Top Computational Physics Programs?

michaelgrosner
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:27 pm

Top Computational Physics Programs?

Postby michaelgrosner » Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:36 pm

Hello everyone,

A little background context before I ask my question: I graduated in May 2009 from a small-ish Northeastern liberal arts university not really known for physics but got really involved with research with a couple of professors while at school, most of which involved Fortran and Mathematica.

I was wondering what are the top PhD grad school schools are for computational physics. It is my understanding from conversations with professors that there is technically "no such thing as computational physics," as in the hard part is obviously the physics then computation is somewhat analogous to experiment. I was recommended nuclear physics as that's computation heavy.

I suppose I'm looking at a program in the intersection between computer science and physics (i.e. a lot of scientific programming).

Any ideas?

delton
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:22 pm

Re: Top Computational Physics Programs?

Postby delton » Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:59 pm

You should probably think about what area of physics you would like to do computational physics in.

Computer simulations are used in nearly all fields, but there are some fields that seem to have most of their research done with computers.

Based on what I've seen:

Biophysics : at my institution this is all computational. Its modeling protein folding and cellular dynamics with quantum physics.

Astrophysics : this field is extremely computational. One of the professors here runs simulations on interstellar medium and Magnetohydrodynamics. (plasma physics) . All the grad students in astrophysics are doing either data analysis or some kind of numerical simulation.

Lattice theory / QED and QCD : these fields are all extremely computational.

Also, its not really computational physics, but astrophysics and particle physics have a LOT of data analysis as well. (tons of data is being received from particle accelerators and telescopes, and needs to be reduced and analyzed)


Finally, if your're really interested in the theory of computation (designing better algorithms, etc), then you might want to look into computer science departments.




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