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Definition: scientific application


An application that simulates real-world activities using mathematics. Scientific applications turn real-world objects into mathematical models, and their actions are simulated by executing the required formulas. For example, an airplane's flight characteristics can be simulated in the computer. Nature can be simulated, including rivers, lakes and mountains. Virtually any objects with known characteristics can be modeled and simulated.

Simulations use enormous calculations and often require supercomputer speed. As personal computers became more powerful, more laboratory experiments were converted into computer models that could be interactively examined by students without the risk and cost of the actual experiments. See algorithm, vector processor, supercomputer and quantum computing.