Computational Physics combines physics, computer science and applied mathematics in order to provide scientific solutions to realistic and often complex problems. Areas of application include environmental modelling, nuclear clean up, the design of materials, ground water transport, the nature of elementary particles, medical imaging, and energy management.
Computational Physicists typically do the following:
• Write proposals and apply for research grants
• Do complex mathematical calculations to analyze physical and astronomical data, such as data that may indicate the existence of planets in distant solar systems
• Develop computer software to analyze and model data
• Write scientific papers that may be published in scholarly journals
• Present research findings at scientific conferences and lectures
Modern Computational Physicists are currently researching accelerator physics, astrophysics, fluid mechanics, plasma physics, and soft condense matter physics. You help model each system in order to truly understand their theoretical and physical properties.
Student Case Studies
£29,680 / yr average. The general range offered is £33,280 - £45,000 (dependent on experience).
Typically work a 9am to 5pm time period. Roles are often available in full time and part time positions.
From research, you can move to managerial positions and spend a large part of your time preparing budgets and schedules.
Skills Valued by Employers
• Thinking creatively
• A strong background in programming ideally HPC, Linux, FORTRAN, C++
• Interpreting and analyzing data
• Statistics and uncertainty quantification
• Ability to research and self-learn new physics areas, computational techniques, and code development practices
• Communication skills in the form of written reports or oral presentations.
• This work often requires the ability to focus for hours over the course of many days.
• Critical thinking skills to carefully evaluate your own work and the work of others.
• Curiosity and very keen to learn continuously throughout their career.
• Math skills to perform complex calculations involving calculus, geometry, algebra etc.
• Interpersonal skills to collaborate extensively with others in both academic and industrial research contexts.