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Fun Physics Simulations

Have you ever come across a physics phenomenon that you just couldn't wrap your head around? Physics can be tough, but the University of Colorado at Boulder Physics Department has provided a slew of interactive simulations that can help make some of the most difficult concepts a little more understandable.

A skate park simulation for learning about conservation of energy. Click above to run the simulation.

Originally known as the Physics Education Technology project (PhET), the project now encompasses areas as diverse as chemistry, math and biology. On their web page, you can find simulations and games for a number of physics phenomena including quantum tunneling, orbits, the photoelectric effect and quantum wave interference. The site has over 100 simulations to choose from with difficulty ranging from elementary school up to undergraduate level.

Below is a small sample of the simulations available. Just click on the images, and the simulation should launch in your browser. Some of the simulations run on Flash, while others require that you have Java installed. If you have any difficulties, please check PhET's faq page.



Quantum Tunneling and Wave Packets


  1. I LOVE the PhET sims. I used to work in a small school without much lab equipment, so I would pull in the sims to fill in gaps. They are an amazing resource when you're in a bind. All of the sims also come with peer-reviewed lab protocols that can be adapted and shared.


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