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JAVAPHASER: USER'S MANUALINTRODUCTION
Students of electrical engineering, physics, and many other fields often find that dynamical systems are useful models for the phenomena they encounter. The meteorologist E. N. Lorenz, for example, tried to use one for weather rediction. Javaphaser is a tool which draws the phase portrait of any such system entered in its input fields.INTERFACE
Two sections comprise Javaphaser's applet window. On the left is a graphical area, in which the systems are drawn. On the right is a control panel. This panel contains, from top to bottom, two fields for entering the system, a message area, and a command area.
Initial conditions for a trace can be set by clicking the mouse in the graphical area.
The system fields are connected to a parser which interprets mathematical expressions. This parser requires that input adhere strictly to certain rules. These are:
1. The following operations are available: addition (+), subtraction (-), multiplication (*), division (/), and exponentiation(^).
2. The following operations are forbidden: implicit multiplication (5x != 5*x), negation (-x != 0-x), and FORTRAN-style exponentiation (**).
3. The following functions are defined: trigonometrics (sin(x), cos(x), tan(x)), natural logarithm (ln(x)), and exponential (exp(x)).
4. The following constants are defined: pi (PI), and Euler's number (E).
5. The following characters are recognized as variables: "x", "y", and "t".
The message area prints information about changes in the applet's status and error messsages.
The command area allows very fine control of the manner in which a system is drawn. Commands are invoked by clicking the EXEC button with the mouse and then pressing a key. Parameters for these commands are read from the adjacent parameter field.COMMAND SUMMARY
The following program parameters may be changed through the command area:
Scale: the number of pixels per unit. (I.e. the displacement from the origin in pixels of the point (1, 0).)
Timestep: the amount by which t is incremented each time the position is recalculated. Lower values make the rendering more accurate.
x, y, and t coordinates: If the mouse is insufficiently accurate, the x and y coordinates of the current trace can be set. Also, the value of t can be specified.
Number of traces: some systems can be explored more easily with several traces drawn in parallel. More than 20 is not recommended.
Which trace has focus: this trace is the one which changes position in response to mouse clicks or the commands to set x, y, and t.
Number of recalculations per redraw: In some cases, setting this to a number other than 1 will speed up drawing without decreasing accuracy. The Runge-Kutta integrator this applet uses is, however, fast enough and accurate enough for this value to be safely left at its default value of 1.
|COMMAND||EXECUTION KEY||PARAMETER FIELD|
|Set number of traces||b||Positive integer|
|Select trace||d||Positive integer|
|Select next trace||e||--|
|Clear drawing area||c||--|
|Step forward by timestep and redraw||i||--|
|Change x||x||Decimal number|
|Change y||y||Decimal number|
|Set time for selected trace||a||Decimal number|
|Set number of recalculations per redraw||f||Positive integer|
|Set scale||s||Positive integer|
|Set timestep||t||Decimal number|
A good differential equations textbook will have a chapter on dynamical systems. Those of the following indicated with an asterisk were taken from chapter 6 of _Differential Equations_ by Edwards and Penny.Simplified pendulum , mass-spring, or ideal LC circuit:
Differential Equations. C. H. Edwards Jr. and David E. Penny. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Simon and Schuster, 1996.
Scientific Computing. Michael T. Heath. McGraw Hill, 1997.ABOUT THE AUTHOR