Configuring a System of Oscillators

Spring Chain allows the user to configure a system of anywhere between 1 and 20 oscillators, with any values for their positions and velocities. This configuration is done with the Parameters|Simulation command on the main menu, or by pressing the Parameters button on the button bar. The resulting dialog allows the user to specify the following quantities:

Spring Constant- The spring constant, k, of the springs attaching the masses. The spring constant is the proportionality constant between spring displacement and restoring force. (see Physics Involved for more on the spring constant)

Mass- The mass of the particles attached to the springs.

Number of Particles- The number of particles in the system. This number can have any integer value between 1 and 20. Non-integer values will be rounded.

Particle of Interest- The particle whose position and velocity are monitored on the top two graphs of the simulation. This particle is denoted as a hollow circle on the animation graph, and is the title of the other two graphs.

Initial Conditions- The initial position and velocity for all 20 particles can be specified here. In addition, when the simulation is in a reset-state (a reset command has been given since the last execution), the particles can be positioned directly on the animation graph by dragging them with the mouse. (see Hidden Commands for more)