# Simulating Gas Density and Pressure in a 2D World

I’m building a small spaceship simulation app that looks a lot like a game for an upcoming talk I’m giving where I use this sample app to teach the F# programming language.

This small app is something like FTL meets Oxygen Not Included where you have a top-down 2D grid of tiles (similar to an old RPG) where each tile has its own mixture of gasses – right now oxygen and carbon dioxide, but potentially others.

I’ve got a few things I’m trying to simulate:

1. When new gasses are added to a tile by something like a vent or a life support system, that gas should expand to neighboring tiles if possible
2. When a pressure changes (e.g. opening a door to another area of the ship or a hull breach), air should flow from the high pressure tile to the low pressure tile next to it.

Given this, and given that some gasses naturally sift to the top of others, I’m trying to figure out a small set of simple rules to govern this behavior.

Previously I had all gasses equalizing with their neighbors and no concept of pressure, but that made it very difficult to treat scenarios like hull ruptures, so I’m looking for something a bit more realistic without getting complex or hyper-accurate.

For example, given tile A with 15g oxygen and 6g CO2 and neighboring tile B of 3g oxygen and 1g CO2, some air should clearly flow from A to B. However, what flows? Is it the lightest gasses? The heaviest gasses? A random or representative sampling of gasses in A? Are there any relevant physics principles I should be aware of?

Note: I posted here instead of in physics because I don’t care extremely about nuanced accuracy, just something simple and believable