Letter from the Editor
Physics is mathematical not because we know so much about the physical world, but because we know so little; it is only its mathematical properties that we can discover.
The recent gridlock in the U.S. Congress has frustrated nearly everyone. Why is it that the two bodies in the Senate and House cannot give a little in their positions even when the applied pressures to do so are large? One would think they could figure out a way to work smoothly together without losing their identities.
Interestingly, this happens to be a topic described in this Newsletter. The Development Focus outlines how it is now possible to simulate solid bodies deforming when they make contact and even to allow some relative slip to occur between them. This now makes it possible for all sorts of new projects to be tackled that can enhance the professional lives of our users. Wouldn't it be nice if congressional members could work together in this way?
Along similar lines, the Hints & Tips article offers a simple way to approximate the coupling of two rigid, solid bodies as though they have been connected by a pivot. With this approach, the individual bodies can move in response to all applied forces, but still remain coupled at a common pivot point. The bodies retain a great deal of freedom, while always remaining in agreement with the one point they have in common. One can only hope that the two houses of Congress could work this way with the common goal of doing what's best for all citizens.
The present state of national affairs is baffling to most of us, so its welcome news to find that what's baffling to some can be exceedingly helpful to others. In this regard, read the application article to find out how a user was able to make use of baffles to solve important problems in hydraulics.
If only the inspiration and hard work demonstrated by our users and staff could be imparted to our nation's lawmakers, then we could all go happily from simulation to simulation.