What do climate change and quantum mechanics have in common?
Computer simulation is an essential approach for each, but both suffer
from the same seemingly insurmountable obstacle: straightforward
algorithms require exponentially large computer resources. For climate
change, the origin is chaos, which makes the tiniest errors huge over
time. For quantum mechanics, the origin is the huge number of
dimensions needed to describe a many particle quantum system.
Overcoming these obstacles requires clever algorithms. One of the
most powerful approaches, the Monte Carlo method, can be applied to
both climate simulation and quantum mechanics. In this talk I'll start
with the basic ideas of chaos and quantum mechanics, and proceed to
how one simulates them, what the problems are, and how they can be
overcome. A highlight will be a home movie where I demonstrate the
idea of chaos at a pool table.
Steven R. White is a Professor of Physics at the University of
California, Irvine. White is the Winner of the 2003 Aneesur Rahman
Prize in Computational Physics and is widely known as the inventor of
the density-matrix renormalization group that is one of the most
powerful methods for simulating quantum-mechanics.
To begin viewing slides, click on the first slide below. (Or, view as pdf.)
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