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Computational physics specialization

  1. May 11, 2013 #1
    I really like all (most) fields of physics and I find it hard to choose a specialization for my master's and eventually my career. Is it possible to specialize in computational physics so that I could work in many different fields?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 11, 2013 #2


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    Yes. Computational physics is somewhat of a broad term, since it infers the use of numerical or computational methods to all fields/branches of physics, e.g., mechanics of materials, or condensed matter physics, including molecular dynamics, fluid mechanics/dynamics, plasma physics, nuclear physics, astrophysics, shockwave physics, etc.

    One basically solves a system of partial differential equations (often nonlinear) and maybe some linear ODEs over a range of spatial domains and time scales. One could simulate a single material, a binary system, e.g., alloy or mixture, a multiphase system, or an complex system involving numerous materials and phases (e.g., a nuclear fuel element operating in nuclear reactor under normal or transient conditions, or a star, or a rocket motor, or a ballistic projectile colliding with a solid wall, . . . ).
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