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 What is computational Physics?

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PostSubject: What is computational Physics?   Thu Sep 03, 2009 8:28 am

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 have complete analytic solutions. In cases where the systems only have numerical solutions, computational methods are used.

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