Investigate collisions on an air hockey table. Set up your own experiments: vary the number of discs, masses and initial conditions. Is momentum conserved? Is kinetic energy conserved? Vary the elasticity and see what happens.
Learn about graphing polynomials. The shape of the curve changes as the constants are adjusted. View the curves for the individual terms (e.g. y=bx ) to see how they add to generate the polynomial curve.
Learn how friction causes a material to heat up and melt. Rub two objects together and they heat up. When one reaches the melting temperature, particles break free as the material melts away.
How does a lens form an image? See how light rays are refracted by a lens. Watch how the image changes when you adjust the focal length of the lens, move the object, move the lens, or move the screen.
Join the ladybug in an exploration of rotational motion. Rotate the merry-go-round to change its angle, or choose a constant angular velocity or angular acceleration. Explore how circular motion relates to the bug's x,y position, velocity, and acceleration using vectors or graphs.
Learn about position, velocity, and acceleration in the "Arena of Pain". Use the green arrow to move the ball. Add more walls to the arena to make the game more difficult. Try to make a goal as fast as you can.
How did scientists figure out the structure of atoms without looking at them? Try out different models by shooting light at the atom. Check how the prediction of the model matches the experimental results.
Build your own system of heavenly bodies and watch the gravitational ballet. With this orbit simulator, you can set initial positions, velocities, and masses of 2, 3, or 4 bodies, and then see them orbit each other.
See how the equation form of Ohm's law relates to a simple circuit. Adjust the voltage and resistance, and see the current change according to Ohm's law. The sizes of the symbols in the equation change to match the circuit diagram.
This interactive Flash animation allows students to explore size estimation in one, two and three dimensions. Multiple levels of difficulty allow for progressive skill improvement. In the simplest level, users estimate the number of small line segments that can fit into a larger line segment. Intermediate and advanced levels offer feature games that explore area of rectangles and circles, and volume of spheres and cubes. Related lesson plans and student guides are available for middle school and high school classroom instruction. Editor's Note: When the linear dimensions of an object change by some factor, its area and volume change disproportionately: area in proportion to the square of the factor and volume in proportion to its cube. This concept is the subject of entrenched misconception among many adults. This game-like simulation allows kids to use spatial reasoning, rather than formulas, to construct geometric sense of area and volume. This is part of a larger collection developed by the Physics Education Technology project (PhET).
Explore what makes a reaction happen by colliding atoms and molecules. Design experiments with different reactions, concentrations, and temperatures. When are reactions reversible? What affects the rate of a reaction?
Learn about the physics of resistance in a wire. Change its resistivity, length, and area to see how they affect the wire's resistance. The sizes of the symbols in the equation change along with the diagram of a wire.
For advanced undergraduate students: Observe resonance in a collection of driven, damped harmonic oscillators. Vary the driving frequency and amplitude, the damping constant, and the mass and spring constant of each resonator. Notice the long-lived transients when damping is small, and observe the phase change for resonators above and below resonance.
Learn how to add vectors. Drag vectors onto a graph, change their length and angle, and sum them together. The magnitude, angle, and components of each vector can be displayed in several formats.