Questions on the sorting/ordering functions of Mathematica (Sort, SortBy, Ordering, etc.).

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Finding correct combination of functions

I am trying to write code where I have an array $S$ or numbers in any order [5,4,2,1,....] Then I have a specific set of functions that I can write. ...
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Collision detection algorithm (discrete) with sweep and prune algorithm for periodic boundary conditions

EDIT: Question Updated with solution approach, but solution much slower than original implementation. Any ideas to speed up implementation? In the discussion on collision detection (see here) I asked ...
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How do I reassign canonical ordering of special expressions?

1. Default behavior of Sort Note: this peculiarity is described in a comment to a related question at StackOverflow but I think it's worth restating here at mma.sx. It is estabilished in ...
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Ordering oscillators with negative powers: Infinite loops

I have been working with ordering of oscillators for example $[a,a^\dagger]=1$ and I have a fairly stable code. I have needed to use inverse oscillators for example expressions like $a^m ...