Particle Physics v1-01-2000
Release 1.1 © RTCM Cyborg
Particles? | Like What?
What are particles?
When you think of particles in the real world you may think of terms such as dust
particles and smoke particles, and this is close to the idea of a mathematical particle.
A particle is an object which has mass but no dimensions. Imagine the dust being like that but having a greater mass, say 1kg. Then if I said I would relate the physics of the dust particle to the physics of another 1kg object then I would be
modeling the object as a particle.
Thus a particle is a dimensionless object which has mass: and it is used to model physical situations.
Well, I'll take a simple example. Say I have a book on a table and it has a mass of 1kg. It will experience the force of the earth's gravity pulling down on it, as do all masses. It will also experience the reaction force of the table which equals the weight of the book (if it were less the book would go through the table, if it was more it would fly upwards)! There are no sideways forces. If I model the book as a particle I will find the same situation
occurring in my model. The differences between the situations being that my model does not take into account the shape of the book, but the point is: it doesn't matter.
If I had to take into account the shape of the book as well the physics gets more complicated,
sometimes you may use a more complex model if the particle model is not good enough for what it is
So particles can model any situation you want to the accuracy that particle physics allows in its model.
However, I'm not stopping there. Particles will be fine for many situations but I'm going to include lamina physics (lamina are flat objects) and spheroid (or large particles if you like) physics.
When Eduke is released I will have a particle engine for people to use but I'm saving the more impressive stuff for my own projects.