### Theory vs. Computation

Posted:

**Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:24 pm**Two questions: one general, one specific.

General: What is the difference between 'Theoretical' and 'Computational' physics? I was under the impression that 'theoretical' meant 'computation' these days. Is there research which is theoretical, but not computational?

Specific: I'm filling out the application form for the PPPL NUF* program, and it asks me to declare a Research Project Preference: Experimental, Theoretical, or Computational. The theoretical research page on the PPPL website lists only simulation/modelling and computational research groups. I'm having a hard time distinguishing between what counts as 'theoretical' and what counts as 'computational'. Anyone at PPPL care to expound on this?

*Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, National Undergraduate Fellowship

General: What is the difference between 'Theoretical' and 'Computational' physics? I was under the impression that 'theoretical' meant 'computation' these days. Is there research which is theoretical, but not computational?

Specific: I'm filling out the application form for the PPPL NUF* program, and it asks me to declare a Research Project Preference: Experimental, Theoretical, or Computational. The theoretical research page on the PPPL website lists only simulation/modelling and computational research groups. I'm having a hard time distinguishing between what counts as 'theoretical' and what counts as 'computational'. Anyone at PPPL care to expound on this?

*Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, National Undergraduate Fellowship