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heateq is a small Python/C application that solves or simulates the heat equation in either 1D or 2D. It is intended for demonstrational and experimental purposes only. It's unstable and the interface is subject to change.


heateq screenshots


Clone the Mercurial repository.

$ hg clone

Requirements are: numpy, scipy, cairo, gtk. Use Python easy_install for installation, for example:

$ easy_install --user .


Simulate the 1D heat equation with constant boundary conditions:

$ heateq

Simulate the 2D heat equation on a 100x100 grid with sinusoid boundary conditions, i.e. the temperature at the boundary is a sinus function:

$ heateq -D 2 -m 100 -n 100

Change the diffusivity of the material in the interior of the simulated region:

$  heateq -D 2 -m 100 -n 100 -d 20000

Solve the 2D heat equation of a cooking pot heated from below.

$ heateq -s -m 35 -n 35 -D 2


When nosetests is installed, you can run the tests from the repository root directory via

$ nosetests -v


This software has most recently been tested on 2013-01-07 on Arch Linux. Please report, if you experience any troubles.


Uses finite differences to approximate the Laplace operator.