APS Excellence in Physics Education Award
November 2019

Science SPORE Prize
November 2011

The Open Source Physics Project is supported by NSF DUE-0442581.

## Computer Program Detail Page

Balls in a Box Model
written by Wolfgang Christian
The Balls in a Box model shows that a system of particles is very sensitive to its initial conditions. In general, an isolated system of many particles that is prepared in a nonrandom configuration will change in time so as to approach its most random configuration where it is in equilibrium. What happens if we choose the initial conditions in a very special way?

The default initial condition corresponds to eight stationary particles perfectly aligned on the x-axis. Two particles approach from the left and the right. What happens when these particles collide with the eight stationary particles? The Ejs model solves Newton's second law of motion numerically but pauses when a collision is detected. This is called an Ejs event. Conservation of energy and momentum are applied at the event and the simulation is resumed.

The Balls in a Box model was created using the Easy Java Simulations (Ejs) modeling tool.  It is distributed as a ready-to-run (compiled) Java archive.  Double clicking the ejs_sto_BallsInBox.jar file will run the program if Java is installed.  Ejs is a part of the Open Source Physics Project and is designed to make it easier to access, modify, and generate computer models.  Additional Ejs models for classical mechanics are available.  They can be found by searching ComPADRE for Open Source Physics, OSP, or Ejs.

Please note that this resource requires at least version 1.5 of Java.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Linear Momentum
= Conservation of Linear Momentum
- Newton's Second Law
= Interacting Objects
- Newton's Third Law
= Action/Reaction
Thermo & Stat Mech
- Kinetic and Diffusive Processes
= Approach to Equilibrium
- Instructional Material
= Interactive Simulation
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Learners
- Educators
- application/java
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Access Rights:
Free access
Program released under GNU-GPL. Narrative is copyrighted.
This material is released under a GNU General Public License Version 3 license.
Rights Holder:
Wolfgang Christian
Keywords:
molecular dynamics, sensitivity to initial conditions
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created November 16, 2008 by Wolfgang Christian
Record Updated:
June 2, 2014 by Andreu Glasmann
Last Update
when Cataloged:
November 15, 2008
Other Collections:

ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

AIP Format
W. Christian, Computer Program BALLS IN A BOX MODEL, Version 1.0 (2008), WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=8307&DocID=913).
AJP/PRST-PER
W. Christian, Computer Program BALLS IN A BOX MODEL, Version 1.0 (2008), <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=8307&DocID=913>.
APA Format
Christian, W. (2008). Balls in a Box Model (Version 1.0) [Computer software]. Retrieved January 19, 2020, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=8307&DocID=913
Chicago Format
Christian, Wolfgang. "Balls in a Box Model." Version 1.0. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=8307&DocID=913 (accessed 19 January 2020).
MLA Format
Christian, Wolfgang. Balls in a Box Model. Vers. 1.0. Computer software. 2008. Java 1.5. 19 Jan. 2020 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=8307&DocID=913>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Wolfgang Christian", Title = {Balls in a Box Model}, Month = {November}, Year = {2008} }
Refer Export Format

%A Wolfgang Christian
%T Balls in a Box Model
%D November 15, 2008
%O 1.0
%O application/java

EndNote Export Format

%0 Computer Program
%A Christian, Wolfgang
%D November 15, 2008
%T Balls in a Box Model
%7 1.0
%8 November 15, 2008

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### Balls in a Box Model:

Covers the Same Topic As STP Sensitivity to Initial Conditions Program

The Open Source program, part of a package of resources for Statistical and Thermal Physics, provides a similar simulation.

relation by Anne Cox
Is Based On Easy Java Simulations Modeling and Authoring Tool

The Ejs tool is needed to explore the computational model.

relation by Anne Cox

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