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Sep
21
comment What do theoretical physicists need from computer scientists?
@Peter After reading my writing again, I can see what you disagreed with. I removed the second paragraph, which was saying that algorithm analysis is not useful. I meant this only in the very narrow context I was dealing with, and even then it wasn't well explained. I still think that faster algorithms wouldn't solve the problems posed here, but of course they would help.
Sep
21
comment What do theoretical physicists need from computer scientists?
@Joe: Yes, but in the very next sentence he asks about practical problems, which was to me an indication that he was looking for answers from both the theoretical and applied points of view. Also, to clarify, I was not taking computation and computer science as synonymous, but I do have to admit I don't know much about what theoretical computer science consists of beyond, say, Hopcroft & Ullman. The theoretical computer scientists here do research in things like biological computing, which is, as far as I can tell, not what most people mean when they talk about theoretical computer science.
Sep
21
comment What do theoretical physicists need from computer scientists?
While I certainly like this answer, I don't find any indication in the question that Aaron is intending for it to be mostly directed towards the area of theoretical computer science; he even asks about "creation of practical tools". Of course the questioner is a theoretical computer scientist, but from what I can tell the question is equally about all branches of computer science.
Sep
21
comment What do theoretical physicists need from computer scientists?
Also, let me add that it's great to see such a notable researcher on this site. If you could write up your own experiences in greater detail as an answer, I'm sure it would be highly appreciated by everyone here.
Sep
21
comment What do theoretical physicists need from computer scientists?
While I can't disagree that it would be nice to speed these up, considering the amount of work that was put into optimizing every aspect of the particular codes I worked with (by professional programmers as well as physicists), I'd be surprised if they could be sped up more than linearly. While a speed up of a million times would certainly increase the quality of the simulation, in this case the system is intrinsically chaotic and even a million times more computation wouldn't get you that far. In such complicated systems, data-driven theory seems to be the best way to approach it.
Sep
20
comment What do theoretical physicists need from computer scientists?
I mentioned machine learning in a broader context, see for instance the last sentence. I can't claim to be knowledgeable of anything in the field except a little bit on neural networks, which is why the answer almost exclusively discusses them. I would agree that there is much beyond neural networks to be gained, but I don't know quite what it is.
Sep
20
comment What do theoretical physicists need from computer scientists?
Alright, I must admit that this doesn't exactly fit your comment on Michael's post, but I think it's a start.
Sep
20
answered What do theoretical physicists need from computer scientists?
Sep
16
awarded  Scholar
Sep
16
accepted Why should one expect closed timelike curves to be impossible in quantum gravity?
Sep
16
accepted How Fundamental is Spin-Orbit Coupling to Topological Insulators?
Sep
16
comment How Fundamental is Spin-Orbit Coupling to Topological Insulators?
I see. I probably misunderstood because I'm not coming from a condensed matter perspective and Kramers theorem is not something I was well-acquainted with. I think this direction should be sufficient to begin reading on the subject, and hopefully correcting my misinterpretation.
Sep
16
accepted What are the justifying foundations of statistical mechanics without appealing to the ergodic hypothesis?
Sep
16
comment What are the justifying foundations of statistical mechanics without appealing to the ergodic hypothesis?
Alright, after rereading it seems to me that you are claiming that the standard foundations of statistical mechanics do not invoke the ergodic hypothesis at all, and that the emphasis on it is the fault of poor pedagogy rather than a bad choice of fundamental principles and postulates. I misread that earlier. In any case, this fully and completely answers the question, so I've accepted it.
Sep
16
asked How Fundamental is Spin-Orbit Coupling to Topological Insulators?
Sep
15
comment What are the justifying foundations of statistical mechanics without appealing to the ergodic hypothesis?
I appreciate the in-depth response, and it certainly answers most of my question. As Slaviks suggests, I was also interested in what are the right starting points. Anything along those lines (even if just pointing to a reference where foundations are discussed thoroughly) would be appreciated. I wasn't aware the ergodic hypothesis could mean two different things. I've always seen it as the statement you chose. For the moment I haven't accepted this yet, but I plan to do so later today.
Sep
14
asked What are the justifying foundations of statistical mechanics without appealing to the ergodic hypothesis?
Jul
12
awarded  Student
Jul
12
asked Why should one expect closed timelike curves to be impossible in quantum gravity?