Java Virtual Physics Laboratory
Many advanced concepts in physics are quite abstract and difficult
to visualize, which present a challenge to both students and
instructors of physics alike. While the fundamentals of physics are
always rooted
in mathematical formalism, for some
advanced topics there is a tendency for the student to lose
track of the basic qualitative understanding of the phenomena.
Fortunately, advances in computing
now allow better ways to display information, interact with the user, and
ultimately increase the effectiveness of the pedagogy of these
traditionally esoteric and difficult topics.
For the 20042005 academic year, the
Center for Educational Resources
at Johns Hopkins University is sponsoring
the Java Virtual Physics Laboratory project as part of the
Technology Fellowship Program. This project is a continuation
of the 20032004 Technology Fellowship project "Virtual Quantum Mechanics".
This work has been partially supported by the National Science Foundation
under Grant Numbers DMR0348679, ECS0403964, and DMR1104753.
Dr. Oleg Tchernyshyov, Dr. Nina Markovic, and Jeffrey Wasserman
will create several online java applets to enhance the learning
experience of students of various physics disciplines.
To date some of these simulations have been used with Dr. Adam Falk's
undergraduate quantum mechanics class, Dr. Susan KovesiDomokos's graduate
quantum mechanics class, and Dr. Oleg Tchernyshyov's solidstate physics
class.

A version of the Java Runtime Environment, at least version 1.2,
is required for running these applets, although a version
of 1.4 or greater is highly recommended.
The most recent version can be downloaded (for free)
here . 
Current Simulations

Pendula in phase space
Follow an ensemble of pendula in phase space and see how
anharmonicity of pendulum motion leads to a dispersion of
pendula in phase space and to the formation of a microcanonical
distribution.


Friction and Adhesion on the Nanoscale
Explore the physical origins of friction. See the hallmark
of friction—the stickslip motion—and investigate
Amontons' laws of friction with a twodimensional nanocrystal.


Torsional Wave Machine
This applet simulates transverse waves in
a set of torsionally coupled rods. Observe a forbidden
frequency band and standing waves as resonances. 

Scattering through a
onedimensional crystal
See quantummechanical resonance, formation of
band structure, and importance of longrange order


Ising Model
Examine the Ising model in two dimensions and study
the phenomena of phase transitions. Watch the
system evolve in real time or carefully plot a variety of
parameters.


Potts Model
Explore the Potts model in two dimensions and watch
the system evolve in real time.


Entangled Spins (Represented in 2D)
Measure the spin of electrons, learn how measurement
operations can alter a quantum state, see the 'weirdness'
of entangled electrons.


Single Qubit Quantum Computing
This is a basic demonstration of a quantum computer,
allowing the user to work with a single qubit, see the
visualization, and the effects of various operations upon
that qubit.


Spherical Coordinates
Manipulate vectors in Cartesian and Spherical Coordinates.
(More Math than Physics,
this is useful for visualization) 

Cylindrical Coordinates
Manipulate vectors in Cartesian and Cylindrical Coordinates.
(Again more Math than Physics but still
useful for visualization) 
Please send any questions or suggestions to
Oleg Tchernyshyov.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in
this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the
views of the National Science Foundation.