetism and Mathematical/Numerical Methods

Developed by J. D. McDonnell

Example Implementation: IPython/Jupyter Notebook

Separation of Variables in Spherical Coordinates

Beyond the First Year Electricity & Magnetism and Mathematical/Numerical Methods

Developed by J. D. McDonnell----

Example Implementation: IPython/Jupyter Notebook

Curve Fitting

Beyond the First Year Mathematical/Numerical Methods and Experimental Labs

Developed by E. Ayars

Example Implementation: Python

Lab Skills: Converting file formats

First Year and Beyond the First Year Experimental Labs

Developed by E. Ayars

Example Implementation: Python

Projectile Motion: Experiment and Computational Model

First Year Mechanics and Experimental Labs

Developed by Todd Zimmerman

Example Implementations: Glowscript, IPython/Jupyter Notebook, Sage Worksheet, and Easy Java Simulations

2-Body Gravitation

First Year and Beyond the First Year Mechanics and Astronomy/Astrophysics

Developed by Walter Freeman and Kelly Roos

Example Implementations: Mathematica, Octave*/MATLAB, Python, and Spreadsheet

Binary Orbit Inspirals Due to Gravitational Radiation

First Year and Beyond the First Year Mechanics and Astronomy/Astrophysics

Developed by Robert Hilborn

Example Implementations: Glowscript and Mathematica

Visualizing Effects of a Gravitational Wave with a Ring of Test Masses

Advanced Waves & Optics, Mathematical/Numerical Methods, and Astronomy/Astrophysics

Developed by Deva O'Neil and Parker Cline

Example Implementation: Glowscript

Introduction to GlowScript and VPython

First Year Other

Developed by A. Titus

Specialized Programming Language: Glowscript

Lattice Elasticity, the Vibrating String, and Nonlinearity

Beyond the First Year and Advanced Waves & Optics, Mathematical/Numerical Methods, and Other

Developed by W. Freeman

Example Implementations: C/C++ and Easy Java Simulations

Using Python in Introductory Physics

First Year Other

Developed by E. Ayars

Specialized Programming Language: Python