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.
What determines the concentration of a solution? Learn about the relationships between moles, liters, and molarity by adjusting the amount of solute and solution volume. Change solutes to compare different chemical compounds in water.
Discover what controls how fast tiny molecular motors in our body pull through a single strand of DNA. How hard can the motor pull in a tug of war with the optical tweezers? Discover what helps it pull harder. Do all molecular motors behave the same?
Students will predict bond polarity using electron negativity values; indicate polarity with a polar arrow or partial charges; rank bonds in order of polarity; and predict molecular polarity using bond polarity and molecular shape.
Do you ever wonder how a greenhouse gas affects the climate, or why the ozone layer is important? Use the sim to explore how light interacts with molecules in our atmosphere.
Learn about position, velocity, and acceleration graphs. Move the little man back and forth with the mouse and plot his motion. Set the position, velocity, or acceleration and let the simulation move the man for you.
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.
Produce light by bombarding atoms with electrons. See how the characteristic spectra of different elements are produced, and configure your own element's energy states to produce light of different colors.
Stimulate a neuron and monitor what happens. Pause, rewind, and move forward in time in order to observe the ions as they move across the neuron membrane.
Play with a 1D or 2D system of coupled mass-spring oscillators. Vary the number of masses, set the initial conditions, and watch the system evolve. See the spectrum of normal modes for arbitrary motion. See longitudinal or transverse modes in the 1D system.
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.
Explore an active area of research in optical physics: producing designer pulse shapes to achieve specific purposes, such as breaking apart a molecule. Carefully create the perfect shaped pulse to break apart a molecule by individually manipulating the colors of light that make up a pulse.
Did you ever imagine that you can use light to move a microscopic plastic bead? Explore the forces on the bead or slow time to see the interaction with the laser's electric field. Use the optical tweezers to manipulate a single strand of DNA and explore the physics of tiny molecular motors. Can you get the DNA completely straight or stop the molecular motor?
Play with one or two pendulums and discover how the period of a simple pendulum depends on the length of the string, the mass of the pendulum bob, and the amplitude of the swing. It's easy to measure the period using the photogate timer. You can vary friction and the strength of gravity. Use the pendulum to find the value of g on planet X. Notice the anharmonic behavior at large amplitude.
See how light knocks electrons off a metal target, and recreate the experiment that spawned the field of quantum mechanics.
Blast a Buick out of a cannon! Learn about projectile motion by firing various objects. Set the angle, initial speed, and mass. Add air resistance. Make a game out of this simulation by trying to hit a target.
Explore the properties of quantum "particles" bound in potential wells. See how the wave functions and probability densities that describe them evolve (or don't evolve) over time.
Watch quantum "particles" tunnel through barriers. Explore the properties of the wave functions that describe these particles.
When do photons, electrons, and atoms behave like particles and when do they behave like waves? Watch waves spread out and interfere as they pass through a double slit, then get detected on a screen as tiny dots. Use quantum detectors to explore how measurements change the waves and the patterns they produce on the screen.
The electric field lines from a point charge evolve in time as the charge moves. Watch radiation propagate outward at the speed of light as you wiggle the charge. Stop a moving charge to see bremsstrahlung (braking) radiation. Explore the radiation patterns as the charge moves with sinusoidal, circular, or linear motion. You can move the charge any way you like, as long as you don’t exceed the speed of light.