To boldly go where no experiment has gone before

The goal of this conference was described as “to show what is possible to do with DFT and computational methods in materials science/physics”.

The title of this talk sketches one of the possible answers: if experiments are too hard, too expensive, too dangerous or even just impossible to perform, then a computational approach can be an alternative.

This will be illustrated by two case studies where computational materials science contributes to either the understanding of the inner core of planet Earth (too hard for experiments only) or to the design of fusion reactors (too dangerous for experiments). Furthermore, I’ll take the occasion to report on the development and adoption of www.compmatphys.org, a free self-paced online course on applied DFT.