I am trying to simulate a plasma globe using computer. But I do not know how to model the motion of its filaments.

My first guess is to construct a potential field. And the filaments are the paths minimize the works in this potential field. By altering this potential field, the filaments get animated.

I am wondering if this model is correct. And what is this potential field going to be? Is it an electric field?

  • $\begingroup$ Sounds about right, as I'd expect the filaments to "point" to the location on the globe closest to ground potential. You'll probably want both some randomizer for the resistance at each point on the globe as well as a function which changes the resistance due to local heating when a filament doesn't move. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Apr 24 '14 at 17:53
  • $\begingroup$ I do not think that “paths minimizing the works” is a usable approach to gas discharge filaments. A filament exists because of plasma (ionized gas) in it, that is nearly absent outside, so positions of filaments in a gas have a huge hysteresis. $\endgroup$ – Incnis Mrsi Aug 14 '14 at 16:15

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