A Survey of Computational Physics: Introductory Computational Science

Princeton University Press
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Computational physics is a rapidly growing subfield of computational science, in large part because computers can solve previously intractable problems or simulate natural processes that do not have analytic solutions. The next step beyond Landau's First Course in Scientific Computing and a follow-up to Landau and Páez's Computational Physics, this text presents a broad survey of key topics in computational physics for advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students, including new discussions of visualization tools, wavelet analysis, molecular dynamics, and computational fluid dynamics. By treating science, applied mathematics, and computer science together, the book reveals how this knowledge base can be applied to a wider range of real-world problems than computational physics texts normally address.

Designed for a one- or two-semester course, A Survey of Computational Physics will also interest anyone who wants a reference on or practical experience in the basics of computational physics.

  • Accessible to advanced undergraduates
  • Real-world problem-solving approach
  • Java codes and applets integrated with text
  • Companion Web site includes videos of lectures
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About the author

Rubin H. Landau is professor of physics and director of the computational physics program at Oregon State University. Manuel José Páez is professor of physics at Universidad de Antioquia in Colombia. Cristian C. Bordeianu, a PhD candidate at University of Bucharest, is vice principal at Technological High School 1 in Suceava, Romania.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Oct 30, 2011
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Pages
688
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ISBN
9781400841189
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Language
English
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Genres
Computers / Computer Science
Computers / Mathematical & Statistical Software
Science / Physics / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Rubin H. Landau
The use of computation and simulation has become an essential part of the scientific process. Being able to transform a theory into an algorithm requires significant theoretical insight, detailed physical and mathematical understanding, and a working level of competency in programming.

This upper-division text provides an unusually broad survey of the topics of modern computational physics from a multidisciplinary, computational science point of view. Its philosophy is rooted in learning by doing (assisted by many model programs), with new scientific materials as well as with the Python programming language. Python has become very popular, particularly for physics education and large scientific projects. It is probably the easiest programming language to learn for beginners, yet is also used for mainstream scientific computing, and has packages for excellent graphics and even symbolic manipulations.

The text is designed for an upper-level undergraduate or beginning graduate course and provides the reader with the essential knowledge to understand computational tools and mathematical methods well enough to be successful. As part of the teaching of using computers to solve scientific problems, the reader is encouraged to work through a sample problem stated at the beginning of each chapter or unit, which involves studying the text, writing, debugging and running programs, visualizing the results, and the expressing in words what has been done and what can be concluded. Then there are exercises and problems at the end of each chapter for the reader to work on their own (with model programs given for that purpose).
Rubin H. Landau
The use of computation and simulation has become an essential part of the scientific process. Being able to transform a theory into an algorithm requires significant theoretical insight, detailed physical and mathematical understanding, and a working level of competency in programming.

This upper-division text provides an unusually broad survey of the topics of modern computational physics from a multidisciplinary, computational science point of view. Its philosophy is rooted in learning by doing (assisted by many model programs), with new scientific materials as well as with the Python programming language. Python has become very popular, particularly for physics education and large scientific projects. It is probably the easiest programming language to learn for beginners, yet is also used for mainstream scientific computing, and has packages for excellent graphics and even symbolic manipulations.

The text is designed for an upper-level undergraduate or beginning graduate course and provides the reader with the essential knowledge to understand computational tools and mathematical methods well enough to be successful. As part of the teaching of using computers to solve scientific problems, the reader is encouraged to work through a sample problem stated at the beginning of each chapter or unit, which involves studying the text, writing, debugging and running programs, visualizing the results, and the expressing in words what has been done and what can be concluded. Then there are exercises and problems at the end of each chapter for the reader to work on their own (with model programs given for that purpose).
Rubin H. Landau
The use of computation and simulation has become an essential part of the scientific process. Being able to transform a theory into an algorithm requires significant theoretical insight, detailed physical and mathematical understanding, and a working level of competency in programming.

This upper-division text provides an unusually broad survey of the topics of modern computational physics from a multidisciplinary, computational science point of view. Its philosophy is rooted in learning by doing (assisted by many model programs), with new scientific materials as well as with the Python programming language. Python has become very popular, particularly for physics education and large scientific projects. It is probably the easiest programming language to learn for beginners, yet is also used for mainstream scientific computing, and has packages for excellent graphics and even symbolic manipulations.

The text is designed for an upper-level undergraduate or beginning graduate course and provides the reader with the essential knowledge to understand computational tools and mathematical methods well enough to be successful. As part of the teaching of using computers to solve scientific problems, the reader is encouraged to work through a sample problem stated at the beginning of each chapter or unit, which involves studying the text, writing, debugging and running programs, visualizing the results, and the expressing in words what has been done and what can be concluded. Then there are exercises and problems at the end of each chapter for the reader to work on their own (with model programs given for that purpose).
Rubin H. Landau
The use of computation and simulation has become an essential part of the scientific process. Being able to transform a theory into an algorithm requires significant theoretical insight, detailed physical and mathematical understanding, and a working level of competency in programming.

This upper-division text provides an unusually broad survey of the topics of modern computational physics from a multidisciplinary, computational science point of view. Its philosophy is rooted in learning by doing (assisted by many model programs), with new scientific materials as well as with the Python programming language. Python has become very popular, particularly for physics education and large scientific projects. It is probably the easiest programming language to learn for beginners, yet is also used for mainstream scientific computing, and has packages for excellent graphics and even symbolic manipulations.

The text is designed for an upper-level undergraduate or beginning graduate course and provides the reader with the essential knowledge to understand computational tools and mathematical methods well enough to be successful. As part of the teaching of using computers to solve scientific problems, the reader is encouraged to work through a sample problem stated at the beginning of each chapter or unit, which involves studying the text, writing, debugging and running programs, visualizing the results, and the expressing in words what has been done and what can be concluded. Then there are exercises and problems at the end of each chapter for the reader to work on their own (with model programs given for that purpose).
Rubin H. Landau
This book offers a new approach to introductory scientific computing. It aims to make students comfortable using computers to do science, to provide them with the computational tools and knowledge they need throughout their college careers and into their professional careers, and to show how all the pieces can work together. Rubin Landau introduces the requisite mathematics and computer science in the course of realistic problems, from energy use to the building of skyscrapers to projectile motion with drag. He is attentive to how each discipline uses its own language to describe the same concepts and how computations are concrete instances of the abstract.

Landau covers the basics of computation, numerical analysis, and programming from a computational science perspective. The first part of the printed book uses the problem-solving environment Maple as its context, with the same material covered on the accompanying CD as both Maple and Mathematica programs; the second part uses the compiled language Java, with equivalent materials in Fortran90 on the CD; and the final part presents an introduction to LaTeX replete with sample files.

Providing the essentials of computing, with practical examples, A First Course in Scientific Computing adheres to the principle that science and engineering students learn computation best while sitting in front of a computer, book in hand, in trial-and-error mode. Not only is it an invaluable learning text and an essential reference for students of mathematics, engineering, physics, and other sciences, but it is also a consummate model for future textbooks in computational science and engineering courses.

A broad spectrum of computing tools and examples that can be used throughout an academic career Practical computing aimed at solving realistic problems Both symbolic and numerical computations A multidisciplinary approach: science + math + computer science Maple and Java in the book itself; Mathematica, Fortran90, Maple and Java on the accompanying CD in an interactive workbook format
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