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Two masses connected by constant distance

  1. Feb 12, 2007 #1
    Hello, apologize if this is basic for some of you. Its been a while since I've taken physics and I'm looking to model an interaction similar to the dual ships in the classic video game Space Duel.

    Basicly two masses connected by a rigid connector (constant distance). One mass (m1) does all the accellerating. The other (m2) gets dragged ( also effecting the ability of m1 to accellerate), causing both to rotate about each other at the midpoint of the connector (sort of like a bolas effect) while the entire mechanism (both masses and connector) move about the field. This is a 2D flat space.

    I'm thinking a spring connector model (please correct me if I'm wrong) with 0 expansion or retraction, but am not sure how to go about modeling this. Any help would be appreciated.

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 13, 2007 #2
    What exactly are you trying to find? Force is a vector quantity, could you please attach a diagram?
  4. Feb 13, 2007 #3
    Hi KN, thanks for your time. I'm trying to find the equations to program the model I'm describing. Here's an example of the original game to see the ship behaviors I'm talking about that I'm trying to model (look at the 1 Player cooperative play):

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2017
  5. Feb 24, 2007 #4
    I don't know too much about computer programming so I'll try to simply explain what is going on from a physics standpoint. Assuming you have two identical boats attached by a perfectly ridgid rod of some type, then the force of boat 1 (the acceloration) will act in two ways. (1) it will act to accelerate the center of mass of the two boat system (which will be located at the center of the rod), (2) the force will provide a torque on the system, rotating it.
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