Since it was founded in 1986, UGA’s Center for Simulational Physics has played an important role in the use and development of computer simulation techniques. Solving problems often intractable from a theoretical perspective or impractical for experimentation, physicists turn to computational simulation to understand fundamental physical phenomena.
Crude computer simulation techniques date back to the 1940s at Los Alamos National Laboratory. But the center at UGA was the very first such facility in the world devoted entirely to developing and using advanced computer simulation algorithms.
“In 1983 we started the program in simulational physics, and in 1986 we were approved as a university center,” said David P. Landau, Distinguished Research Professor of Physics and founding director of the CSP. “The next year we started this workshop series, and it really became a meeting place for simulationists from around the world because there was no other meeting place.”
The CSP workshop has continued every year since, bringing dozens of visiting scholars and hundreds of students to study at UGA and making the university a world leader in computer simulation studies of condensed matter physics.
“We continue to have students and faculty from around the globe coming to study at UGA on fellowships from their nations and universities,” Landau said. “They are involved in the learning process at every level—exchanging of ideas, carrying out research that has enriched our environment and providing research people power for the university.”
The CSP has broadened its interests and now includes computational astrophysics and computational biophysics.
The 29th annual Center for Simulational Physics Workshop at UGA will take place the week of Feb. 22. Hosted by the UGA Center for Simulational Physics, it will be held in Room 322 of the physics building. The meeting is open to the UGA community, but registration is required. For more information, including the complete schedule of invited speakers, visit csp.uga.edu.