Wooster Physics Software

The College of Wooster Computational Physics Project showcases some of the best computer software created by or for Wooster physics majors. These applications exploit many of the features of the modern Macintosh Graphical User Interface. In addition, we’ve added an Introduction to Xgrid cluster computing tutorial and have recently been coding in OpenCL to exploit modern Graphical Processing Units (GPUs).

Cocoa Software
(for macOS 10.10+)

These apps written in Objective-C++ and use the macOS Cocoa APIs. They were built and compiled for macOS 10.10 and higher in October 2017. We welcome feedback.

  • BZ (Download 0.45MB) (More info)
    Belousov-Zhabotinsky spatiotemporal nonlinear oscillations. Single spiral or multiple random spirals. Integrates the Oregonator PDEs in parallel for the excitable and inhibitory variables u and v.
  • Bead Pile (Download 0.47MB) (More info)
    Spherical beads avalanching from a conical pile. Counts beads fallen off the pile, as in Wooster’s long-running experiment. Rotate pile with a virtual track ball.

Cocoa Software
(for Mac OS X) with Code

We offer some of our demo Cocoa apps with code as examples to jump-start your own programming projects. They are written in Objective-C++ and use the Mac OS X Cocoa and OpenGL APIs. They were built and compiled for Mac OS X 10.4 and higher in December 2006 with Xcode 2.4 as universal (Power PC & Intel) binaries. (The executables are in the build/deployment/ subfolders.) Let us know if you find them helpful. We welcome feedback.

  • Slow Sandpile (Download 1.7MB)
    Simple sandpile cellular automaton. Illustrates a basic interactive Cocoa app, including animation. Saves animation snapshot as a PDF file.
  • Fast Sandpile (Download 1.8MB)
    Same as Slow Sandpile, except with much faster bitmap graphics. (It creates a bitmap representation of an image and then composites it to a view on-screen.)
  • Duffing Fixed (Download 1.8MB)
    Integrates the nonlinear Duffing equation and animates the phase space motion in a single fixed window.
  • Duffing Resizable (Download 1.9MB)
    Same as Duffing Fixed, except with more sophisticated graphics in a resizable window. (The phase space flow is first drawn offscreen to a large image, a portion of which is composited on-screen.) Saves the parameters to a text file.
  • Duffing Archive (Download 1.9MB)
    Same as Duffing Fixed, except can archive data to a text file in a screensaver mode. Outputs data in user-defined chunks with progress reports printed in the screensaver.
  • 3D Sandpile (Download 2.0MB)
    2D sandpile cellular automaton rendered in 3D using the OpenGL APIs. Quaternions power a virtual Trackball object. Saves the OpenGL image as a TIFF file. Enables dynamic changing of the evolution rules.
  • Undulating Mesh (Download 2.0MB)
    A sinusoidally oscillating membrane rendered in 3D using the OpenGL APIs and custom Mesh and Trackball objects.
  • Three Body (Download 2.7MB) (More info)
    Trajectory of a projectile in the gravity of a star and a planet, rendered with OpenGL extrusions. Features a virtual trackball with spin and a full-screen mode.

More Cocoa Software
(for Mac OS X)

  • Percolation 3D (Download 76K)
    Percolate water through rock of a user-defined porosity rendered in 3D using OpenGL and implementing a virtual trackball with spin.
  • Foucault (Download 52K)
    Animates a Foucault pendulum at user defined latitudes in 3D using OpenGL and implementing a virtual trackball.
  • Thomson’s Sphere (Download 87K)
    Repulsive particles move on a 2-sphere to minimum-energy configurations.
  • Drumhead 2.0 (Download 30K)
    Waves on a square drumhead rendered in 3D. Adjust damping and initial state.
  • Protein Folding (Download 115K)
    Chain of hydrophilic and hydrophobic monomers fold at finite temperature to form an energy minimizing polypeptide. Adjust temperature and interaction matrix.
  • Cubic Dream (Download 58K)
    A nice example of OpenGL translucency: spin the cube-of-colored-cubes in the window or in full-screen mode. Adjust the translucency using the standard color picker.

Carbon Software
(for Mac OS 9 & X)

  • Chaotic Flows (More info)
    Interactively explore four well known paradigms of nonlinear dynamics.
  • C-Ball (More info)
    Interactively explore the chaotic dynamics of a ball bouncing between two circles.
  • Escape! (Download 32K)
    Shoot a projectile out of a model solar system, a special case of the restricted 3-body problem.
  • Percolation (Download 27K)
    A recursive algorithm percolates “oil” through “rocks” of user-definable porosities.
  • Wind Tunnel (Download 31K)
    A hexagonal lattice gas wind tunnel generates a von Kármán Vortex Street.
  • Quantum Scatter 1+1 D (Download 28K)
    Scatter a quantum wave packet off a potential well in 1 + 1 dimensions.
  • Quantum Scatter 2+1 D (Download 32K)
    Scatter a quantum wave packet off a potential well or slit in 2 + 1 dimensions.
  • Drumhead (Download 32K)
    Initiate and observe waves on a rectangular or elliptical drumhead.
  • DLA (Download 28K)
    Simulate diffusion limited aggregation.
  • Rocks in a Box (Download 59K)
    Simulate sorting by shaking.
  • Chaotic Light Scattering (Download 32K)
    Infinite hall of mirrors effect involving 4 reflecting globes stacked like cannon balls.
  • Relativistic String (Download 28K)
    Observe the collision of pulses on a relativistic string.
  • Jerk Chaos (Download 32K)
    Phase space attractors of jerk (j = da/dt) differential equations.
  • Electromagnetic Orbits (Download 28K)
    View the motion of a charged mass in electric and magnetic fields.
  • Knots (Download 50K)
    Experiment with the strengths of various knots. (Spin the track cylinder!).
  • E&M Interference (Download 32K)
    Click holes in a mask to create far-field interference patterns.

Classic Software
(for Mac OS 9)

  • Chaotic Flows (More info)
    Interactively explore four well known paradigms of nonlinear dynamics.
  • Chaotic Sphere (More info)
    Interactively explore the spatiotemporal nonlinear dynamics of a sphere of coupled bistable oscillators.
  • IC4D (More info)
    Experience interactive control of four-dimensional objects.
  • Hydrogen (More info)
    Interactively explore hydrogen orbitals and Rydberg wave packets.
  • Grid (More info)
    Interactively explore the spatiotemporal nonlinear dynamics of a grid of coupled bistable oscillators.
  • Schrödinger (Download 32K)
    Generates real-time wave functions as you click-and-drag to change the energy level or reshape the square potential well.
  • Scatter (Download 39K)
    Interactively scatter 1D quantum wave packets off a variety of potential wells.
  • Relax (Download 31K)
    Electrostatic problems? Relax! Visualize the electric potential inside a cube, each of whose sides may be at a different potential.
  • Celestial Chaos (Download 31K; requires 1000s of colors or less)
    Illustrates chaos in the restricted 3-body problems by simulating an asteroid moving in the gravitational field of a binary star system.
  • Diffraction (Download 30K)
    Click-and-drag to vary the size and shape of a rectangular aperture and its 2D Fraunhofer (far-field) diffraction pattern.
  • Percolation (Download 28K)
    A recursive algorithm percolates “oil” through “rocks” of user-definable porosities.
  • Torus (Download 34K)
    Maps click-and-drag trajectories from a 2D plane to the surface of a 2D torus embedded in 3D space.
  • Ising (Download 30K)
    Implements the canonical Ising model of thermal physics as a cellular automaton that undergoes a phase transition as the temperature varies.
  • Sorting (Download 32K)
    Shake a box of rocks to discover why larger objects always rise to the top of a shaken pile.
  • Brownian Billiards (Download 47K)
    Interactively explore the nonlinear dynamics of a billiard ball bouncing inside a box containing a movable disk.
  • Pendulum (Download 32K)
    Explore the dynamics of a nonlinear pendulum.
  • Pendula (Download 32K)
    Explore the dynamics of an array of nonlinear pendulums.
  • Pendulums (Download 90K)
    Explore the dynamics of an array of nonlinear pendulums.