The mathematical foundations of conventional numerical simulation of physical systems provide no consistent description of the behavior of such systems when subjected to discontinuous physical influences. As a result, the numerical simulation of such problems requires ad hoc encoding of specific experimental results in order to address the behavior of such discontinuous physical systems. In the present invention, these foundations are replaced by a new combination of generalized function theory and nonstandard analysis. The result is a class of new approaches to the numerical simulation of physical systems which allows the accurate and well-behaved simulation of discontinuous and other difficult physical systems, as well as simpler physical systems. Applications of this new class of numerical simulation techniques to process control, robotics, and apparatus design are outlined.