While I was putting together the post on 2D disks I came across a lovely paper from 1962 on 2D melting by Alder and Wainwright. From there I found this paper from 1959: Studies in Molecular Dynamics. I. General Method by the same authors. They describe the “event driven” molecular dynamics (MD) algorithm. Normally, with MD you calculate forces, and thus accelerations, and update this way. Hard disks or spheres behave more like snooker balls, the forces are more or less instantaneous impulses that conserve momentum so it’s better to deal with collision events and leave out the acceleration part.
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