How do strong and weak acids differ? Use lab tools on your computer to find out! Dip the paper or the probe into solution to measure the pH, or put in the electrodes to measure the conductivity. Then see how concentration and strength affect pH. Can a weak acid solution have the same pH as a strong acid solution?
Watch alpha particles escape from a polonium nucleus, causing radioactive alpha decay. See how random decay times relate to the half life.
Explore the interactions between various combinations of two atoms. Turn on the force arrows to see either the total force acting on the atoms or the individual attractive and repulsive forces. Try the "Adjustable Attraction" atom to see how changing the parameters affects the interaction.
How do you know if a chemical equation is balanced? What can you change to balance an equation? Play a game to test your ideas!
Students explore static electricity by rubbing a simulated balloon on a sweater. As they view the charges in the sweater, balloon, and adjacent wall, they gain an understanding of charge transfer. This item is part of a larger collection of simulations developed by the Physics Education Technology project (PhET). The simulations are animated, interactive, and game-like environments.
Explore the origin of energy bands in crystals of atoms. The structure of these bands determines how materials conduct electricity.
Look inside a resistor to see how it works. Increase the battery voltage to make more electrons flow though the resistor. Increase the resistance to block the flow of electrons. Watch the current and resistor temperature change.
Look inside a battery to see how it works. Select the battery voltage and little stick figures move charges from one end of the battery to the other. A voltmeter tells you the resulting battery voltage.
The PhET project at the University of Colorado creates "fun, interactive, research-based simulations of physical phenomena." This particular one deals with Beer's Law. "The thicker the glass, the darker the brew, the less the light that passes through." Make colorful concentrated and dilute solutions and explore how much light they absorb and transmit using a virtual spectrophotometer! The simulation is also paired with a teachers' guide and related resources from PhET. The simulation is also available in multiple languages.
Explore bending of light between two media with different indices of refraction. See how changing from air to water to glass changes the bending angle. Play with prisms of different shapes and make rainbows.
Watch beta decay occur for a collection of nuclei or for an individual nucleus.
How does the blackbody spectrum of the sun compare to visible light? Learn about the blackbody spectrum of the sun, a light bulb, an oven, and the earth. Adjust the temperature to see the wavelength and intensity of the spectrum change. View the color of the peak of the spectral curve.
Starting from atoms, see how many molecules you can build. Collect your molecules and see them in 3D!
Build an atom out of protons, neutrons, and electrons, and see how the element, charge, and mass change. Then play a game to test your ideas!
When will objects float and when will they sink? Learn how buoyancy works with blocks. Arrows show the applied forces, and you can modify the properties of the blocks and the fluid.
Explore how a capacitor works! Change the size of the plates and add a dielectric to see how it affects capacitance. Change the voltage and see charges built up on the plates. Shows the electric field in the capacitor. Measure voltage and electric field.
Move point charges around on the playing field and then view the electric field, voltages, equipotential lines, and more. It's colorful, it's dynamic, it's free.
Investigate collisions on an air hockey table. Set up your own experiments: vary the number of discs, masses and initial conditions. Is momentum conserved? Is kinetic energy conserved? Vary the elasticity and see what happens.
Watch your solution change color as you mix chemicals with water. Then check molarity with the concentration meter. What are all the ways you can change the concentration of your solution? Switch solutes to compare different chemicals and find out how concentrated you can go before you hit saturation!
Experiment with conductivity in metals, plastics and photoconductors. See why metals conduct and plastics don't, and why some materials conduct only when you shine a flashlight on them.