2 Replies - 994 Views - Last Post: 18 February 2012 - 04:03 PM

#1 steph1389  Icon User is offline

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Physics Programming

Posted 15 February 2012 - 04:47 PM

Hello, I am quite new on these forums but I would really need your help. I am not completely sure that this is the right section, but as I am in university at the moment, then why notin the student zone.

I have one passion in life mostly, and thats physics. But, I also failed at it in my A-Levels, in my eyes anyway as I obtain only a D grade. I am currently doing a Computing Mickey Mouse Degree; Computer Games Technology, but I would love to know how I would know what would be required of me if I was to become a Physics Programmer? Would I need a Physics Degree or any other major Qualification?

Thanks for looking and hope you can help me,
Stephan.

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Replies To: Physics Programming

#2 ishkabible  Icon User is offline

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Re: Physics Programming

Posted 15 February 2012 - 06:32 PM

computational physics is a whole field of study in and of itself; people get PhDs in this stuff. Generally it would mean having a dual major but so long as you can show you know what your doing in both arenas a degree in either would suffice.

I would be interested hear what Dogstopper has to say :) he wrote an Android application that accurately calculated the radiation of certain reactions(or maybe collisions?) of particles "radioactivity of various samples that are irradiated at the Spallation Neutron Source". I believe he's an intern at Oak Ridge and that his dad works at Oak Ridge too.

yup, see here

This post has been edited by ishkabible: 15 February 2012 - 06:34 PM

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#3 alias120  Icon User is offline

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Re: Physics Programming

Posted 18 February 2012 - 04:03 PM

As ishkabible said, a dual degree would certainly help from an academic standpoint. Generally though, many physicists do have an intermediate understanding or programming. Many higher level courses will involve working with MATLAB or some cheaper/free alternative.

My suggestion would be to either dual major, or minor in CS with a major in Physics. Aside from your school work, it would benefit you to begin writing programs that model mathematical concepts. Write a program to find the first order derivative of y = x^2. Write a version that uses the power rule to find the derivative, and then spice things up by using epsilon/delta to proof check your result. Once you do that, try to generalize your program for first order derivatives of simple quadratic forms.

I personally enjoy the following website for things of this nature -> http://projecteuler.net/
I am currently majoring in physics, but was a CS major before hand. So I understand how it can be a difficult decision. The website above is a great place to get some experience programming, and at the same time learn how to represent a mathematical or physical idea through your code.

-alias

This post has been edited by alias120: 18 February 2012 - 04:04 PM

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