Animated Physics

Using animations to understand the world around you

What is Animated Physics?

In 1949, Einstein wrote:

It is striking that the theory introduces two kinds of physical things, i.e., (1) measuring rods and clocks, and (2) all other things, e.g., the electromagnetic field, the material point, etc.
Animated physics uses fixed grids and fixed time steps, similar to frames in a movie. For any number of objects, we display the objects where they are, calculate where they will get to based on their properties and display a new frame. For each object, we assign a name, a location, and location in the prior frame. From there we add in what is needed. Perhaps a mass, perhaps a charge, maybe both or more. Animate this based on the laws of physics and watch what happens. ...

States of Matter

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.

Explore the top of a block of potassium chloride, i.e. common table salt. Common table salt has a face centered cubic (fcc) structure or lattice. Enter a 3D perspective view from just above the surface of the solid. Drag a mouse across the screen to move forward, back or turn. You can see an overhead or topdown view of yourself in the top right-hand window.

Axioms, Particles and Forces of Animated Physics

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 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 Forces of Animated Physics determine the interaction of the particles:

1.Gravity - Holds planets and galaxies together and distorts space if very strong;
2.The Weak Interaction - Electron bonding force for molecules, weak and not much dependent on distance; except super strong at very small Planck length distances;
3.Electro-Magnetism - Coulomb force mixed with Maxwell Equations for electric and magnetic movement effects;
4.The Strong Interaction - Nuclear binding force, super strong at short distances where more energy required to separate quarks then is needed to create a new one.

Modelling Photons

The photon is a harmonic oscillator with a restoring potential known as the Planck constant (h). Planck’s constant, relates the amount of energy stored in a photon to its wavelength, E = h / λ. 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.

Gravity Animations

The space station grid is laid out in meters and uses an interval of 100 seconds between frames. Between each frame, the force on each object from other objects is calculated using Newtons gravity law, the force is added to the velocity of the object and the velocity is added to the current location of the object. Each object is redisplayed and we see the space station orbit earth in about 90 minutes.

Animated Physics can find the length of time for an orbit as well as the highest and lowest points of the orbit. The Earth/Moon system uses grid spacing of 10,000 meters and time spacing of 20,000 seconds.

Asteroids, both Earth crossing and in the asteroid belt. The orbit of Icarus around the sun takes almost two years to complete and ranges from 28 million miles to almost 300 million miles.

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!