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Feb20-12, 02:57 AM
P: 3

I have no formal relativistic education, however, I am plenty of an enthusiast. Finding relativity fascinating I decided to learn it the best way that I know of, that is - putting it into a computer program. So, I've written a special relativity simulator.

It doesn't show Doppler and headlight effects as some other fine simulators out there, but it can simulate relativistic motion of "bodies", their 3d models and has some features I haven't found elsewhere. It can show the scene as-observed (typical text-book view) or as-seen (with optical aberration). The camera is put outside of the current observer, which is rather unrealistic, but I find such 3rd person view to show with more clarity what is going on. The bodies can do accelerations, you can rewind the time and switch among observers on-the-fly (every body can be an observer). User interface is limited to 2D plane, but the engine is fully 3D capable. I've prepared several scripts/examples which you can try, such as the classical length contraction, time dilation, simultaneity, twin paradox, ladder and barn...

There are screens/video, a Linux build and source code available at . All the libraries used are cross-platform.

I though the physics forum would be the best place to kindly ask for some feedback. If anyone is interested, I'd appreciate any comments, especially on the correctness and accuracy of the simulation.

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