Essays on Science and SocietySPORE* Series Winner

Computational Experiments for Science Education

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  24 Jun 2011:
Vol. 332, Issue 6037, pp. 1516-1517
DOI: 10.1126/science.1197314


Computational physics, which provides digital representations of natural phenomena by solving their governing equations numerically, has transformed areas as diverse as scientific research, engineering design (1), and film production (2). It is also changing the way science is taught. The Molecular Workbench (MW) software,, developed by the Concord Consortium, illustrates this perspective. MW models atomic-scale phenomena on the basis of molecular dynamics and quantum mechanics calculations, which enables students to carry out computational experiments to investigate and learn a wide range of science concepts.