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Computational Physics: Problem Solving with Computers

Computational Physics: Problem Solving with Computers
Url: http://www.physics.orst.edu/~rubin/Books/eBookWorking/LaTeX_Compadre/WILEYeBook.pdf
Format: Pdf
Year: 2012
Category: Computational Physics
Pages: 526
Clicks: 2698

This is not the book I thought I’d be writing. When, about a decade ago, I initiated the discussions that led to our Computational Physics course, I thought we would teach mainly physics in it. The Computer Science Department, I thought, would teach the students what they needed to know about computers, the Mathematics Department would teach them what they needed to know about numerical methods and statistics, and I would teach them what I knew about applying that knowledge to solve physics problems using computers. That’s how I thought it would be. But, by and large, I have found that the students taking our Computational Physics course do not carry the subject matter from these other disciplines with them, and so a lot of what I have put into this book is material that, in a more perfect world, would be taught and written by experts in other fields. While that is why I feel this is not the book I thought I would be writing, I believe it’s probably for the better. On the one hand, having a basic research physicist tell students they need to know “this” in computer science and “that” in mathematics, gets the message across that “this stuff really matters.” On the other hand, it’s useful to have the physics, mathematics, and computer science concepts conveyed in the language of a natural scientist and within the context of solving a problem scientifically.

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