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Read more about COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS: A Practical Introduction to Computational Physics and Scientific Computing (using C++) - Second Edition

COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS: A Practical Introduction to Computational Physics and Scientific Computing (using C++) - Second Edition

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Konstantinosn N. Anagnostopoulos, Athens, Greece

Copyright Year: 2016

ISBN 13: 9781365583384

Publisher: National Technical University of Athens

Language: English

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Table of Contents

  • Foreword to the Second Edition
  • Foreward to the First Edition
  • 1. The Computer
  • 2. Kinematics
  • 3. Logistic Map
  • 4. Motion of a Particle
  • 5. Planar Motion
  • 6. Motion in Space
  • 7. Electrostatics
  • 8. Diffusion Equation
  • 9. The Anharmonic Oscillator
  • 10. Time Independent Schrodinger Equation
  • 11. The Random Walker
  • 12. Motet Carlo Simulations
  • 13. Simulation of the d = 2 Ising Model
  • 14. Critical Exponents
  • Bibliography

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About the Book

This book is an introduction to the computational methods used in physics, but also in other scientific fields. It is addressed to an audience that has already been exposed to the introductory level of college physics, usually taught during the first two years of an undergraduate program in science and engineering. It assumes no prior knowledge of numerical analysis, programming or computers and teaches whatever is necessary for the solution of the problems addressed in the text. It can be used as a textbook in introductory computational physics or scientific computing classes.

The book starts with very simple problems in particle motion and ends with an in-depth discussion of advanced techniques used in Monte Carlo simulations in statistical mechanics. The level of instruction rises slowly, while discussing problems like the diffusion equation, electrostatics on the plane, quantum mechanics and random walks. All the material can be taught in two semesters, but a selection of topics can form the material of a one semester course. The book aims to provide the students with the background and the experience needed in order to advance to high performance computing projects in science and engineering. It puts emphasis on hands--on programming of numerical code but also on the production, analysis and interpretation of data. But it also tries to keep the students motivated by considering interesting applications in physics, like chaos, quantum mechanics, special relativity and the physics of phase transitions.

There is a C++ and a Fortran edition for the core programming. Data analysis is performed using the powerful tools of the GNU/Linux environment. All the necessary software is open source and freely available.

The book and the accompanying software are given under a Creative Commons License/GNU public License as a service to the community. It can be used freely as a whole, or any part of it, in any form, by anyone. There is no official distribution of hard copies, but you can use the printing service of your preference in order produce any number of copies you need for you and/or your students. For the lazy ones, a very nice and cheap paperback can be purchaced from, and conventional bookstores. The ebook can be read in most electronic devices like your PC, tablet or favorite ebook reader and it is freely available from the book's website.

About the Contributors


Konstantinos Anagnostopoulos was educated at the University of Athens and at Syracuse University where he obtained his Ph.D. in theoretical physics in 1993. He has been a researcher at the Institute for Fundamental Theory at the University of Florida, Gainesville and at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen from 1993 to 1999. He held a visiting professor position at the University of Crete from 1999-2004, and in 2004 he moved to Athens where he has been a member of the faculty of the Physics Department of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) ever since. His area of expertise is computational physics with an emphasis in theoretical high energy physics, string theory and quantum gravity. He is a world expert in Monte Carlo simulations of such systems, and he has participated in projects run onto the world's largest supercomputers. At NTUA he founded three undergraduate computational physics and scientific computing courses at the senior and sophomore level, which he has been teaching since 2004. The audience of those courses are students interested in theoretical physics, but also students majoring in a wider area of applied mathematics, physics and engineering.

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