Computational Physics: Problem Solving with Python, Edition 3

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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).
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About the author

Rubin H. Landau is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Physics at Oregon State University in Corvallis. He has been teaching courses in computational physics for over 25 years, was a founder of the Computational Physics Degree Program and the Northwest Alliance for Computational Science and Engineering, and has been using computers in theoretical physics research ever since graduate school. He is author of more than 90 refereed publications and has also authored books on Quantum Mechanics, Workstations and Supercomputers, the first two editions of Computational Physics, and a First Course in Scientific Computing.

Manuel J. Paez is a professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia. He has been teaching courses in Modern Physics, Nuclear Physics, Computational Physics, Mathematical Physics as well as programming in Fortran, Pascal and C languages. He and Professor Landau have conducted pioneering computational investigations in the interactions of mesons and nucleons with nuclei.

Cristian C. Bordeianu teaches Physics and Computer Science at the Military College "?tefan cel Mare" in Campulung Moldovenesc, Romania. He has over twenty years of experience in developing educational software for high school and university curricula. He is winner of the 2008 Undergraduate Computational Engineering and Science Award by the US Department of Energy and the Krell Institute. His current research interests include chaotic dynamics in nuclear multifragmentation and plasma of quarks and gluons.
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Additional Information

Publisher
John Wiley & Sons
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Published on
Jul 10, 2015
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Pages
644
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ISBN
9783527684694
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Physics / General
Science / Physics / Mathematical & Computational
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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In his monumental 1687 work, Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, known familiarly as the Principia, Isaac Newton laid out in mathematical terms the principles of time, force, and motion that have guided the development of modern physical science. Even after more than three centuries and the revolutions of Einsteinian relativity and quantum mechanics, Newtonian physics continues to account for many of the phenomena of the observed world, and Newtonian celestial dynamics is used to determine the orbits of our space vehicles.

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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).
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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