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Monte Carlo Method, What should a beginner do?

  1. Jan 9, 2008 #1
    Okay, as soon as I started inquiring about the study of particle accelerator I realize none of professors at my institution is working on this subject. Sadly, we don't even have a particle accelerator. Anyway, further inquiry into this subject led me to believe, I could study something of radiation transport. One thing led to another quiet randomly and now I've decided to spend my last semester studying Monte Carlo method. Don't ask me how the study of particle accelerator is related to Monte Carlo method cuz I don't really know! I hope to find it out myself.

    However, I couldn't find out how I should go about educating myself in Monte Carlo method. If anyone out who knows more about this can greatly help me out.

    Here's my background:
    The most relevant courses I studied is statistics (3 quarters) and probability theory (one quarter). I learned to use R, C++ (just a tiny bit) to do some statistical tests.

    So where should I start? Is there a bible book(like Griffith for EM) for a beginner which incorporates C/Matlab as a learning tool?

    Thanks for helping :shy:
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 9, 2008 #2


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    Er.. Now I'm puzzled, especially if you've read the link I gave in your other thread.

    I mentioned that there's very few schools that actually have courses in particle accelerators, even at the graduate level. What they have are standard courses for most students to take. That is why I gave you the link to the Particle Accelerator School! You actually can take courses here, and some time, you even get some assistance in terms of tuition/fee reimbursement over the summer. Most universities in the US will accept college credits from such courses (check with your adviser), even MIT, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, etc.... Most accelerator physicists and engineers got their degrees with supplements from taking such classes at PAS. The PAS was formed because of the fact that most schools do not have the resources or expertise to offer these specific classes on particle accelerators!

  4. Jan 9, 2008 #3

    Hi, Thanks for helping! I've checked the resources you provided earlier. However, it seems like the courses are offered in January 14-25 at UC Santa Cruz. I'm taking my own classes from a place just about 10 hours driving to UCSC. :mad: I am wondering, just how does a full time student from other institution can attend their courses?

    I figured, if time permits, I might participate during the summer vacation time.

    So for now, Monte Carlo! Any comments on this Zz?:smile:
  5. Jan 9, 2008 #4


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    They have summer schools!

  6. Jan 11, 2008 #5
    have you read the wikipedia article on monte carlo? that should give you some sources to look through
    have you simply googled it?

    what exactly are you trying to accomplish by studying monte carlo?
    do you have experience with computer programming? this would be helpful for monte carlo as well as accelerator studies
  7. Jan 11, 2008 #6
    throw some hot dogs at some lines and calculate pi
  8. Jan 11, 2008 #7
    MCNP is a Monte Carlo code and can be used (from what I've been told) in particle acclerator applications.
  9. Jan 11, 2008 #8


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    There is no such thing as THE Monte Carlo method. There are many.
    MC is just a name given to numerical methods that somehow uses stochastic methods to solve problems.
    You can use MC methods to solve PDEs,ODEs, integrate etc.
    It is also possible to use MC methods to study inherently stochastic problems; i.e. brownian motion. In this case you simply use a random number generator to get a value for the "kick" at each time step, by repeating this many times you can then calculate the average trajectory.
    There are many other examples....
    The point is that you need to be more specific about which kind or problem you want to solve.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2008
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