Mechanics

Bedrock. It’s where physics began as a discipline, and it’s where most students of physics begin to this day.

This collection is still very much a work in progress, but it begins where many of us do: Forces and pulleys.


Orbiting Planet
More of a visual than an interactive simulation, watch a planet and a star orbit their mutual center of mass.

View here, with access to the code here.

Horizontal or Angled Atwood Machine – Remote Lab
We go from something not-at-all interactive to something so interactive, it works as a lab for remote students (or those who could use a little reinforcement). Indeed, I wrote it for just that purpose! This simulation has options for making unknown the masses or coefficients of friction involved in the simulation, along with graphing options so that students can calculate the values for themselves – with or without simulated experimental errors. If you are an educator using this for a class and you would like to know the unknown values, please get in touch! Or dig into the code. They’re less hidden in this one than in the next one. (One word of warning: Different web browsers seem to graph slightly differently, so the graphs are not 100% repeatable.)

View here, with access to the code here.

Double Horizontal or Angled Atwood Machine – Remote Lab
Similar to the previous simulation, but informed by additional experience both teaching and programming. The most obvious change is that there are now two hanging blocks instead of one. This allows for more complex labs or simulations. However, if either hanging mass is set to 0 kg, it disappears – and we return to a simpler, two-body Atwood machine. If both are set to 0 kg, they both disappear – and we return to the classic mass on an incline. As with the simulation above, this is designed so that it can be used as a remote lab and includes unknown values. Dig around if you would like to find the true values. Or get to calculating! (Or contact me.)

View here, with access to the code here.

Collisions, masses on inclines, and force balancing to come!

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