Introduction to Computer Simulation MethodsEdit

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We are pleased to announce the publication of the third edition of our text, Introduction to Computer Simulation Methods by Harvey Gould, Jan Tobochnik, and Wolfgang Christian, Addison-Wesley (2006). The text introduces Java programming by example in the context of learning physics. It contains many novel applications, is accessible to a wide range of readers, develops good programming habits, and encourages student experimentation. Our goal is to teach students enough tools so that they can use computer simulations as a method of discovery in physics.Edit

ISBN: 0-8053-7758-1Edit

ISBN: 0-8053-7759-XEdit

The computer simulation textbook is complemented by the Open Source Physics Users Guide.Edit

See reviews by Stephen Weppner, "Computational methods with depth and flair," Computing in Science and Engineering 10 (5) 5-8 (2008) [1], and Eric Ayars, Am. J. Phys. 74 (7), 652-653 (2006). Edit

Please send suggestions and comments to Edit

Harvey Gould, Jan Tobochnik, or Wolfgang Christian.Edit

Much of the material at this site has been developed with support by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.Edit

This course is an introduction to the intellectual enterprises of computer science. Topics include algorithms (their design, implementation, and analysis); software development (abstraction, encapsulation, data structures, debugging, and testing); architecture of computers (low-level data representation and instruction processing);


computer systems (programming languages, compilers, operating systems, and databases); and computers in the real world (networks, websites, security, forensics, and cryptography). The course teaches students how to think more carefully and how to solve problems more effectively. Problem sets involve extensive programming in C as well as PHP and JavaScript.


The hardware are the parts of the computer itself including the Central Processing Unit (CPU) and related microchips and micro-circuitry, keyboards, monitors, case and drives (hard, CD, DVD, floppy, optical, tape, etc...). Other extra parts called peripheral components or devices include mouse, printers, modems, scanners, digital cameras and cards (sound, colour, video) etc... Together they are often referred to as a personal computer.Edit

Central Processing Unit - Though the term relates to a specific chip or the processor a CPU's performance is determined by the rest of the computer's circuitry and chips.Edit

Currently the Pentium chip or processor, made by Intel, is the most common CPU though there are many other companies that produce processors for personal computers. Examples are the CPU made by Motorola and AMD. Edit

Computer(or) PC


With faster processors the clock speed becomes more important. Compared to some of the first computers which operated at below 30 megahertz (MHz) the Pentium chips began at 75 MHz in the late 1990's. Speeds now exceed 3000+ MHz or 3 gigahertz (GHz) and different chip manufacturers use different measuring standards (check your local computer store for the latest speed). It depends on the circuit board that the chip is housed in, or the motherboard, as to whether you are able to upgrade to a faster chip. The motherboard contains the circuitry and connections that allow the various component to communicate with each other. Edit

Though there were many computers using many different processors previous to this I call the 80286 processor the advent of home computers as these were the processors that made computers available for the average person. Using a processor before the 286 involved learning a proprietary system and software. Most new software are being developed for the newest and fastest processors so it can be difficult to use an older computer system.Edit


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