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What Can Computational Physics do besides Numerical Integration?

  1. Jun 21, 2006 #1
    Are there many interesting computational physics problems out there? Are there any comet trajectories that will deviate from a standard ellipse? For some reason plotting the path of a baseball just doesn't spark my interest.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 21, 2006 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Some ideas:

    -- Modelling active feedback systems for snubbing skyscraper resonant vibrational modes in high winds and during earthquakes (or both at once!)

    -- Modelling bridge structures during the two same things.

    -- Modelling professional bicyclist wind drag reductions through bike design and apparrel design.

    -- Modelling turn stability in a MotoGP race bike.

    What topics in physics or sports or other competitions interest you?
  4. Jun 22, 2006 #3


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    Does looking for solutions to the 3D Ising model? Or how about a percolation problem, or a vortex simulation, or a band-structure calculation, or a molecular dynamics simulation, or a heat flow calculation, or a diffusion problem, or ... ?

    Did you think of maybe trying Google? Here's a few links to Computational Physics courses and books:

    http://www.cmth.ph.ic.ac.uk/angus/Lectures/compphys/ [Broken]
    http://www.physics.orst.edu/~rubin/CPbook/partII.html [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  5. Jun 22, 2006 #4

    Claude Bile

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    The infamous game of life...here is a link to a Java version.


    This 'game' actually orginated from studies on complex behaviour - a close relative to the field of chaos. Complexity is the study of the emergence of complex behaviour from simple rules and from what little I have studied of it, it is pretty fascinating stuff.

  6. Jun 24, 2006 #5
    Well, one needs such techniques to solve any non linear differential equation or any such equation for multi particle systems. So, to study ANY physical system in a realistic manner (this means : incorporating enough variables) one requires such methods

    So take your pick...

  7. Jun 24, 2006 #6


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    Yes. Numerical simulation is becoming more elaborate. There is a joint program between Argonne National Lab, Purdue University and several other organizations to develop the next generation of simulators for nuclear reactors with much greater resolution. It will use a 45 group neutron transport code coupled with a CFD (computational fluid dynamics) code. It could be taken a step further with the integration of a FEM thermo-mechanical code.

    Multiphysics codes are now quite common, e.g. COMSOL and FEMLAB.

    Like Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, which got caught by Jupiter?


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