Index to Physics Applets

This page contains links to a variety of physics applets, sorted by subject matter. The links can also be found in the Lecture Demonstration index.

In choosing the applets to put on this page, we've tried to avoid applets that only show things that our lecture demonstration collection can already be used to show just as well. But we are still interested in expanding our list of applets. So if you have found any other applets that you think would be worth adding to this collection, let us know.

General Applets and Tutorials:

PhET, a collection of interactive physics simulations from the Physics Education Technology project at the University of Colorado: http://www.colorado.edu/physics/phet/web-pages/index.html

UCLA's ePhysics (there are many links to specific ePhysics applets below): http://ephysics.physics.ucla.edu

Hyperphysics, a collection of tutorials hosted by the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Georgia State University: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/hph.html

General Physics Java Applets, by B. Surendranath Reddy: http://surendranath.tripod.com/Applets.html

MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) http://www.nhn.ou.edu/~walkup/demonstrations/WebAssignments/index.html

NTNU Virtual Physics Laboratory. This requires registration for offline access, but you can visit as a guest with internet connection http://www.phy.ntnu.edu.tw/ntnujava/index.php

Mechanics

Gravitation

Kepler's Second Law is illustrated by applying it to the individual planets and Halley's comet. http://www.walter-fendt.de/ph14e/keplerlaw2.htm

Projectiles

Newton's cannon: View projectile motion with the earth's curvature taken into account. http://galileo.phys.virginia.edu/classes/109N/more_stuff/Applets/newt/newtmtn.html

Rotational Dynamics

An illustration showing the velocity and acceleration vectors in rolling without slipping: http://www.phys.hawaii.edu/~teb/java/ntnujava/FreeRolling/FreeRolling.html

Vectors

Manipulate the magnitudes and directions of two vectors, and see the effect this has on their vector cross product. http://www.phy.syr.edu/courses/java-suite/crosspro.html


Waves

Acoustics and Vibrations Animations: Click here for various applets dealing with sound, vibrations and other wave phenomena. http://www.gmi.edu/~drussell/Demos.html

Chaotic Oscillations

Produce a Poincare section for a driven pendulum. The initial conditions can be controlled. http://www.scar.utoronto.ca/~pat/fun/JAVA/pendchao/pendchao.html

Simple Harmonic Motion

Create a Lissajous figure. The frequencies of both the x and y oscillations may be varied. http://www.mta.ca/faculty/science/physics/suren/Lissajous/Lissajous.html

Travelling Waves

View patterns of oscillating air molecules in a tube caused by a traveling or standing wave. http://www.mta.ca/faculty/science/physics/suren/Lwave/Lwave01.html

Observe a wave pulse as it reflects off a fixed or a free end. http://www.kettering.edu/~drussell/Demos/reflect/reflect.html

Superposition : Fourier Principles/Complex Waves

Build a waveform by combining a variety of different frequencies. The simulation also allows the user to hear what the waveform sounds like. http://www.phys.hawaii.edu/~teb/java/ntnujava/sound/sound.html

Observe how the superposition of waves with different frequencies leads to different forms of dispersion. http://webphysics.davidson.edu/Applets/Superposition/GroupVelocity.html

Interference

View the interference pattern created by multiple sources. The locations of the sources can be varied. http://ephysics.physics.ucla.edu/physlets/einterference.htm

Beats: View the superposition of two traveling waves with slightly different frequencies. The frequencies can be adjusted. http://www.mta.ca/faculty/science/physics/suren/Beats/Beats.html

Standing Waves/Resonance

View patterns of oscillating air molecules in a tube caused by a traveling or standing wave. http://www.mta.ca/faculty/science/physics/suren/Lwave/Lwave01.html

View standing wave patterns in a pipe for different harmonic numbers. http://www.walter-fendt.de/ph14e/stlwaves.htm

See how the superposition of incident and reflected waves creates a standing wave. http://www.walter-fendt.de/ph14e/stwaverefl.htm

Vibrational Modes

Observe the vibrational modes for a rectangular membrane. http://www.kettering.edu/~drussell/Demos/MembraneSquare/Square.html

Observe the vibrational modes for a drum. http://www.kettering.edu/~drussell/Demos/MembraneCircle/Circle.html

Doppler Shift

An illustration of the Doppler effect for different speeds, including shock waves for supersonic motion. http://www.kettering.edu/~drussell/Demos/doppler/doppler.html

An illustration of the Doppler effect involving a moving ambulance and a person standing nearby. http://www.walter-fendt.de/ph14e/dopplereff.htm


Properties of Heat and Matter

Engines and Pumps

Observe an engine undergoing an Otto cycle, along with its P-V diagram. http://www.shermanlab.com/science/physics/thermo/engines/OttoG.php

Kinetic Theory and Gas Models

Gas Law Program: View a model of gas molecules in motion, and vary pressure, volume, temperature, or number of moles. A graph of particle speeds is also shown. http://intro.chem.okstate.edu/1314F00/Laboratory/GLP.htm

Follow the path of a particle undergoing Brownian motion. http://www.phy.ntnu.edu.tw/ntnujava/viewtopic.php?t=41

Radiation

Two slightly different applets for showing the blackbody radiation curve:

http://jersey.uoregon.edu/vlab/PlankRadiationFormula/index.html

http://ephysics.physics.ucla.edu/physlets/eblackbody.htm

Temperature and Expansion

Observe effect of adding or removing heat or changing volume in an isochoric, isobaric, isothermal, or adiabatic process. http://mysite.verizon.net/pmrenault/thermo.html


Electricity and Magnetism

Capacitance

Time evolution of an RC circuit: http://ephysics.physics.ucla.edu/ntnujava/rc/erc_circuits.htm

Electromagnetic Oscillations

Observe the oscillations in an LC circuit. http://www.walter-fendt.de/ph14e/osccirc.htm

Impedance of series RLC circuits: See how a plot of current as a function of frequency changes when R, L, or C are changed. http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeoacw1/impedance.html

RLC Circuits (DC power source): Observe how the voltages in the circuit evolve with time. http://ephysics.physics.ucla.edu/ntnujava/electronics/erlc_circuits_dc.htm

An illustration of a traveling electromagnetic wave. http://www.walter-fendt.de/ph14e/emwave.htm

Electrostatics

Electric field diagram for two point charges: http://web.mit.edu/jbelcher/www/java/vecnodyncirc/vecnodyncirc.html

Create your own charge distribution (or randomize) and observe electric field created http://www.cco.caltech.edu/~phys1/java/phys1/EField/EField.html

Faraday's Law

Generator: A rectangular loop rotates in a magnetic field, with or without commutator. http://www.walter-fendt.de/ph14e/generator_e.htm

Magnetic Fields

Magnetic field diagram for two moving point charges: http://web.mit.edu/jbelcher/www/java/part_biot/part_biot.html

Resistance

Ohm Zone: Build your own circuits. http://www.article19.com/shockwave/oz.htm

Kirchoff's Rules: Observe how the voltages across and currents through the resistors in a circuit change as the resistors or battery emfs change. http://www.physics.uoguelph.ca/applets/Intro_physics/kisalev/java/kirch4/index.html

Solid State and Semiconductors

Carrier concentration vs Fermi level and density of states: http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~wie/applet/fermi/fermi.htmll

Fermi level, Fermi function and electron occupancy of localized energy states: http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~wie/applet/fermi/functionAndStates/functionAndStates.html


Optics

Color Perception

Rotating pink dots create the illusion of a green dot. http://www.dougmoran.com/collections/optical-illusion-pink-dot-circle.html

Addition of the primary colors (red, green and blue): http://www.cbu.edu/~jvarrian/applets/color1/colors_g.htm

Observe how mixing of light (addition) differs from mixing of pigments (subtraction). http://www.hal-pc.org/~clement/Simulations/Mixing%20Colors/rgbColor.html

Diffraction

Single slit diffraction: Observe the diffraction pattern created by light passing through a slit of variable width. You can also change the wavelength of the light. http://www.physics.uoguelph.ca/applets/Intro_physics/kisalev/java/slitdiffr/index.html

Gratings and Spectra

Observe the intensity profile for a diffraction grating with variable number of slits, slit spacing, slit width, and wavelength. http://www.physics.uq.edu.au/people/mcintyre/applets/grating/grating.html

Interference

Two-slit interference, with variable wavelength and slit separation. Also includes intensity profile. http://www.walter-fendt.de/ph14e/doubleslit.htm

An illustration of the intensity profile for two-slit interference, including the diffraction envelope. Allows variable slit separation, slit width and wavelength. http://lectureonline.cl.msu.edu/~mmp/kap27/Gary-TwoSlit/app.htm

Lenses

Lenses and mirrors: Observe the image created by a converging/diverging lens or mirror. You can change the object position, object height, and focal length. http://www.phys.hawaii.edu/~teb/java/ntnujava/Lens/lens_e.html

Image Formation by a Converging Lens: As you change the object position, you can observe the real or virtual image change position. Shows a large number of rays. http://www.physics.uoguelph.ca/applets/Intro_physics/kisalev/java/clens/index.html

Observe the effect of a single converging lens or two such lenses on the rays from an object. The position and focal length of each lens can be varied. http://ephysics.physics.ucla.edu/optics/html/lenses.htm

Image Formation by a Diverging Lens: As you change the object position, you can observe the virtual image change position. Shows a large number of rays. http://www.physics.uoguelph.ca/applets/Intro_physics/kisalev/java/dlens/index.html

Build a system of lenses and/or mirrors. http://ephysics.physics.ucla.edu/physlets/1.1/elenses_and_mirrors.htm

Optics of the eye: Observe how a normal, nearsighted or farsighted person's eye affects incoming rays. You can change object position and focal length of the eye system, and add eyeglasses of variable focal length. http://ephysics.physics.ucla.edu/optics/html/eye.htm

Mirrors

Lenses and mirrors: Observe the image created by a converging/diverging lens or mirror. Can change the object position, object height, and focal length. http://www.phys.hawaii.edu/~teb/java/ntnujava/Lens/lens_e.html

Converging mirror: Observe the image created by a concave mirror. Can change the mirror position and focal length. Shows a large number of rays. http://ephysics.physics.ucla.edu/optics/html/mirrors.htm

Diverging mirror: Observe the image created by a convex mirror. Can change the object position. Shows a large number of rays. http://www.physics.uoguelph.ca/applets/Intro_physics/kisalev/java/dmirr/index.html

Build a system of lenses and/or mirrors. http://ephysics.physics.ucla.edu/physlets/1.1/elenses_and_mirrors.htm

Refraction and Reflection

Reflection and Refraction: Observe how a wavefront creates reflected and refracted wavefronts as it encounters an interface between two media. http://ephysics.physics.ucla.edu/ntnujava/propagation/ereflection_and_refraction.htm

Physics of the Rainbow: A highly detailed examination of the effect of a water droplet on different colors of light. http://www.phy.ntnu.edu.tw/ntnujava/viewtopic.php?t=61

Fermat's principle: See how the path taken by a light beam is the path that minimizes the travel time. http://ephysics.physics.ucla.edu/ntnujava/Fermat/efermat.htm


Modern and Contemporary Physics

Quantum Physics Online: Click here for various applets dealing with topics in quantum mechanics. http://www.quantum-physics.polytechnique.fr/

Atomic Structure

Thomson model of the atom: http://galileoandeinstein.physics.virginia.edu/more_stuff/Applets/rutherford/rutherford2.html

Rutherford model of the atom: http://galileoandeinstein.physics.virginia.edu/more_stuff/Applets/rutherford/rutherford.html

Bohr model of the atom: http://www.walter-fendt.de/ph14e/bohrh.htm

See the order in which atomic shells are filled with electrons: http://lectureonline.cl.msu.edu/~mmp/period/electron.htm

Quantum Mechanical Barrier Penetration

An illustration of a wave packet encountering a potential energy barrier. http://www.neti.no/java/sgi_java/WaveSim.html

Special Relativity

Clocks and the Postulates of Special Relativity: http://ephysics.physics.ucla.edu/ntnujava/relativity/epostulates_clocks.htm

Radioactivity

An illustration of the law of radioactive decay: http://lectureonline.cl.msu.edu/~mmp/applist/decay/decay.htm

Accelerators

How a cyclotron works. http://www.phy.ntnu.edu.tw/ntnujava/viewtopic.php?t=50

Laser

Operation of a laser: http://www.physics.uoguelph.ca/applets/Intro_physics/kisalev/java/laser/index.html

Back to Physics Demonstrations' Home Page