selected works available
1,000 orbitals
variation A
processing   august, 2004   j.tarbell
  launch small java applet launch medium java applet launch large java applet  
  250 x 250 pixels
73 orbitals
500 x 500 pixels
200 orbitals
900 x 900 pixels
500 orbitals
The Orbitals is a collection of particles operating on one simple rule: choose another particle in the system and orbit it with a fixed radius at a constant velocity. This is variation A (see Orbitals Variation B).

To set the rendering stage, particles are randomly introduced into the system. Particles have a 90% chance of choosing to orbit a particle already in the system, otherwise, they become a root particle. Root particles are given a constant vertical translation in position, so that they are dragged from the top of the screen to the bottom. Dragging the root particle also drags all the particles orbiting it.
orbital threading
early0000 low count orbitals provide clues as to what might unfold with higher numbers...
The image above contains about 100 orbiting particles including 18 root particles.

Let us increase the number of elements in the orbiting system into the hundreds...
orbital texture
orbital texture
orbital texture
orbital texture
elegance with orbit
0000 cyclic patterns from orbiting systems
I am reminded of an American childhood firmly based in the 1970's.
orbitals variation b
B2000 one root particle with no translation
orbitals variation b
B2001 one root particle with no translation
A variation of the Orbitals (see Orbital Variation B) exists that uses only one root node, and does no dragging. The result is an interesting calendar like object with a deeply nested structure.