SUBJECT: Interactive Dipoles

DESCRIPTION: An interactive simulation in two dimensions of a group of electric dipoles. The dipoles are created with random positions and orientations, with all the electric dipole vectors in the plane of the display. Although in principle the dipole-dipole interaction can be either repulsive or attractive, in practice there is a torque that rotates the dipoles so that the dipole-dipole force is attractive. In the simulation we see this behavior-that is, the dipoles orient themselves so as to attract, and then the attraction gathers them together into bound structures. The dipoles can be repositioned by clicking and dragging them with the mouse.

VISUALIZATION: Fullscreen Version