What I’m working on now: exercises using PhET sims for electromagnetic waves and light interference.

A Studio Physics student measuring diffraction of a laser beam last year.

The last two weeks of my 2nd semester calculus-based introductory physics course are generally about electromagnetic radiation and about light – which is one quite narrow slice of the electromagnetic spectrum.

There are all kinds of things we can do in a physical classroom to learn about light. This year, we don’t have that option. So we will be trying out exercises using PhET simulations instead.

The three PhET exercises I’ve prepared for the last two weeks of class this semester can be downloaded below. If you do download, please send me comments and suggestions. I am new at this and not particularly well qualified for the task.

One issue I did not address in my previous posts on PhET exercises: I am only using simulations that are available in html. The availability of Java – which was the environment in which the first generation of PhET sims was produced – has become problematic. But everybody can run html, which is why the PhET team is working to make more of their sims available in that environment.

Preparing a refraction lab for Studio Physics during simpler times.
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