The LCD Toy Universe

Joe Gregorio
Entropy: Mean:
Entities: Mean:

Quanta Magazine published an interesting article in their Insights Puzzle column called Seeing Time Through a Liquid Crystal Display. Above is my version of the simulation, which operates on a basic level like the simulation presented in the article, but then adds in a few twists. At this point you should to read the arctile to understand the basic simulation.

I added a second measure, which is just the number of connected objects in the simultion. This will be a value from 1 to 7, where 1 is achieved when all the atoms are touching, and 7 is achieved when no atom touches another atom. You can start the simulation in either of these configurations by choosing either "Low Entropy" or "High Entropy" for the initial conditions. I added this because the initial definition of entropy given in the article was a little unsatisfactory, as it fixed the low entropy state to the middle of the universe, which means the figure 8 could reappear perfectly formed two steps to the right and that would still be measured as maximum entropy.

The second deviation from the article's proposed simulation is the addition of 'forces' that influence the interation of the atoms in the universe. These are ways of injecting stratified stability into the system. The first force is 'ESF', a force that acts like the electrostatic force, that is, when two atoms are touching the probability that they wlll move is reduced. The actual probability that an atom moves when in contact with at least one other atom is controlled via the "%" input, which defaults to 10%.

The second 'force' added in the simulation is similar to the Pauli Exclusion Principle, which stops atoms from occupying the same location.

Both of the forces can be turned on and off via checkboxes. When conditions are changed, such as changing the ESF percent, the simulation is restarted and the graphs are cleared.

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