[Tutor] Simple physics simulations)

Noufal Ibrahim noufal at nibrahim.net.in
Sun Sep 14 18:51:45 CEST 2008

Jim Morcombe wrote:
> I want to write a program that helps teach students how to draw ray 
> diagrams for lenses and mirrors. Vpython seems to be used for a number 
> of physics simulations, but may be overkill for my application.  
> Although there are a few 3D things I would like to do, most just 
> involves drawing curves and simple objects, and allowing the User to do 
> the same.
> So the question - What is the best thing to use to draw and manipulate 
> simple 2D objects in an application like this?

I'd stick to a simple 2D Gui toolkit that has a canvas. Tkinter comes by 
default and is usually more than sufficient for simple applications. 
Simple physics like the thin lens equation etc. can probably be done by 
hand for your application. I don't think you need to really use a *real* 
physics engine.

For heavy duty physics simulation (the kind you see in modern games), 
you can take a look at the Open Dynamics Engine (http://www.ode.org/).
There are Python bindings. I managed to get some of the demos to work fine.


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