# Nanoparticles: An after-exam bonus

I guess you are pretty exhausted after the midterm exam this week and a lot of you have probably had other exams to deal with as well. What better time to share a game with you to put your minds at ease for a little while.

The game is called Nanoparticles and was written by me about half a year ago. It is based on Coulomb’s law with a few modifications and Newtonian physics. But instead of having you calculate anything, the game does it all for you in the background. You can download the game for Ubuntu, Linux, Windows and Nokia phones here (Mac and Android versions will be available sometime in the future):

Your mission is to make sure the positive particles you control does not crash into the negative ones. That would cause it to annihilate. To do this, you need to place out other positive and negative particles to keep your particle away for as long as possible.

The game is also open source, so if you’re interested in programming and C++, you can have a look at the source code too. More information about the game and how to obtain the source code is found here.

# Using Mayavi in Fys1120 oblig 1

3D plot for exercise 2d

There are only two days left before the first mandatory exercise in Fys1120 is due. Last time I posted about Mayavi I wrote in a comment that I would give you some hints on how to use it with the oblig. Actually, there are not so many useful applications for Mayavi in this particular oblig, since most plots are 2D and are better created using scitools.

In fact, the 3D plots in this oblig might also be plotted using scitools, but I decided to use Mayavi to test it out for this particular purpose.

# Using Mayavi to visualize electric fields

Mayavi renders great field line plots.

While searching for a good Python module to visualize electric fields, I found Mayavi. Developed by Enthought, Mayavi is a very good module for visualizing a huge range of different scientific data sets. Everything from surfaces, flows and streamlines to bar charts, 3D plots and contour surfs are beautifully drawn on screen and exported to several file formats, such as PDF, PNG, EPS and more.

What I needed it for, however, was to visualize electric field lines in the course FYS1120 at the University of Oslo. We were told to use Matlab with the streamline and quiver functions, but even so, I wanted to use Python and decided to do a search and see if something similar was possible with Python. It took me some time to figure out how to use the scitools package to do streamline plots, but eventually I made it. However, these were a bit tedious to get working correctly and looked only about as good as the Matlab plots.