Dott. H. Bourdin
Numerical Methods for Astrophysics
(S3, elective, 6 ECTS)
Learning Outcomes:The course focuses on computational astrophysics, addressing the numerical solution of ordinary differential equations and advanced data analysis, dealing with Monte Carlo simulation basics, deepening on the fitting techniques and introducing some techniques for the separation of the signal from the background noise. The course also aims to extend previous computer skills by thoroughly addressing Object-Oriented programming in Python.
Knowledge and Understanding:
Deep understanding of numerical techniques for data analysis and resolution of computational astrophysical problems. – Good knowledge of the state of the art about the use of numerical computation in the astrophysics field.
Applying Knowledge and Understanding:Understanding the limits of the analytical and numerical approaches. – Ability to unassistedly analyze astrophysical data-sets through numerical methods. Ability to solve basic astrophysical problems with numerical methods.
PrerequisitesBasic knowledge of general physics and algorithms.
ProgramThis course in numerical analysis covers a wide range of methods and applications in physics and astrophysics. The first lectures deal with introductory data analysis problems, such as function approximation, numerical calculus, fitting and exact or approximate solutions of linear and non-linear systems of equations. Part of the course is devoted to the theory and application of the Fourier Transform. Considerable time is spent in the numerical solutions of ordinary differential equations, and their applications. Lectures on Finite Element methods and MonteCarlo simulations. The course is accompanied with laboratory work. In the labs the students learn to program in Python and they write their own routines to solve problems related to the theoretical part of the course.
Description of how the course is conductedClassroom lectures and computational laboratory practice
Description of the didactic methodsPowerPoint presentations, chalkboard and other didactic material
Description of the evaluation methodsDiscussion about reports on numerical exercises. Questions on selected program topics.
Adopted TextbooksM. Wood – Numerical Techniques in Astrophysics T. Pang – An introduction to Computational Physics Lecture Notes
Recommended readingsUpdated literature papers on the topics covered by the course are mentioned during the lectures.