Media Art & Technology Program
University of California Santa Barbara, 2006
C/C++, OpenGL

Microspheres is a simulation of structures in molecular physics. Molecules interact by randomly combining and breaking apart under specific circumstances. In this work, imaginary molecules follow very basic, probablistic rules of combination and dissociation (breaking apart). The result are molecular structures that progressively build more complex, geometric shapes, then break down back into simple molecules. Microspheres demonstrates that, with very simple rules, it is possible to build fairly complex geometries. When molecules collide in the simulation, they are given a certain probabilty of combining, and another probability for dissociation. At the right ratio, complex molecules emerge. Random rotations and gentle external forces ensure that the recombinations are always geometrically unique.

Microspheres thus model the basics of molecular systems. In the future, by assigning molecules physical properties based on real physics, it may be possible simulate the geometric structure of real molecular interactions.