### ASA 127th Meeting M.I.T. 1994 June 6-10

## 3aSAb6. Visualization of waves on a PC.

**Peter H. Ceperley
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*Depts. of Phys., and Electrical and Comput. Eng., George Mason Univ.,
Fairfax, VA 22030
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The author's experience in visualizing waves and wave related calculations
using Mathcad, as well as several other general purpose mathematical packages,
will be presented. [See, for example P. H. Ceperley, Comput. Phys. 7, 274
(1993)] Mathcad is particularly good as an aid in understanding physical
phenomena, as opposed to producing pretty pictures to show to other people
(which other packages are generally better at). Its strength is its very
interactive human interface, which allows calculations, text, and graphs of
various types to be displayed on the page at will. It allows one to quickly
alter numbers, equations, and graphs to speed up detective processes. Also of
interest for wave and field research is Mathcad's ability to create
three-dimensional color surface plots. Examples will be shown which illustrate
its interactive use in the display and fitting of experimental data, as well as
in the display of theoretical results at multiple stages in a calculation. More
limited results using the more powerful, but less interactive tools of Maple
and Mathematica will also be shown.