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Computer Simulation Methods in Theoretical Physics

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The new and exciting field of computational science, and in particular sim- ulational science, has seen rapid change since the first edition of this book came out. New methods have been found, fresh points of view have emerged, and features hidden so far have been uncovered. Almost all the methods presented in the first addition have seen such a development, though the basics have remained the same. But not just the methods have undergone change, also the algorithms. While the scalar computer was in prevalent use at the time the book was conceived, today pipeline computers are widely used to perform simulations. This brings with it some change in the algorithms. A second edition presents the possibility of incorporating many of these developments. I have tried to pay tribute to as many as pos- sible without writing a new book.

In this second edition several changes have been made to keep the text abreast with developments. Changes have been made in the style of presen- tation as well as to the contents. Each chapter is now preceded by a brief summary of the contents and concepts of that particular chapter. If you like, it is the chapter in a nutshell. It is hoped that by condensing a chapter to the main points the reader will find a quick way into the presented ma- terial.

Computational methods pertaining to many branches of science, such as physics, physical chemistry and biology, are presented. The text is primarily intended for third-year undergraduate or first-year graduate students. However, active researchers wanting to learn about the new techniques of computational science should also benefit from reading the book. It treats all major methods, including the powerful molecular dynamics method, Brownian dynamics and the Monte-Carlo method. All methods are treated equally from a theroetical point of view. In each case the underlying theory is presented and then practical algorithms are displayed, giving the reader the opportunity to apply these methods directly. For this purpose exercises are included. The book also features complete program listings ready for application.

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