Using Computer Simulations to Better Understand Statistical Mechanics
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Two computer simulations are presented in a way that conveys a deeper understanding of statistical mechanics. Background information is given which covers concepts needed for the discussion of the simulations. Two computer simulations are presented and not only is what they do explained, but how they work as well. Throughout the discussion of the algorithms, key concepts of statistical mechanics and thermal physics which may normally be ignored in a classroom setting are highlighted. Finally some experimentation with the simulations is done to verify the algorithms are programmed correctly and to gain insight into how the simulations might be used in research.