# Computational physics

﻿
Computational physics

Computational physics is the study and implementation of numerical algorithms to solve problems in physics for which a quantitative theory already exists. It is often regarded as a subdiscipline of theoretical physics but some consider it an intermediate branch between theoretical and experimental physics.

Physicists often have a very precise mathematical theory describing how a system will behave. Unfortunately, it is often the case that solving the theory's equations ab initio in order to produce a useful prediction is not practical. This is especially true with quantum mechanics, where only a handful of simple models admit closed-form, analytic solutions. In cases where the equations can only be solved approximately, computational methods are often used.

## Applications of computational physics

Computation now represents an essential component of modern research in accelerator physics, astrophysics, fluid mechanics, lattice field theory/lattice gauge theory (especially lattice quantum chromodynamics), plasma physics (see plasma modeling), solid state physics and soft condensed matter physics. Computational solid state physics, for example, uses density functional theory to calculate properties of solids, a method similar to that used by chemists to study molecules.

As these topics are explored, many more general numerical and mathematical problems are encountered in the process of calculating physical properties of the modeled systems. These include, but are not limited to

Computational physics also encompasses the tuning of the software/hardware structure to solve problems. Approaches to solving the problems are often very demanding in terms of processing power and/or memory requests.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

### Look at other dictionaries:

• Computational physics — Computerphysik, auch Computational Physics (CP) oder Computergestützte Physik, ist ein Teilgebiet der Physik, das sich mit der Computersimulation physikalischer Prozesse befasst. Als Grundlage dienen die Verfahren der numerischen Mathematik. Die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

• Journal of Computational Physics — Infobox Journal title = Journal of Computational Physics abbreviation = J. Comput. Phys. discipline = Computational Physics language = English publisher = Elsevier country = Netherlands history = 1966 to present frequency = Twice a month impact …   Wikipedia

• Aneesur Rahman Prize for Computational Physics — The Aneesur Rahman Prize for Computational Physics is a prize that has been awarded annually by the American Physical Society since 1993. The recipient is chosen for outstanding achievement in computational physics research . The prize is named… …   Wikipedia

• Computational fluid dynamics — Computational physics Numerical analysis  …   Wikipedia

• Computational — may refer to: Computer Computational algebra Computational Aeroacoustics Computational and Information Systems Laboratory Computational and Systems Neuroscience Computational archaeology Computational auditory scene analysis Computational biology …   Wikipedia

• Physics — (Greek: physis φύσις), in everyday terms, is the science of matter [R. P. Feynman, R. B. Leighton, M. Sands (1963), The Feynman Lectures on Physics , ISBN 0 201 02116 1 Hard cover. p.1 1 Feynman begins with the atomic hypothesis.] and its motion …   Wikipedia

• Computational archaeology — describes computer based analytical methods for the study of long term human behaviour and behavioural evolution. As with other sub disciplines that have prefixed computational to their name (e.g. computational biology, computational physics and… …   Wikipedia

• Physics Letters — ist eine wöchentlich bei Elsevier (Amsterdam) erscheinende Physik Zeitschrift mit Peer Review. Sie wurde 1962 gegründet als europäisches Pendant zu den US amerikanischen Physical Review Letters zur schnellen Publikation von Forschungsergebnissen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

• Computational Magnetohydrodynamics — (CMHD) is a rapidly developing branch of Magnetohydrodynamics that uses numerical methods and algorithms to solve and analyze problems that involve electrically conducting fluids. Most of the methods used in CMHD are borrowed from the well… …   Wikipedia

• Computational magnetohydrodynamics — (CMHD) is a rapidly developing branch of magnetohydrodynamics that uses numerical methods and algorithms to solve and analyze problems that involve electrically conducting fluids. Most of the methods used in CMHD are borrowed from the well… …   Wikipedia