Pearson's Tower model

Jerome Pearson, in his discussion of orbital towers, calculated that a tower 150,000 km in radius would have its base neither in compression nor tension. This applet simulates Pearson's tower, but since it only contains 23 bodies, and is 121,000 km in radius, it is a discrete body approximation. If released, this tower tends to rise very slowly.

Each simulation is started/stopped by clicking on the Start/Stop button. With Motion trails unticked, bodies and cables are shown at their present location. In Show trails ticked, bodies and cable motion leaves a trail. The Hold option fixes the radial distance of the lowest body in the tower. The Feed option allows bodies to be fed into the base of a rising tower. The Release option breaks the cable connecting the lowest tower body to the planet. The Shatter option breaks all cables in a tower.

Applets can be restarted by returning to this page, and then reselecting them. Where the models have randomized initialization (as in the Gravitational model and the Elastic model), a new simulation starts each time the applet begins.

The larger the number of bodies and the shorter the time interval used, the slower these simulation models run.