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2021 CCBM Virtual Session: Introduction to Computer Simulations in Physics, from Forest Fires to Salad Dressing

July 12, 2021 - 11:00am to July 15, 2021 - 12:00pm

Introduction to Computer Simulations in Physics, from Forest Fires to Salad Dressing 

Presented by: Daniel Beller, Assistant Professor, Physics, University of California, Merced

We will have a hands-on introduction to how computer simulations are used in scientific research, focusing on a versatile kind of simulation called "lattice models." We will examine simulations of real-world topics such as forest fires, oil-water separation in salad dressing, and the spread of diseases. In a series of guided activities, participants will use and edit Python programs through an Internet browser and will discover small changes in parameters that dramatically affect the simulated results. Preparation instructions will be sent before the session. 

Daniel Beller is a theoretical physicist and an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Merced in the Department of Physics. He and his research group use mathematical modeling and computer simulations to study the physics of soft materials, with properties intermediate between conventional liquids and solids. One of their major interests is liquid crystals, which flow like a liquid but behave in other ways like solid crystals. Professor Beller’s group also studies the physics of life at the cellular scale, aiming to understand collective effects that can only occur when many cells or many proteins work together.

July 12- 15/ These sessions occur over 4 days

11:00 AM- 12:00 PM PT

Target Audience: High School Students, Teachers, Community Members