Item description for Optimization Algorithms in Physics by Alexander K. Hartmann...
The past few years have witnessed a substantial growth in the number of applications for optimization algorithms in solving problems in the field of physics. Examples include determining the structure of molecules, estimating the parameters of interacting galaxies, the ground states of electronic quantum systems, the behavior of disordered magnetic materials, and phase transitions in combinatorial optimization problems. This book serves as an introduction to the field, while also presenting a complete overview of modern algorithms. The authors begin with the relevant foundations from computer science, graph theory and statistical physics, before moving on to thoroughly explain algorithms - backed by illustrative examples. They include pertinent mathematical transformations, which in turn are used to make the physical problems tractable with methods from combinatorial optimization. Throughout, a number of interesting results are shown for all physical examples. The final chapter provides numerous practical hints on software development, testing programs, and evaluating the results of computer experiments.
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Alexander K. Hartmann, Ph.D. (1998) from the University of Heidelberg, Diplom (1993) from the University of Duisburg. Since January 2003, Head of the Junior Research group "Complex Ground States of Disordered Systems at the University of Gottingen funded by the Volkswagen Stiftung. 1998-2003, Research Assistant in Prof. Annette Zippelius' group at the University of Gottingen. 2001, Visiting Scientist at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the Ecole Normale Superieure. His research interests are the computer simulations of spin glasses, random field systems and diluted antiferromagnets, gas atoms inside polymer systems, combinatorial optimization problems, random surfaces and surface sputtering, and biophysics (RNA secondary structures and sequence alignment).
Martin Weigt, born 1970 in Berlin, Germany; Ph.D. (1998) from Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg, Diplom (1993) from Humboldt University Berlin. Since 1999, Research Assistant in Prof. Annette Zippelius' group at the University of Gottingen. In 2000, 2001, and 2002, Visiting Scientist at the International Centre of Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy. His research interests are statistical mechanics of disordered systems and application in random combinatorics and theoretical computer science.
Alexander K. Hartmann currently resides in Goettingen. Alexander K. Hartmann has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Goettingen University of Goettingen, Germany Univ. of Go.
Reviews - What do customers think about Optimization Algorithms in Physics?
Some new material Oct 3, 2004
Traditionally, physicists haven't used many of the algorithms and ideas in computer science. The reason is simple. Computer science deals mostly with discrete items. Whereas most of physics uses continuum methods. But Hartmann points out in his book that there are indeed several classes of algorithms from computing that might be of utility to some physicists.
Percolation problems for example, are covered in a chapter. He shows how well known ideas from graph theory, like shortest path algorithms, can carry over usefully to attack thresholding in percolation clusters.
One chapter, on Monte Carlo methods, should already be familiar to some physicists. Ideas like simulated annealing came from physics. Plus, the Metropolis-Monte Carlo method was thought up by the well known Los Alamos physicist Nick Metropolis.
Hartmann does a commendable job in educating physicists about such ideas.