B Looking For a Physics Simulator

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Hello, I have an engineering project idea I hopefully would like to enter into a big science fair. I will need a physics Simulator that can show the effect of differing amounts of forces on 2 things joined by an electromagnet. Preferably free/open source or has a free student licence. If there is nothing free still link anything you know. Also do you have any idea if your allowed to use things like Inventor or other student licensed software for science fairs? Thanks for any answers.
 

sophiecentaur

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What would a simulator give you that a bit of real hardware couldn't do better?
What precisely are you wanting to show?
 
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The ability to model my device several times without having to break a bunch of material (it will be force with my device vs force without my device ) as well as being able to precisely show the amount of force being used, density of the material, etc, I feel that will make my project more credible. I really don't want to state exactly what my project is yet but I can answer any questions on what it needs to do.
 

sophiecentaur

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Are you planning to compare the magnetisation of different metals? I always have a problem about presenting the results of a simulation as 'proof' of Physics or of Understanding Physics. When you consider how many computer games use dodgy Physics simulations for producing simulations of the physical world. Who would be fooling who?
But I am just a grumpy old gimmer so don't pay too much attention. :wink:
Seriously though, you should really define what actual message you want to get across before inventing an experiment with random stuff - real or virtual.
 
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No that's not my idea. Its more of an engineering project, I will PM you soon if that's an option on this site.
 

sophiecentaur

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No that's not my idea. Its more of an engineering project, I will PM you soon if that's an option on this site.
There is no problem with carrying on in open forum. Someone else can then chip in.
 
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There is no problem with carrying on in open forum. Someone else can then chip in.
I'm kind of paranoid of getting my idea stolen, do you think its safe?
 

sophiecentaur

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Is your idea worth money?
Who would steal it? :smile:
 
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I feel bad that not saying but I think I have a very strong idea that I hope can win awards at places like ISEF and I don't feel too comfortable putting it on an open forum even at a wonderful place like this one. But do you have any recommendations for a physics simulator that can do what I have described?
 

sophiecentaur

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I feel bad that not saying but I think I have a very strong idea that I hope can win awards at places like ISEF and I don't feel too comfortable putting it on an open forum even at a wonderful place like this one. But do you have any recommendations for a physics simulator that can do what I have described?
I don't know the climate these days but I wouldn't have thought that just a simulation would be top of the list of favourites. If you included some serious analysis and use the simulation only to demonstrate the results, that would be a different matter and could impress judges. Using a simulator on its own sounds too much like 'suck it and see what happens' to me.
No, I don't know any simulators, I'm afraid. I expect that a number of other PF members could help you, though.
 
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What do you mean by analysis?
 
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My project isn't just a simulation. Like I said before it is an engineering project i'm going to be building a proof of concept implementing magnetism but using the simulation to show effects with vs without my device. I would really like your input on my idea since you are an actual engineer. I just dont know if its wise to put it here.
 

sophiecentaur

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What do you mean by analysis?
I mean taking an analytical approach to the problem before any practical/ simulation. The sort of Physics you are contemplating is ideally suited to a mathematical treatment, which would establish / demonstrate your understanding much more than playing with numerical parameters, entered into a few blocks in a simulator. We have a long way to go before (if ever) we do our Science thinking with numerical models.
I know that it's very fashionable to leap into a simulation as soon as possible but the results cannot be relied on to show the inner workings of any system. It's putting the cart before the horse, imo.
 

sophiecentaur

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My project isn't just a simulation. Like I said before it is an engineering project i'm going to be building a proof of concept implementing magnetism but using the simulation to show effects with vs without my device. I would really like your input on my idea since you are an actual engineer. I just dont know if its wise to put it here.
OK PM me
 
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I think you blocked yourself, It says I can not start a conversation with you.
 
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I think the problem with finding such a simulator is that there's either simulators that are free (and easy) to use but then only model simple kinematics (no magnets), or super-high end finite-elements ones for costly money that require months to do what you want. Third category is "free download from university website, only compiles on sparc workstations".

BTW, not necessarily saying this applies to you, but we get a bit apprehensive here when people post about "secret" ideas involving magnetism, as it too often involves violations of basic physics laws (most notably the conservation of energy).
 
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sophiecentaur

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I think you blocked yourself, It says I can not start a conversation with you.
I will sort that out. Continue in the morning as I'm off to bed.
 

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