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Balls, boxes and solitary waves. (English)
Math. Gaz. 87, No. 510, 468-476 (2003).
This article aims to publicise certain simple cellular automata, which model solitary waves and describes how these can be used as the basis of a mathematical investigation in the classroom. A soliton is a wave trying both to break and disperse at the same time. This phenomenon was recorded by Russell in 1834. A ball and box model is developed as a means of modelling waves, before a more mathematical formulation is presented, together with the relevant differential equation.
Classification: I70 I90
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