2022 Student Research Conference:
35th Annual Student Research Conference

Measuring Matter Distribution in a Toy Model Universe


Jason J. Niffen
Prof. Taner Edis, Faculty Mentor

We built a toy model to help us study time reversal symmetry and the second law of thermodynamics. Our model is a number of boxes arranged in a circle, which simulates the idea of space, and some tokens that are located in the boxes, which represent matter. As the simulation progresses, the number of boxes can change, so that space can expand or contract. The tokens in the boxes have probabilities of moving between the boxes, like matter moving in space. Both changes in the boxes and the probabilities of tokens moving between each box are determined by rules that we modify. In our simulations, we used entropy as a measure of how spread out the matter in our universe was. Additionally, we used the concept of center of mass as a replacement for conventional definitions of mean and standard deviation which do not work properly on a circular space.

Keywords: physics, entropy, math, coding, cosmology, toy model, center of mass, time reversability

Topic(s):Physics

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: 207-2
Location: MG 1098
Time: 10:30

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