Computer Exercises and Course Materials
James P. Sethna
The first set of links have hints available both for
Mathematica and Python. The second set are more diverse, older, and
mostly available in Python only.
For python, we recommend the
Make sure to get the acadamic version. We recommend using the Accelerate package (conda update conda; conda install accelerate).
- 1.5 'Stirling and asymptotic series'
- 1.6 'Random matrix theory'
- 1.7 'Six degrees of separation', Small world exercise hints
- 2.5 'Generating random walks'
- Molecular dynamics exercises: 2.4 'Perfume walk', 3.4 'Pressure computation', 4.1 'Equilibration', 6.1 'Exponential atmosphere', 10.2 'Pair distribution function and molecular dynamics', Molecular dynamics software
- 2.10 'Polymers and random walks' Self-Avoiding Random Walk simulation (Java applet from BU)
- 2.11 'Stocks, volatility, and diversification'
- Percolation exercises: 2.13 'Building a percolation network', 12.12 'Percolation and universality'
Percolation hints and writeup
- 4.3 'Invariant measures'
- 4.4 'Jupiter! and the KAM Theorem'
- 4.9 "Jupiter's Red Spot"
- 5.9 'Chaos, Lyapunov, and entropy increase'
- 5.12 'Rubber band'. (Bring rubber bands.)
- 5.13 'How many shuffles?'. (Bring decks of cards.)
- 5.16 'Fractal dimensions'
- Ising model exercises
- Systems Biology and Cellular Networks (start with the
overview of reaction networks)
- Avalanche models: 8.13 'Hysteresis and avalanches', 8.14 'Hysteresis algorithms', and 12.13 'Hysteresis and avalanches: scaling' Hysteresis and Avalanches simulation (Matt Kuntz's old windows binary; may not work)
- 8.15 'NP-completeness and kSAT'
- 9.1 'Topological defects in nematic liquid crystals':
Nematic S=1/2 defect,
S=-1/2 defect, and
transition path in
order parameter space
- 9.9, 'Nematic order parameter half space': Projective plane
for cutting and pasting. (Print it out double-sided. Bring scissors and tape.)
- 9.11, 'Pentagonal order parameter': Soccer ball flattened
(Bring soccer ball.)
- 11.1 'Maxwell and van der Waals' van der Waals P-V plot
- 11.7 'Origami microstructure'. (Bring scissors.)
- 11.10 'What is it unstable to? Maxwell equal area construction figure
- 12.9 'Period doubling'
- 12.14 'Crackling noises'
- 12.15 'Hearing the onset of chaos: Period doubling' (files courtesy
of Erich Mueller)
- 12.20 'Biggest of bunch: Gumbel'
- 12.25 'The onset of chaos: Full renormalization-group calculation'
- 12.31 'Conformal Invariance'
James P. Sethna,
Christopher R. Myers.
Last modified: December 12, 2017
Statistical Mechanics: Entropy, Order Parameters, and Complexity,
now available at
Oxford University Press