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

3aSAb6. Visualization of waves on a PC.

Peter H. Ceperley

Depts. of Phys., and Electrical and Comput. Eng., George Mason Univ., Fairfax, VA 22030

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.