A naive simulator of gravity, written in Python

I've always been fascinated by space - ever since I read "The Family of the Sun", when I was young. And I always wanted to simulate what I've read about Newton's law of gravity, and see what happens in... a universe of my own making... :‑)

- Gravity, inversely proportional to the square of the distance, and linearly proportional to the product of the two masses
- Elastic "mergings" of two planets if they are close enough to touch: a merged planet is then created, that maintains the momentum (mass times velocity) and the mass of the two merged ones.

self._x += self._vx self._y += self._vy self._vx += self._ax self._vy += self._ay...it just applied a crude form of Euler's method in updating position and velocity. I always meant to update the code with a more stable solution... and I finally found some time to hack it, during the Xmas 2012 weekend: the code now uses the RK4 solution of the velocity / acceleration differential equation. I based the patch on the excellent work of Glenn Fiedler (definitely worth checking out, if you like this sort of thing).

And now... I can observe stable orbits - and have long-term fun watching chaotic solar systems calm down into peaceful ones like our own :‑)

...to run a simulation with 20 planets. Change this number up to whatever number your machine can handle (think of it as a benchmark :‑)bash$./gravityRK4.py 20

You can also use the numeric keypad's +/- to zoom in/out, and press SPACE to toggle showing/hiding the orbits trace.

Enjoy!

(*More of my "semi-scientific" models of natural processes can be found here.*)

#!/usr/bin/env python """ An improved version of my Python-based gravity simulator, using Runge-Kutta 4th order solution of the differential equations - coded during Xmas 2012. Happy holidays, everyone! I've always been fascinated by space - ever since I read 'The Family of the Sun', when I was young. And I always wanted to simulate what I've read about Newton's gravity law, and see what happens in... a universe of my own making :-) So: The following code 'sprays' some 'planets' randomly, around a sun, inside a 900x600 window (the values are below, change them at will). Afterwards, it applies a very simple set of laws: - Gravity, inversely proportional to the square of the distance, and linearly proportional to the product of the two masses - Elastic collissions of two objects if they are close enough to touch: a merged object is then created, that maintains the momentum (mass*velocity) and the mass of the two merged ones. - This updated version of the code is using the RK4 solution of the velocity/ acceleration differential equation, and is in fact based on the excellent blog of Glenn Fiedler (http://gafferongames.com) Use the numeric keypad's +/- to zoom in/out, and press SPACE to toggle showing/hiding the orbits trace. Blog post at: https://www.thanassis.space/gravity.html https://ttsiodras.github.io/gravity.html Thanassis Tsiodras ttsiodras@gmail.com """ import sys import math import pygame import random from collections import defaultdict # The window size WIDTH, HEIGHT = 900, 600 WIDTHD2, HEIGHTD2 = WIDTH/2., HEIGHT/2. # The number of simulated planets PLANETS = 30 # The density of the planets - used to calculate their mass # from their volume (i.e. via their radius) DENSITY = 0.001 # The gravity coefficient - it's my universe, I can pick whatever I want :-) GRAVITYSTRENGTH = 1.e4 # The global list of planets g_listOfPlanets = [] class State: """Class representing position and velocity.""" def __init__(self, x, y, vx, vy): self._x, self._y, self._vx, self._vy = x, y, vx, vy def __repr__(self): return 'x:{x} y:{y} vx:{vx} vy:{vy}'.format( x=self._x, y=self._y, vx=self._vx, vy=self._vy) class Derivative: """Class representing velocity and acceleration.""" def __init__(self, dx, dy, dvx, dvy): self._dx, self._dy, self._dvx, self._dvy = dx, dy, dvx, dvy def __repr__(self): return 'dx:{dx} dy:{dy} dvx:{dvx} dvy:{dvy}'.format( dx=self._dx, dy=self._dy, dvx=self._dvx, dvy=self._dvy) class Planet: """Class representing a planet. The "_st" member is an instance of "State", carrying the planet's position and velocity - while the "_m" and "_r" members represents the planet's mass and radius.""" def __init__(self): if PLANETS == 1: # A nice example of a planet orbiting around our sun :-) self._st = State(150, 300, 0, 2) else: # otherwise pick a random position and velocity self._st = State( float(random.randint(0, WIDTH)), float(random.randint(0, HEIGHT)), float(random.randint(0, 300)/100.)-1.5, float(random.randint(0, 300)/100.)-1.5) self._r = 1.5 self.setMassFromRadius() self._merged = False def __repr__(self): return repr(self._st) def acceleration(self, state, unused_t): """Calculate acceleration caused by other planets on this one.""" ax = 0.0 ay = 0.0 for p in g_listOfPlanets: if p is self or p._merged: continue # ignore ourselves and merged planets dx = p._st._x - state._x dy = p._st._y - state._y dsq = dx*dx + dy*dy # distance squared dr = math.sqrt(dsq) # distance force = GRAVITYSTRENGTH*self._m*p._m/dsq if dsq>1e-10 else 0. # Accumulate acceleration... ax += force*dx/dr ay += force*dy/dr return (ax, ay) def initialDerivative(self, state, t): """Part of Runge-Kutta method.""" ax, ay = self.acceleration(state, t) return Derivative(state._vx, state._vy, ax, ay) def nextDerivative(self, initialState, derivative, t, dt): """Part of Runge-Kutta method.""" state = State(0., 0., 0., 0.) state._x = initialState._x + derivative._dx*dt state._y = initialState._y + derivative._dy*dt state._vx = initialState._vx + derivative._dvx*dt state._vy = initialState._vy + derivative._dvy*dt ax, ay = self.acceleration(state, t+dt) return Derivative(state._vx, state._vy, ax, ay) def updatePlanet(self, t, dt): """Runge-Kutta 4th order solution to update planet's pos/vel.""" a = self.initialDerivative(self._st, t) b = self.nextDerivative(self._st, a, t, dt*0.5) c = self.nextDerivative(self._st, b, t, dt*0.5) d = self.nextDerivative(self._st, c, t, dt) dxdt = 1.0/6.0 * (a._dx + 2.0*(b._dx + c._dx) + d._dx) dydt = 1.0/6.0 * (a._dy + 2.0*(b._dy + c._dy) + d._dy) dvxdt = 1.0/6.0 * (a._dvx + 2.0*(b._dvx + c._dvx) + d._dvx) dvydt = 1.0/6.0 * (a._dvy + 2.0*(b._dvy + c._dvy) + d._dvy) self._st._x += dxdt*dt self._st._y += dydt*dt self._st._vx += dvxdt*dt self._st._vy += dvydt*dt def setMassFromRadius(self): """From _r, set _m: The volume is (4/3)*Pi*(r^3)...""" self._m = DENSITY*4.*math.pi*(self._r**3.)/3. def setRadiusFromMass(self): """Reversing the setMassFromRadius formula, to calculate radius from mass (used after merging of two planets - mass is added, and new radius is calculated from this)""" self._r = (3.*self._m/(DENSITY*4.*math.pi))**(0.3333) def main(): pygame.init() win=pygame.display.set_mode((WIDTH, HEIGHT)) keysPressed = defaultdict(bool) def ScanKeyboard(): while True: # Update the keysPressed state: evt = pygame.event.poll() if evt.type == pygame.NOEVENT: break elif evt.type in [pygame.KEYDOWN, pygame.KEYUP]: keysPressed[evt.key] = evt.type == pygame.KEYDOWN global g_listOfPlanets, PLANETS if len(sys.argv) == 2: PLANETS = int(sys.argv[1]) # And God said: Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens... g_listOfPlanets = [] for i in xrange(0, PLANETS): g_listOfPlanets.append(Planet()) def planetsTouch(p1, p2): dx = p1._st._x - p2._st._x dy = p1._st._y - p2._st._y dsq = dx*dx + dy*dy dr = math.sqrt(dsq) return dr<=(p1._r + p2._r) sun = Planet() sun._st._x, sun._st._y = WIDTHD2, HEIGHTD2 sun._st._vx = sun._st._vy = 0. sun._m *= 1000 sun.setRadiusFromMass() g_listOfPlanets.append(sun) for p in g_listOfPlanets: if p is sun: continue if planetsTouch(p, sun): p._merged = True # ignore planets inside the sun # Zoom factor, changed at runtime via the '+' and '-' numeric keypad keys zoom = 1.0 # t and dt are unused in this simulation, but are in general, # parameters of engine (acceleration may depend on them) t, dt = 0., 1. bClearScreen = True pygame.display.set_caption('Gravity simulation (SPACE: show orbits, ' 'keypad +/- : zoom in/out)') while True: t += dt pygame.display.flip() if bClearScreen: # Show orbits or not? win.fill((0, 0, 0)) win.lock() for p in g_listOfPlanets: if not p._merged: # for planets that have not been merged, draw a # circle based on their radius, but take zoom factor into account pygame.draw.circle(win, (255, 255, 255), (int(WIDTHD2+zoom*WIDTHD2*(p._st._x-WIDTHD2)/WIDTHD2), int(HEIGHTD2+zoom*HEIGHTD2*(p._st._y-HEIGHTD2)/HEIGHTD2)), int(p._r*zoom), 0) win.unlock() ScanKeyboard() # Update all planets' positions and speeds (should normally double # buffer the list of planet data, but turns out this is good enough :-) for p in g_listOfPlanets: if p._merged or p is sun: continue # Calculate the contributions of all the others to its acceleration # (via the gravity force) and update its position and velocity p.updatePlanet(t, dt) # See if we should merge the ones that are close enough to touch, # using elastic collisions (conservation of total momentum) for p1 in g_listOfPlanets: if p1._merged: continue for p2 in g_listOfPlanets: if p1 is p2 or p2._merged: continue if planetsTouch(p1, p2): if p1._m < p2._m: p1, p2 = p2, p1 # p1 is the biggest one (mass-wise) p2._merged = True if p1 is sun: continue # No-one can move the sun :-) newvx = (p1._st._vx*p1._m+p2._st._vx*p2._m)/(p1._m+p2._m) newvy = (p1._st._vy*p1._m+p2._st._vy*p2._m)/(p1._m+p2._m) p1._m += p2._m # maintain the mass (just add them) p1.setRadiusFromMass() # new mass --> new radius p1._st._vx, p1._st._vy = newvx, newvy # update zoom factor (numeric keypad +/- keys) if keysPressed[pygame.K_KP_PLUS]: zoom /= 0.99 if keysPressed[pygame.K_KP_MINUS]: zoom /= 1.01 if keysPressed[pygame.K_ESCAPE]: break if keysPressed[pygame.K_SPACE]: while keysPressed[pygame.K_SPACE]: ScanKeyboard() bClearScreen = not bClearScreen verb = "show" if bClearScreen else "hide" pygame.display.set_caption( 'Gravity simulation (SPACE: ' '%s orbits, keypad +/- : zoom in/out)' % verb) if __name__ == "__main__": try: import psyco psyco.profile() except: print 'Psyco not found, ignoring it' main()

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