One of the UK’s leading computational physicists opened a new Centre for Computational Physics on Monday 25th June 2018. The centre, situated at the University of Lincoln, was inaugurated by award-winning theoretical physicist Professor Daan Frenkel, Foreign Member of the Royal Society and Director of Research. The centre will act as a hub for students and academics offering specialised training and unique research opportunities in the field of computational physics.
Professor Frenkel said: “It is important to stress and strengthen the role of computational physics in using the computer as a tool for discovery, rather than a machine for playing games or making colour pictures. In this sense, the computer is to computational physicists what the telescope or microscope are in other branches of science.
“I am delighted that the University of Lincoln has decided to create a Centre for Computational Physics – it stresses the role of the computer as a discovery machine. It is also fitting that this Centre should be in Lincoln: after all, Newton, the father of modern physics, was born (and later hit by a falling apple) in Lincolnshire. Moreover, computers are based on binary logic and the creator of this field, George Boole, was born in Lincoln.”
The opening of the new centre coincided with the University’s first Computational Physics conference organised by academics from the University’s School of Computer Science. Supported by a grant from the Centre Européen de Calcul Atomique et Moléculaire- the oldest European Institute for the promotion of fundamental research on advanced computational methods and their application to problems in frontier areas of science and technology- the conference attracted around 40 leading experts from 11 countries across Europe, Asia and the United States.
The conference included a workshop and discussion of how various computational methods can help us to understand and design new materials with useful properties and structure utilising concept of self-assembly from the molecules consisting of polymeric or lipid blocks.
Professor Andrei Zvelindovsky, head of Lincoln’s School of Mathematics and Physics commented: “Holding this meeting in Lincoln under the auspices of CECAM-UK-Daresbury node is clear recognition of computational physics research we do at the University of Lincoln. We are very honoured to host world-leading experts in this emerging field of computational soft materials physics.”