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inertia tensor matrix for ensemble of particles.

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oh man, still no replies? well the truth is, it''s because finding the inertia tensor for complex objects is difficult. i''m not sure what your "ensemble" most closely resembles, but you should be able to find formulae for primitives like spheres and boxes.


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Its actually quite simple to calculate the inertia tensor for a cloud of spherical particles with mass:

Let (Xo, Yo, Zo) be the point about which you want to calculate the inertias. Then, here''s the pseudocode

float Ixx = 0., Iyy = 0., Izz = 0., Ixy = 0., Ixz = 0.;
float Iyz = 0., mass = 0.
Particle *p = all the particles;

for (int i = 0; i < numparticles; i++)
mass += p.mass;
Ixx += p[i].mass*(p[i].y*p[i].y + p[i].z*p[i].z);
Iyy += p[i].mass*(p[i].x*p[i].x + p[i].z*p[i].z);
Izz += p[i].mass*(p[i].x*p[i].x + p[i].y*p[i].y);
Ixy += p[i].mass*(p[i].x*p[i].y);
Ixz += p[i].mass*(p[i].x*p[i].z);
Iyz += p[i].mass*(p[i].y*p[i].z);

When you''re done, the inertia tensor will be:

[ Ixx Ixy Ixz ]
IT = | Iyx Iyy Iyz |
[ Izx Izy Izz ]

And you also have the total mass of the system.

Graham Rhodes
Senior Scientist
Applied Research Associates, Inc.

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