Computational physics may be broadly defined as 'the science of using computers to assist in the solution of physical problems, and to further physics research'.
Computers now play a role in almost every branch of physics and the following list provides some examples of areas that lie within the scope of computational physics:
The huge increase in the power of computers in recent years has made an impact on the role of computational physics. In some cases, entire problems can now be solved computationally without the need for any experimental input. Computer graphics and visualisation now play an important role in the scientific process as they can provide a greater understanding of physical processes. Advances in microelectronics, numerical analysis and computer science all impact on computational physics and so, it is important that practitioners of the subject are aware of developments in these fields.
The membership of the Computational Physics Group is currently around 1150. It includes those working in all the areas outlined above and is drawn from industry, academic institutions and government research organisations.
The Group arranges specialised meetings on topics such as condensed matter simulations, applications of parallel computing. algebraic computing, image processing and computers in physics teaching, often in collaborations with other groups or organisations external to the Institute. The Group regularly organises symposia at the annual Condensed Matter and Materials Physics Conference (CMMP) and at Congress. The subjects covered at these symposia are often chosen to maintain cross-links between members of the group working in different fields. The Group has representation on the European Physics Society allowing international co-ordination.