softening adj : having a softening or soothing effect especially to the skin [syn: demulcent, emollient, salving] n : the process of becoming softer; "refrigeration delayed the softening of the fruit"; "he observed the softening of iron by heat"
- present participle of soften
Softening is a numerical trick used in N-body techniques to prevent numerical divergences when a particle comes too close to another (and the force goes to infinity). This is obtained by modifying the gravitational potential of each particle as
- \Phi = - \frac
where \epsilon is the softening parameter. The value of the softening parameter should be set small enough to keep simulations realistic.
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