AskDefine | Define softening

Dictionary Definition

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"

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Verb

softening
  1. present participle of soften

Extensive Definition

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.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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