Physics Education Research

Department of Physics & Astronomy

Although the simulation and game are built in JavaScript and should run on most devices, Chrome on a laptop is the preferred browser to run them. If you experience any issues, try opening them in an incognito window.

Everything here was created by undergraduate researchers, Ted Mburu and Mikolaj Konieczny, with the guidance of Dr. Colleen Countryman, Dr. John Barr, Dr. Doug Turnbull, Ithaca College Department of Physics and Astronomy, Ithaca College Department of Computer Science, the Ithaca College Informational Technologies, the p5.js project, and Daniel Shiffman (The Coding Train).

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The objective of this simulation is to improve students' conceptual understanding of how electric fields are impacted by a configuration of charges by creating a dynamic representation of the electric field lines, field vectors, equipotential lines, and the voltage created by the charges on screen. After creating a charge distribution, the simulation visualizes the motion of test charges through the electric field.

The game is centered around guiding a test charge through a racetrack using an electric field that the player creates by placing charges around their screen. As a person plays the game, they will see dynamic electric field lines created by the charges they place on the screen as well as the trajectory of test charges through the electric field.
YouTube Series
This series of videos shows people how to build a simulation similar to the electric field one we created from scratch. It is all done in JavaScript using the p5.js library. This is intented to be followed by people with some level of programming experience as well as a general understanding of electric fields.
Angular Momentum Conservation
This simulation is intended to help students form a more intuitive understanding of the conservation of angular momentum by giving them control over the moment of inertia via shape, radius, mass and distance to axis of rotation and allowing them to observe the resulting change in the angular velocity.
Orbital Manoeuvres
This simulation is intended to give students a more intuitive understanding of crucial orbital mechanics concepts such as the conservation of total mechanical energy and angular momentum. Students can perform orbital manoeuvres by adding thrust to the satellite, which changes the orbit's eccentricity, period and the mean distance to the Earth.
Non-inertial Reference Frames Simulation