Watch alpha particles escape from a polonium nucleus, causing radioactive alpha decay. See how random decay times relate to the half life.
Explore the interactions between various combinations of two atoms. Turn on the force arrows to see either the total force acting on the atoms or the individual attractive and repulsive forces. Try the "Adjustable Attraction" atom to see how changing the parameters affects the interaction.
Students explore static electricity by rubbing a simulated balloon on a sweater. As they view the charges in the sweater, balloon, and adjacent wall, they gain an understanding of charge transfer. This item is part of a larger collection of simulations developed by the Physics Education Technology project (PhET). The simulations are animated, interactive, and game-like environments.
Watch beta decay occur for a collection of nuclei or for an individual nucleus.
How does the blackbody spectrum of the sun compare to visible light? Learn about the blackbody spectrum of the sun, a light bulb, an oven, and the earth. Adjust the temperature to see the wavelength and intensity of the spectrum change. View the color of the peak of the spectral curve.
When will objects float and when will they sink? Learn how buoyancy works with blocks. Arrows show the applied forces, and you can modify the properties of the blocks and the fluid.
An electronics kit in your computer! Build circuits with resistors, light bulbs, batteries, and switches. Take measurements with the realistic ammeter and voltmeter. View the circuit as a schematic diagram, or switch to a life-like view.
Build circuits with resistors, light bulbs, batteries, and switches and take measurements with laboratory equipment like the realistic ammeter and voltmeter.
Make a whole rainbow by mixing red, green, and blue light. Change the wavelength of a monochromatic beam or filter white light. View the light as a solid beam, or see the individual photons.
Experiment with conductivity in metals, plastics and photoconductors. See why metals conduct and plastics don't, and why some materials conduct only when you shine a flashlight on them.
Why do objects like wood float in water? Does it depend on size? Create a custom object to explore the effects of mass and volume on density. Can you discover the relationship? Use the scale to measure the mass of an object, then hold the object under water to measure its volume. Can you identify all the mystery objects?
How many calories are in your favorite foods? How much exercise would you have to do to burn off these calories? What is the relationship between calories and weight? Explore these issues by choosing diet and exercise and keeping an eye on your weight.
Play hockey with electric charges. Place charges on the ice, then hit start to try to get the puck in the goal. View the electric field. Trace the puck's motion. Make the game harder by placing walls in front of the goal. This is a clone of the popular simulation of the same name marketed by Physics Academic Software and written by Prof. Ruth Chabay of the Dept of Physics at North Carolina State University.
Learn about conservation of energy with a skater dude! Build tracks, ramps and jumps for the skater and view the kinetic energy, potential energy and friction as he moves. You can also take the skater to different planets or even space!
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 do greenhouse gases affect the climate? Explore the atmosphere during the ice age and today. What happens when you add clouds? Change the greenhouse gas concentration and see how the temperature changes. Then compare to the effect of glass panes. Zoom in and see how light interacts with molecules. Do all atmospheric gases contribute to the greenhouse effect?
Make sparks fly with John Travoltage. Wiggle Johnnie's foot and he picks up charges from the carpet. Bring his hand close to the door knob and get rid of the excess charge.
Learn about position, velocity and acceleration vectors. Move the ladybug by setting the position, velocity or acceleration, and see how the vectors change. Choose linear, circular or elliptical motion, and record and playback the motion to analyze the behavior.
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.
A realistic mass and spring laboratory. Hang masses from springs and adjust the spring stiffness and damping. You can even slow time. Transport the lab to different planets. A chart shows the kinetic, potential, and thermal energy for each spring.