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Additional recommended knowledge
The term "statistical physics" encompasses probabilistic and statistical approaches to classical mechanics and quantum mechanics. Statistical mechanics is then often used as a synonym. When the context requires a distinction, one uses the terms classical statistical mechanics and quantum statistical mechanics.
A statistical approach can work well in classical systems when the number of degrees of freedom (and so the number of variables) is so large that exact solution is not possible, or not really useful. Statistical mechanics can also describe work in non-linear dynamics, chaos theory, thermal physics, fluid dynamics (particularly at low Knudsen numbers), or plasma physics.
Although some problems in statistical physics can be solved analytically using approximations and expansions, most current research utilizes the large processing power of modern computers to simulate or approximate solutions. A common approach to statistical problems is to use a Monte Carlo simulation to yield insight into the dynamics of a complex system.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Statistical_physics". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|