DO NOT USE THIS TAG just because the question requires a computation!

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10
votes
3answers
1k views

How efficient is a desktop computer?

As I understand it (and admittedly it's a weak grasp), a computer processes information irreversibly (AND gates, for example), and therefore has some minimum entropy increase associated with its ...
24
votes
1answer
910 views

Can lightning be used to solve NP-complete problems?

I'm a MS/BS computer science guy who is wondering about why lightning can't (or can?) be used to solve NP complete problems efficiently, but I don't understand the physics behind lightning, so I'm ...
12
votes
8answers
2k views

Software for physics calculations

What is some good free software for doing physics calculations? I'm mainly interested in symbolic computation (something like Mathematica, but free).
2
votes
1answer
428 views

How is acceleration computed in the leap-frog algorithm in computer simulations of particles?

I am reading the book Computer Simulation of Liquids by Allen and Tildesley (here is another link). On page 80, the authors describe the leap-frog algorithm, which is used extensively in molecular ...
5
votes
3answers
187 views

Is it wasteful to use a heating element, instead of doing useful work?

Consider a computer CPU consuming electrical energy to perform calculations and consequently emitting heat. Assumption: That a CPU consuming x Watts of power, emits the same amount of heat as an ...
19
votes
5answers
2k views

What do theoretical physicists need from computer scientists?

I recently co-authored a paper (not online yet unfortunately) with some chemists that essentially provided answers to the question, "What do chemists need from computer scientists?" This included the ...
1
vote
2answers
223 views

Quantum XOR: How do you generalize it?

Consider the classical XOR Gate: Given a 2 bit system: $G = [u_1, u_2]$ $$XOR(G) = (u_1 + u_2) \ mod \ 2$$ Is the following a good generalizaiton of a Quantum XOR Gate: Given a 2-qubit system: ...