Virtual Physics: Using Modern Modeling Methodologies for Computer Simulation

Module IN2236

This Module is offered by TUM Department of Informatics.

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of WS 2011/2

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

available module versions
SS 2015WS 2011/2

Basic Information

IN2236 is a semester module in German or English language at Master’s level which is offered in winter semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Catalogue of non-physics elective courses
Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
120 h 45 h 4 CP

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


Computer games, driving simulators, control of robots, or optimization of aircraft design: all these applications require suitable and efficient models of their physical processes. This lecture offers an introduction to object-oriented, declarative languages such as Modelica and demonstrates their application for the purpose of computer simulation. Starting from physical principles, the lecture explains how to model electrical and mechanical systems. The development of extensive modeling-libraries is outlined and illustrated by suitable mechatronic systems. The modeling of further physical domains is briefly sketched. In addition, the lecture concerns the computational aspects of computer simulation. The processing of the modeling language is explained in detail and the most important algorithms for time-integration are presented. The corresponding exercise sessions offer the opportunity for the participants to gain their own modelling experience, for instance by creating a mechanic modelling library. Finally, the participants are encouraged to develop a real-time simulation of an electric vehicle. A high interest in physics but no additional prerequisites are expected for this lecture. All important fundamentals will be explained in the lecture. Language: All written documents will be in English. The lectures are held either in German or in English according to the preference of the audience that will be determined in the first lecture.

Learning Outcome

By the completion of the course, the students acquire the ability to model physical systems using equation-based computer languages. In addition they learn to understand the compiler techniques that are needed to process these languages and they are able to select the adequate numerical methods that are required for simulation.


Basic algebra, Basic numerical computing, Programming knowledge,Physics (High-School Level)

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

lecture, exercise course, problems for individual study


slides, black board, modelica programs


Peter Fritzson (2011):Introduction to Modelica and Simulation of Technical and Physical Systems with Modelica, Wiley IEEE Peter Fritzson (2003):Principles of Object?Oriented Modeling and Simulation with Modelica 2.1, Wiley IEEE

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

In the written exam students should prove to be able to identify a given problem and find solutions within limited time using equation-based simulation of physical systems.

Condensed Matter

When atoms interact things can get interesting. Fundamental research on the underlying properties of materials and nanostructures and exploration of the potential they provide for applications.

Nuclei, Particles, Astrophysics

A journey of discovery to understanding our world at the subatomic scale, from the nuclei inside atoms down to the most elementary building blocks of matter. Are you ready for the adventure?


Biological systems, from proteins to living cells and organisms, obey physical principles. Our research groups in biophysics shape one of Germany's largest scientific clusters in this area.