I am a beginner in computational physics but have a background in physics, math, and programming (from online courses, videos, and textbooks) and I would like to know how should I:

  • Approach and think of any general computational physics problem and how I might find a solution and apply it to a real-world physical experiment that implements the model with a physical device to test

I do not have any specific problem in mind right now (as I invalidated my previous physics issue and will not continue working on it, as seen in the comments).

Which textbooks and/or online courses or resources I could learn from that will help me with general computational physics problems and solutions. I would like to learn universal principles and rules of thumb and any seasoned tips from anyone here.

I am looking to use COMSOL for the simulations in case anyone was wondering which software I will use.

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    $\begingroup$ Before thinking about it as a computational problem, one should come up with the formulation at the level of underlying equations. For starters, some important questions to answer is whether the plasma is strongly or weakly collisional, strongly or weakly magnetized, etc. $\endgroup$ Feb 20 at 19:41
  • $\begingroup$ @MaximUmansky Thank you for your comment. I see your point. The electron gas that I plan to simulate is a gas with random trajectories (more or less) for the particles. Which means that there will be a lot of collisions. There will be most likely a large number of particles, which means that we cannot effectively calculate the Lorentz force on them from the ambient fields and electron-electron interactions/collisions, leading to a charge density or PIC formulation. Also, the charged particles will change trajectory because of the external fields acting on them. $\endgroup$ Feb 20 at 23:11
  • $\begingroup$ What are the parameters - density, temperature, spatial dimensions of this plasma? What are the time scales of interest? What is the magnitude of electric and magnetic fields? What sets those fields in the plasma? Is this hydrogen plasma or some other species? And, most importantly, what is the physics issue to investigate? $\endgroup$ Feb 20 at 23:48
  • $\begingroup$ @MaximUmansky I actually just found out that my physics issue has been invalidated since I found some flaws with it. I will edit my question and reframe it toward general computational physics problems. Thank you for giving me good examples of questions to ask myself. $\endgroup$ Feb 21 at 16:45


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