Motion and Forces

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  • General:

    The IFMSA WebLab. Nice ones! Pendulum, torque, projectile, elastic and inelastic collisions. In Italian but still useful.

    ExploreScience has excellent, simple, informative, interactive Shockwave experiments: inclined plane, air track, SHM, golf range, shoot the monkey, center of mass, collisions, etc.

    General Physics Lab, Mechanics. Applets for plotting graphs, forces, projectile motion, sliding friction. U. Kentucky.

    Virtual Laboratory with experiments with cannon, kinetic energy, friction, forces and inclined planes by U. Oregon.

    Physics Simulations. Many simulations mirrored at Mississippi State.

    The Physics Classroom. Tutorials, animated gifs, shockwave, and questions done by high school students: passing lane, hot wheels, car and wall, truck and ladder, vectors, projectiles, collisions, energy on roller coaster, satellite motion, special relativity.

    Explanations and small versions of applets on web, full-size on commercial CD: Kepler's, Laws, Newton's cradle, gyroscope , energy conservation.

    Jack's Page. Applets for first year college physics: driven oscillator, home run.

    A complete mechanics textbook with some applets.

    ExploreScience. Many applications: Inclined Plane, Golf Range, Air Track, See-Saw Torque, Simple Harmonic Motion, 2D Collisions, Driven Harmonic Motion, Freefall Lab - Terminal Velocity, Moment of Inertia, Density Lab, A Floating Log, Force on A Wing, Shoot the Monkey , Center of Mass.

    Interactive Physics is the best simulation software for mechanics. See Related Sites for on-line samples.

    Interactive Problems. Physics problems using Interactive Physics (TM) and/or MPEGs. UC Berkeley.

    Kinematics, Newton's Laws, momentum, circular motion, work and energy. Animations and interactive Shockwave animations by Glenbrook H. S. students.

    Projectile, pendulum, satellites, etc. Interactive java applets by Tamakichi.

    Several nice applets for mechanics. In Spanish, but easy to use.

    Fun@learning.physics. Free sample applets: projectile motion, elastic collisions, damped harmonic oscillator, coriolis effect, Kepler's Laws, pendulum.

    Sports and Amusement Parks

    Sports. Physics of several sports, by the Exploratorium.

    ESPN Physics of Sports. Math and physics of sports for students and teachers from ESPN.

    Physics of Racing. Articles about racing by a physicist, Brian Beckman.

    Tennis Sport Science. Suggested experiments, info, and shared experimental results about the physics of tennis. By UC Davis.

    Aerodynamics of Bicycles. By Princeton U.

    How Things Fly. Introduction to flight by NASA.

    The K-8 Aeronautics Internet Textbook by NASA and Cislunar Aerospace,Inc. Info and suggested experiments on various vehicles and sports related to aerodynamics.

    Rocket. Interactive simulation

    Walking Barefoot in Broken Glass, Wall of Death, and Bed of Nails. Videos and explanation of "physics magic".

    Amusement Park Rides. Design a roller coaster; learn about several rides. An Annenberg Project.

    Roller Coaster Physics. Calculations, info, and demos, by Virginia Dept. of Educ.

    Amusement park rides. Great collection of links, usegroups, photos, etcs.

    Roller Coaster Images. By Allyn Fratkin.

    ThrillRide 2000. Internet magazine for roller coasters. Links.

    LiftHill. Amusement park rides: articles, news, links.


    Vector Calculation Applet. Simple. Drag the vectors and it adds them.

    Adding Machine for Vectors. This ShockWave is an adding machine for vectors. Displays polar and rectangular coordinates and graphically.


    Velocity composition. Uses ShockWave to illustrate velocity composition by showing the velocity vectors of a boat on a river.

    Real-time acceleration and velocity. User clicks and drags a puck on the computer screen. The applet displays the velocity and acceleration vectors in real time. By Pascal Renault.

    Linear Motion. The motion of a ball on an incline is shown with vectors, which are then interestingly transferred to a graph.

    Traffic Lights. Control traffic light for rush hour traffic. By Fu-Kwun Hwang.


    Force Concept Inventory Test. Then go to Evaluation Instruments, then to Conceptual Learning Assessments, then you will find Force Concept Inventory / Modelling. Click on Modelling. Then you will find FCI. Open with Stuffit.

    Frictional forces. Force diagram and the motion of the system when the frictional forces, 2 blocks, and mass hanging from pulley. By Fu-Kwun Hwang.

    Apply the Brakes. Use your reaction time to "apply brakes" and see far you should keep your car away from others on the highway. By Fu-Kwun Hwang.

    Aerodynamics of Bicycles. By Princeton U.

    Newton's Cradle. Applet. Choose number of balls to swing.

    Simple Machines. Nice graphics and text. By Franklin Institute museum.

    Simple Machines. Relates to Leonardo da Vince. You can decide the anatomy of a tool.

    Simple Machines. Simple experiments, teacher notes, references.

    How Things Fly. Introduction to flight by NASA.

    Buoyant Force. Applet does good demonstration of buoyant force acting on floating object. By Fu-Kwun Hwang.

    Exploring Gravity. Learn about gravity, at 3 levels.

    From StarGazers to Starships. Series of lessons about Newtonian mechanics, the sun, and the Earth's motion. By NASA.

    Kepler's Second Law. By Syracruse U.

    Maps of gravity and magnetism of the San Francisco Bay Area. Colorful maps and teacher guide.


    Shoot a Cannon Ball. Change angle, winds, velocity, gravity, and density of a cannon ball.

    Properties of Projectile Motion. Interesting graphics! Find parabola, arc of a circle and ellipse from trajectories of projection motions. By Fu-Kwun Hwang.

    Projectile Motion. Show trails of the projectile, turn on simple air friction.

    Two cannons (at different heights) aim at each other. By Fu-Kwun Hwang.


    Newton's Cannon. The applet lets the user fire cannonballs around the earth at different velocities to show how a satellite falls around the earth.

    Simple Harmonic Motion and Uniform Circular Motion. Good comparisons. By Fu-Kwun Hwang.

    Spring Force and SHM. Add mass to horizontal spring or to vertical one and see oscillations. By Fu-Kwun Hwang.

    Motion of a Ping-Pong Ball (rotation/torque/force/friction). Press your finger down one side of the ping-pong ball; it goes away and then comes back. Why? By Fu-Kwun Hwang


    Collisions and Frames of Reference. Watch the collision of two balls simultaneously in a lab frame and a center of mass frame. Change the impact parameter and ratio of masses.

    Conservation of Momentum in Different Inertial Frames. One-dimentional collision problem. By Fu-Kwun Hwang.

    Playing Pool. Use the law of reflection (for optics) in playing pool. By Fu-Kwun Hwang.

    Three-body dynamics. Simulate and visualize classical two-dimensional dynamics of three bodies.

    Billiard Ball Simulation.

    Momentum. A train car runs into another one. You can change mass and momentum. Slow motion.

    Bow and Arrow Propulsion. The student controls an Indian who is using a bow and weighted arrows to propel himself in a canoe across a lake, using conservation of momentum. (Slow loading)!


    Pendulum. Physlet from Davidson College.

    The Pendulum Lab. Explanations and applets for pendulum labs, from simple to damped to driven.

    Monkey on a Vine. The student navigates a monkey across a gulley via a swinging vine using his/her knowledge of energy. Slow loading!

    Driven Pendulum. Pendulum exhibits periodic and chaotic behaviour depending on the values of the forcing and damping parameters.

    Do a pendulum experiment by changing parameters with mouse. Parameters are viewed graphically or with text. Excellent. By Fu-Kwun Hwang.

    The Energy Story. A basic tutorial on different forms of energy, by California Department of Energy.

    Potential Energy. Lab with dropping ball. You can change variables in the applet.

    Energy. Module by IPPEX, Princeton Plasma Lab. For middle school or above.

    Energy Hotlist. Links by Franklin Institute.

    Energy Information on the Internet. Database of energy information. Search by words.

    SHM and Sine Wave. Shows vectors as spring moves. It traces out a wave pattern. By Fu-Kwun Hwang.

    Several perpetual machines. Be sure to read the "How It Doesn't Work" parts.


    Relativity. Interactive tutorial to learn about relativity with real particle data.

    Minkowski Diagram. From Davidson College.

    Space and time in special relativity. Excellent. By Fu-Kwun Hwang.

    Travel near the speed of light. List of links which use the relativistic aberration of light formula in computer simulations using a great variety of technologies.

    Relative motion viewed from different frame of reference. By Fu-Kwun Hwang.

    Twin Paradox Applet. Spacetime diagram for the Twin Paradox. User can graphically perform Lorentz and Galilean transformations. By Rob Salgado (Syracuse).

    Spacetime Wrinkles. About general relativity, includes a movie.

    Relativity Tutorial. Special relativity in mostly text, with some illustrations.

    Special Relativity. Animation of spaceship at different speeds by Glenbrook H. S. students.

    The Light Cone, an illuminating introduction to relativity. By Rob Salgado.

    Event-Symmetric Space-Time. A free electronic book of a story-teller's view of event symmetry.

    VinceNet's Relativity. Text with some illustrations, about special and general relativity.