Computational Physics

Computational Physics - Basics of Computational Physics...

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1 Basics Basics of Computational Physics of Computational Physics ± What is Computational Physics? ± Basic computer hardware ± Software 1: operating systems ± Software 2: Programming languages ± Software 3: Problem-solving environment 2 What does Computational Physics do? ± Atomic Physics studies atoms ± Nuclear Physics studies nuclei ± Plasma Physics studies plasmas ± Solid State Physics studies solids ± Computational physics does not study computers 3 Journalist’s questions Journalists check the coverage of their stories by making sure that they answer six questions – What? When? Where? Who? How? Why? 4 What is Computational Physics? “Computational physics is a synthesis of theoretical analysis, numerical algorithms, and computer programming.” P. L. DeVries Am. J. Phys., vol. 64, 364 (1996) 5 What is Computational Physics? Computational physics is a tool for solving complex numerical problems in physics 6 + = + = few analytically solvable problems solutions to very many problems Example: university physics courses
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2 7 Why do we need computational physics? ± In physics we answer how nature works. ± Quite often we need equations ( unless you are a poet or a philosopher ) ± Using equations we create models to describe nature ± Exact (analytic) solutions are very rare unless a model is a very simple one ± We need computational physics when – we cannot solve problems analytically – we have too much data to process Many, if not the most, problems in contemporary physics could never be solved without computers 8 Computational physics in contemporary physics ± Numerical calculations: solutions of well defined mathematical problems to produce numerical solutions Examples: systems of differential equations, integration, systems of linear equations, … ± Visualization and animation:
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This note was uploaded on 09/29/2009 for the course PHYSICS 811 taught by Professor Godunov during the Fall '09 term at Old Dominion.

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Computational Physics - Basics of Computational Physics...

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