What is the physics behind snow flakes inside a 3D snow globe? If I were to implement a snow globe in computer graphics what kind of model do I need to the flakes motion like a real snow globe?

What field of physics does this problem belong to?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Fluid dynamics / hydrodynamics, I'd guess. But you need to decide if physical accuracy is important, because you certainly don't need a full physics simulation to sufficiently convey the idea of a snow globe. $\endgroup$ – Jason C Jul 18 '14 at 3:01

This is low-Reynolds number particle sedimentation.

It turns out that the problem is strikingly difficult, despite the simplicity of the setup and even of the equations (Stokes plus dynamics of pointwise solid particles). Check the webpage of E Guazzelli who's been working a lot on this.

However, I believe you can get a fair rendering with simply a diffusion term coupled with a gravity one (actually, for a "nice" snow globe, you want to minimize collective movements so that it looks like the "ideal" quiet snow fall)


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.