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PHY531 Problem Set 0. Do this before August 23, 2001.
I expect everyone to be at least marginally computer literate or willing to work to become so. Here is what you need to do before Thursday so we can really get to work.

  1. Send an e-mail message to Kevin.Schmidt@asu.edu so that I can put you on the class reflector.

  2. Get an account some computer that includes Fortran and C if you don't have one already. You are free to use any other computer or language, but any libraries or samples will be in those languages.

  3. Fire up your Web Browser and surf to the class web page and bookmark it. The URL for the class is $\rm <$http://fermi.la.asu.edu/PHY531$\rm >$.

  4. Most of the problems I will assign will be the usual pencil and paper ones, but I plan a few numerical exercises that will require a little programming. Anyone who plans to be a professional physicist today will need to learn a little programming eventually. I am a competent programmer in Java, C and Fortran, and can help if you have trouble in those languages. Anything else and you are on your own. Unless you know another computer language well and are willing to deal with obtaining library codes for things like linear equation solvers, bessel functions of complex argument, diagonalizers, etc. for your language, begin learning Fortran. Anyone who is competent in any other computer language should be able to pick up enough Fortran for the class exercises in a few hours. Some books that I have heard are useful are:

    In addition, tutorials are available on the web. Use your favorite search engine.

  5. If you don't already know how to use a text editor like emacs or vi, etc., begin learning one immediately. I use vi since it comes with every unix operating system and is available for nearly every kind of machine. An online tutorials are available. For advice on other editors talk to your friends.

  6. Make sure you can make plots. For simple research quality plots I use the gnuplot program. It is freely available for most computers. Gnuplot is only a suggestion; feel free to use any other utility to make plots for the homework.

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Up: PHY531-532 Classical Electrodynamics Links