What would happen, wondered Physics Graduate Adrian Ham, if the laws of physics could be applied to the world of tennis? Using the latest software he decided to find out.
To do this he to set up a model to convert the world of tennis with players, matches and ranking points into the world of cosmology with stars, planets and gravity. It was decided that players should become stars and matches should become planets. Each match would be modelled as gravitational attractions between the planet(match) and the two stars(players). The more important the match based upon ranking points the stronger the gravitational forces.
Thereafter matches were entered into the modelling software with the stars and planets representing players and matches starting in random positions but with known gravitational forces between players and matches. The stars were colour coded for each player and planets were coloured according to the winning player. The gravitational forces between stars and planets were indicated by connecting lines of varying thickness – the lines were coloured according to the winning player. Thicker lines indicated stronger gravity caused by more important matches.
The visual effect of this so far was simply a chaotic smattering of dotted suns and planets joined by a blizzard of criss-crossing lines. There was no discernible structure.
Now it was time to let the laws of physics set to work.
With a click of the mouse the computer algorithm was set loose. The effect was immediate. Thick strong gravitational strings tugged stars and planets towards each other. From chaos emerged elegant patterns providing a new insight into the world of tennis.