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The bridge between theoretical and experimental physics which utilizes numerical analysis, specifically through the use of software, to solve problems in physics. This tag is NOT intended for use in solving problems on paper. Please note that details of writing and/or debugging code is OFF-TOPIC and should be asked at either Computational Science, Code Review or Stack Overflow.

Questions with this tag should be about computational physics, which is the study of physical situations with the use of software (commercial or in-house). Computational physics covers a wide range of subjects, such as , , and , among many others.
This tag should not be applied if your question is about computing a value without the use of a computer (i.e., solving a problem with pen & paper).

Types of questions we can answer here

  • We can advise on numerical methods when tied to a physical problem and not a generic PDE or ODE (e.g., What methods would one use to solve diffusion problems?)
  • We can discuss scheme quality/limitations (e.g. What makes the original Murman-Cole scheme not conservative in transonic potential flows?)
  • We can discuss scheme design (e.g., How does one determine if a scheme is conservative?)

Types of questions we cannot answer here

  • We cannot answer programming questions (e.g., How does one implement X method for Y equation?)
  • We cannot debug code (e.g. I programmed Crank-Nicholson but it's not working, what did I do wrong?)
  • We cannot optimize code (My matrix inversion routine used for Crank-Nicholson is running slow, how can I speed it up?)
  • We cannot advise on libraries/languages/compilers/etc (e.g. Should I use PETSc or Trillinos for my code? or Is Fortran better for scientific programming?)
  • We cannot provide help for using software (e.g., How can I modify the cross-sections in geant4?)1
  • We cannot recommend software (e.g., What software can solve the diffusion equation?)

In general, if your question is about writing compiling, debugging or optimizing a piece of code or is about a specific language or library, then it is off topic on Physics but may be on-topic on programming-oriented Stack Exchange sites such as Computational Science, Code Review or StackOverflow.

1. In many cases, software developers provide a user forum that would be appropriate for such types of questions.