Animated Physics

Using animations to understand the world around you

What is Animated Physics?

In 1949, Einstein wrote of special relativity:

It is striking that the theory introduces two kinds of physical things ... (1) measuring rods and clocks, and (2) all other things, ...
Animated physics uses fixed grids and fixed time steps, similar to frames in a movie, to model the particles and forces of matter and energy. All of the laws and equations of physics are applied to objects within this grid.

There are two rules:

Grid spacing and the time spacings between each frame must be decided in advance;

2.Grid spacing and time spacings cannot be changed while the animation is running.

Objects can be assigned a variety of properties like mass, viscosity (stickiness), spin state and energy level. Some objects can be assigned an absolute position, some cannot. Objects can have influence on each other through a variety of forces and can be bonded to other objects with a variety of distances and strengths. Objects can transform and mutate from one form to another through collisions and decays.

The grid provides the standard rulers and clocks to measure the world. Distorted grids can be displayed within the grid, but the grid itself does not change. Just like frames in a movie, the projector runs at a fixed frame rate throughout the movie and the screen size does not change while you watch the movie.

Particles, Axioms and Forces

The Particles of Animated Physics reflect different kinds of vortexes in a connected space:

1.The Higgs, W+, W-, and Z boson family;
2.The Electron and spin 1/2 cousins;
3.Spin 1/2 Quarks - Protons, Neutrons and more;
4.Photons, Gluons and Gravitons;

The Axioms of Animated Physics allow the derivation of the particles and forces:

1.Mass is attracted to itself (gravity);
2.Mass is confined energy and energy travels at the speed of light;
3.Energy is repelled by itself (dark energy).

The Forces of Animated Physics:

2.The Weak Interaction;
4.The Strong Interaction.


The photon is a harmonic oscillator with a restoring potential known as the Planck constant. Planck’s constant, relates the amount of energy stored in a photon to its wavelength. Put another way, Planck’s constant tells you the amount of time it takes the photon to undergo one cycle of whatever its doing given that the photon has a specific amount of energy.

Viewing the photon as a moving harmonic oscillator allows each oscillator to store a specific amount of energy. If you split the oscillator, you end up with two oscillators (photons), each of which has 1/2 the energy of the original oscillator (photon). The next step is to put these photons in motion and watch them interact with each other in a small cavity over a period of time.

The Michelson interferometer is used to measure tiny differences in length along two different light paths. A laser light source is split into two arms with a beamsplitter. Each arm is reflected back toward the beamsplitter which then combines their amplitudes. The resulting interference pattern will record a fringe pattern.

These animations find the length of time for an orbit as well as the highest and lowest points of the orbit. The space station grid is laid out in meters and uses an interval of 100 seconds between frames. The Earth/Moon system uses grid spacing of 10,000 meters and time spacing of 20,000 seconds.

Boyle's law from 1662, states that at constant temperature for a fixed mass, the absolute pressure and the volume of a gas are inversely proportional. This animation illustrates the normal air we breath at 20°C. Free flowing molecules are travelling an average 2.1 nanometers per picosecond, trapped in a 3D box, 30 x 10 x 7.5 nanometers in size.

In 1873, Johannes van der Waals, derived the Van der Waals equation where repulsion between molecules has the effect of excluding neighbors from a certain amount of space around each molecule. This principle together with the bonding between molecules is illustrated with liquid water molecules bonded together, trapped in a 3D box, 5 x 3 x 2 nanometers in size.

Join the Team!

Do you like physics and have some background in physics? Can you check calculations? Do you know how to design? Have you programmed in HTML5 or Javascript? Do you know how to get the word out? We need help to model the world.

Tell us what you can do. Join the team!