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- What is glue stretching? 1 answer
\hskip 60pt plus 100pt minus 100pt mean? I used to think of this as a mechanical spring with natural width and some string constant k. But, I know that it is not exactly so, since the plus and minus need not be exact, and, also, the text box has maximal and minimal width, whereas a Hookean spring has infinite elasticity.
Now, the nice thing about Hookean strings is that they can be connected in series and in parallel. Here are some questions:
- Does TeX inner engine rely on this property to model several adjacent boxes as one?
- Does the physics of spring carry through to TeX? Did Knuth develop the math and physics of glue?
- Are there any instances in which
\hboxes are connected in parallel?
- If TeX glues are likened to physical springs, what are TeX springs in the physical world?
If you do not like the springs analogy, the questions are then restricted to creatures created by \hbox and glues. Is it the case that the serial concatenation of two of these, cannot be represented with a single box with different glue?
More abstractly, what are the elasticity functions of compound creatures? Is it a Tropical Geometry of some kind?