Computer Simulations: The Third Way of Doing Science
Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 6:00 PM
San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Public Lecture by Gabriel Stoltz, Ecole des Ponts & Inria Rocquencourt, France.
Computer simulations: the third way of doing science
Science has progressed over the years through experiment and theory. Although they remain of fundamental importance, they are nowadays complemented by numerical simulations -- sometimes called "numerical experiments". It can even be said that the numerical results obtained by researchers more and more influence the way science is done: many new theories are now first tested on computers before an experimental device is set up to confirm them. It is also often the case that intriguing numerical evidence suggests a new theory.
In this talk, I will present some ideas underpinning the numerical simulation of matter at the atomic scale (the so-called molecular dynamics), and illustrate them with examples from various scientific fields ranging from biology to physics of condensed matter. I will also highlight the importance of mathematics in the development of reliable simulation tools.
All attendees are invited to join the wine reception which will follow this talk