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Physics and Computer Science

Cogs and nebula clouds

Simulating Reality

Computational Thinking has changed the way scientists do science and physics is no exception. It has given physicists a powerful new way to explore the way the universe works. Once they have equations for their theories they can turn them in to algorithms and then simulate reality: from Newton’s Laws to the expansion of the universe. Experiments on the models can help them refine their understanding.

Computer Scientists make use of Physics too. Want to create a game, then you will need a physics engine to determine how objects in the game behave. If you are creating computer animations or Computer generated characters for the film industry then you will need to understand how light behaves and will need a computer program that works out how light behaves.

The Web of course was also invented by a computer scientist working at CERN in Switzerland: the largest particle physics lab in the world. It was needed to help the scientists work together and share information. Physics experiments also generate vast amounts of data so physicists need computer scientists to help there too, to help them organise and make sense of it all.

Sound, Light, Force: Algorithms

Hooke versus Newton

A rainbow spring Standing on the Toes of Giants

Quantum computers and freaky physics

Floating linked particles Making truly strange computers

Engineering a cloak of invisibility

Rainbow prism Bend light and disappear

Pots fixing problematic acoustics

ripples Why are pots built into church walls?

Faster than a speeding bullet

Bloodhound Bloodhound: beating the land speed record?

Hooked on Science

Hooke's drawings The Physics of Robert Hooke

How fast is faster than sound?

Blue SOund Wave A way to work it out yourself