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October 14, 2005

"visualizing" subatomic particles   (link)

"The idea was to transform physical properties into visual properties," Andersen explains. After working extensively with University of Michigan physicists Gordon Kane and David Gerdes, Andersen decided on four rules that would govern his representation of particles:

1. All the forms should be generated by one simple visual element.

2. The particles must have the same basic form, yet reflect differences in mass, parities, functions, and behavior.

3. There must be logical coherence between the particles according to the categorization and decay patterns of the Standard Model. Yet, the model must be open for possible extensions due to supersymmetry, string theory, gravitational forces, and the Higgs field/particle.

4. The particles' spins and directional velocities require a multidirectional visual quality.

After extensive experimentation, Andersen decided on a shape called a superquadric ellipsoid, created by manipulating the equation of the Lamé curve, for the basic shape of all of his Standard Model particles.

Posted by yargevad at October 14, 2005 01:21 PM

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