Computational Physics

Computational physics jobs involve calculations and formulas. It combines physics, computer science and applied mathematics in order to provide scientific solutions to realistic and often complex problems.

 

Summary

Areas of application include environmental modeling, nuclear cleanup, the design of materials, ground water transport, the nature of elementary particles, medical imaging, and energy management. A computational physicist understands not only the workings of computers and the relevant science and mathematics, but also how computer algorithms and simulations connect the two.

Computational physics careers appear to be part of theoretical physics, but some consider it to be a separate discipline. Mathematical physics is different from computational physics because computational physics relies on a quantitative theory that already exits. The Journal of Mathematical Physics defines its subject matter as the "the application of mathematics to problems in physics and the development of mathematical methods suitable for such applications and for the formulation of physical theories."

The Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) program at the U.S. Department of Energy promotes careers in computational physics and the use of tools to analyze, model, simulate, and predict complex phenomena important to the DOE. In 2001, it began the Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) program that supports many computational physics jobs. The program is focused on advancing scientific discovery using supercomputers performing trillions of calculations per second (tera‐scale). SciDACprojects are aimed at "developing future energy sources, studying global climate change, accelerating research in designing new materials, improving environmental cleanup methods, and understanding physics from the tiniest particles to massive supernovae explosions."

 

Educational Requirements

A physics degree is computational physics can qualify students for entry-level positions.

 

Average Salary 2013

$79,000

 

Want to know more?

Wise Geek-Computational Physics

SciDAC

Physics Today

 

Get Connected

Belonging to professional organizations & LinkedIn groups can provide you with networking, informational interviewing, & job shadowing opportunities, as well as assist you with finding internships and jobs.

LinkedIn Computational Physics group

APS Computational Physics Unit

List of Professional Organizations

The Career Connector for Purdue College of Science Students & Alumni

 

Get Experience

Research & Internship Listings

 

Companies who hire Physics Students

Tessella

Logica (Now a part of CGI)

IBM

 

Find a Job

LinkedIn Physics Jobs group

Job Search Sites Related to Your Major

 

Information retrieved from https://www.callutheran.edu/college-arts-sciences/physics/, http://career.oregonstate.edu/major/computational-physics and http://www.simplyhired.com/salaries-k-computational-physics-jobs.html

Purdue University College of Science, 150 N. University St, West Lafayette, IN 47907 • Phone: (765) 494-1729, Fax: (765) 494-1736

Student Advising Office: (765) 494-1771, Fax: (765) 496-3015 • Science IT, (765) 494-4488

© 2015 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact the College of Science Webmaster.