PHY 3101 - Modern Physics - Fall 2018

Python installation, tutorials and resources

Download and install Install using a python distribution: The best option is to use a python distribution such as Anaconda (or Miniconda, a much smaller but useable version of Anaconda). Anaconda includes python plus a number of useful packages such as numpy (numerical python), scipy (scientific python library), matplotlib (plotting in python) and sympy (CAS). Anaconda guarantees that the packages are compatible even when you upgrade the individual packages.

Manual install: Python can be downloaded at the official python download site (but check first to see if it is already installed on your computer). Just click on the download button for 3.7.x to download the software, then carry out the standard installation procedure. There are binary versions specifically for Mac and Windows, and source versions for Linux. Note that you will still have to install other useful packages (numpy, scipy, matplotlib, sympy) separately using tools such as pip. This process is a litle more complex than using Anaconda, but Prof. Avery does this.

Note: Many people are still using the 2.7.x version of python, but most science applications have made the transition to 3.x and you should as well because package support for 2.7.x will begin disappearing in 2019.
Official tutorial This is a useful tutorial on the Python website, but you probably want to start at Chapter 3.
Simple tutorial A very helpful resource for those of you new to programming.