Computational Techniques in
Theoretical Physics

Computational methods:

Scientific understanding through analysis of mathematical
models on computers.

Advantage:

Insight.

Ability to deal with complex systems.

Cost decreasing, wider use.

Disadvantage:

Computer resource.

Difficulty in programming.

Theoretical methods:

Derivation of mathematical models logically from more fundamental
models or laws of nature.

Interpretation of a phenomenon by analytical study of mathematical
models.

Advange:

Disadvantage:

Restricted to simplified models.

Experimental methods:

Scientific test on real objects.

Advantage:

Disadvantage:

Few insight.

Increasing cost.

Computational methods become
advantageous when:

The problem at hand is too difficult
to do analytically.

An approximate theoretical result may
not be reliable, and it is necessary to check with a different method.

An experiment is not feasible or expensive.

Computational method has the flavors
of both theoretical and experimental methods.

Good understanding of theoretical background
of the subject to be investigated by computational method.

Analyses of results similar to analyzing
experimental data.

Any calculations of any systems using computers extensively
and using algorithms based on scientific principles
could be called computational science.

Computer analysis of the behavior of a system.

Systems obeying Newton's laws.

A few well established simulation methods

Illustration of methods by a few well studied examples

Familiarize with concepts by tutorials and homeworks, learn computer programming
by lab assignments
These are outlined in Module Outline.