Computational Physics or Process Model
Here’s a zeroth-order cut at differentiating a computational physics problem from working with a process model of the same physical phenomena and processes.
A computational physics problem will have no numerical values for coefficients appearing in the continuous equations other than those that describe the material of interest.
Process models can be identified by the fact that given the same material and physical phenomena and processes, there is more than one specification for the continuous equations and more than one model.
Some processes models are based on more nearly complete usage of fundamental equations, and fewer parameterizations, than others.
Added March 21, 2010
The necessary degree of completeness for the continuous equations, and the level of fidelity for the parameterizations, in process models is determined by the dominant controlling physical phenomena and processes.
Added July 6, 2010
The sole issue for computational physics is Verification of the solution.
Process models will involve many calculations in which variations of the parameters in the model are the focus. None of these parameters will be associated with properties of the material. Instead they will all be associated with configurations that the material has experienced, or nearly so, at some time in the past.
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