MadSci Network: Physics

Re: Calculating collisions

Area: Physics
Posted By: Ronald Fisch, Physics, Washington University
Date: Thu Aug 8 13:29:47 1996
Message ID: 839333588.Ph

This is a very important question.  However, there is no general,
all-purpose answer.  The best method to solve a problem depends on the
nature of the problem.  For example:

1.  Do you want to simulate the laws of classical (Newtonian) physics,
    or the laws of quantum physics, or the laws of General Relativity?

2.  Assuming you want classical mechanics, do you want to use elastic
    collisions or inelastic collisions?

3.  Are you interested in rigid bodies or deformable bodies?  Deformable
    bodies are much harder to work with, but that's what the real world
    is made of.

What the computer does is generate numerical solutions to equations.
You need to decide which equation you are interested in first, and then
you can decide what the best method is.  There are many software packages

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