Formation of Crystal

a java simulation by Xiao-Gang Wen


This program simulates the motion of interacting particles. The interaction between two particles is repulsive at small separations and attractive at large separations. The moving particle also experience an additional friction force. So, as time evolves, the particles will settle into a crystal configuration that (locally) minimizes the total potential energy, if the temperature is zero.
As you raise the temperature, you will see the melting of the crystal.
Changing the number of particles and pressing the "Restart" button allow you to obtain different configurations. All those configurations break some symmetries. You may try to figure out what symmetry is broken and what symmetry is unbroken.