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- Physics: Principles and Problems (2009)

# Physics: Principles and Problems (2009)

### 1: A Physics Toolkit

Free Fall Tower

Recreate Galileo's famous experiment by dropping objects off the Tower of Pisa. You can drop ping pong balls, golf balls, soccer balls or watermelons. Objects can be dropped in air or no air, with or without a parachute. The speed of each object is shown on a speedometer and a graph. 5 Minute Preview

Graphing Skills

Create a graph (bar graph, line graph, pie chart, or scatter plot) based on a given data set. Title the graph, label the axes, and choose a scale. Adjust the graph to fit the data, and then check your accuracy. The Gizmo can also be used to create a data table based on a given graph. 5 Minute Preview

Measuring Motion

Go on an African safari and observe a variety of animals walking and running across the savanna. Videotape the animals, and then play back the videotape to estimate animal speeds. Which animals run fastest? 5 Minute Preview

Measuring Trees

Measure the height, diameter, and circumference of trees in a forest. Count growth rings to determine the age of each tree. Grow the trees for several years and investigate how growth is affected by precipitation. 5 Minute Preview

### 2: Representing Motion

Distance-Time Graphs - Metric

Create a graph of a runner's position versus time and watch the runner complete a 40-meter dash based on the graph you made. Notice the connection between the slope of the line and the speed of the runner. What will the runner do if the slope of the line is zero? What if the slope is negative? Add a second runner (a second graph) and connect real-world meaning to the intersection of two graphs. 5 Minute Preview

Distance-Time and Velocity-Time Graphs - Metric

Create a graph of a runner's position versus time and watch the runner run a 40-meter dash based on the graph you made. Notice the connection between the slope of the line and the velocity of the runner. Add a second runner (a second graph) and connect real-world meaning to the intersection of two graphs. Also experiment with a graph of velocity versus time for the runners, and also distance traveled versus time. 5 Minute Preview

Force and Fan Carts

Explore the laws of motion using a simple fan cart. Use the buttons to select the speed of the fan and the surface, and press Play to begin. You can drag up to three objects onto the fan cart. The speed of the cart is displayed with a speedometer and recorded in a table and a graph. 5 Minute Preview

Measuring Motion

Go on an African safari and observe a variety of animals walking and running across the savanna. Videotape the animals, and then play back the videotape to estimate animal speeds. Which animals run fastest? 5 Minute Preview

### 3: Accelerated Motion

Fan Cart Physics

Gain an understanding of Newton's Laws by experimenting with a cart (on which up to three fans are placed) on a linear track. The cart has a mass, as does each fan. The fans exert a constant force when switched on, and the direction of the fans can be altered as the position, velocity, and acceleration of the cart are measured. 5 Minute Preview

Free-Fall Laboratory

Investigate the motion of an object as it falls to the ground. A variety of objects can be compared, and their motion can be observed in a vacuum, in normal air, and in denser air. The position, velocity, and acceleration are measured over time, and the forces on the object can be displayed. Using the manual settings, the mass, radius, height, and initial velocity of the object can be adjusted, as can the air density and wind. 5 Minute Preview

Roller Coaster Physics

Adjust the hills on a toy-car roller coaster and watch what happens as the car careens toward an egg (that can be broken) at the end of the track. The heights of three hills can be manipulated, along with the mass of the car and the friction of the track. A graph of various variables of motion can be viewed as the car travels, including position, speed, acceleration, potential energy, kinetic energy, and total energy. 5 Minute Preview

### 4: Forces in One Dimension

Fan Cart Physics

Gain an understanding of Newton's Laws by experimenting with a cart (on which up to three fans are placed) on a linear track. The cart has a mass, as does each fan. The fans exert a constant force when switched on, and the direction of the fans can be altered as the position, velocity, and acceleration of the cart are measured. 5 Minute Preview

Force and Fan Carts

Explore the laws of motion using a simple fan cart. Use the buttons to select the speed of the fan and the surface, and press Play to begin. You can drag up to three objects onto the fan cart. The speed of the cart is displayed with a speedometer and recorded in a table and a graph. 5 Minute Preview

Free-Fall Laboratory

Investigate the motion of an object as it falls to the ground. A variety of objects can be compared, and their motion can be observed in a vacuum, in normal air, and in denser air. The position, velocity, and acceleration are measured over time, and the forces on the object can be displayed. Using the manual settings, the mass, radius, height, and initial velocity of the object can be adjusted, as can the air density and wind. 5 Minute Preview

### 5: Forces in Two Dimensions

Inclined Plane - Simple Machine

Investigate how an inclined plane redirects and reduces the force pulling a brick downward, with or without friction. A toy car can apply a variable upward force on the brick, and the mechanical advantage and efficiency of the plane can be determined. A graph of force versus distance illustrates the concept of work. 5 Minute Preview

Inclined Plane - Sliding Objects

Investigate the energy and motion of a block sliding down an inclined plane, with or without friction. The ramp angle can be varied and a variety of materials for the block and ramp can be used. Potential and kinetic energy are reported as the block slides down the ramp. Two experiments can be run simultaneously to compare results as factors are varied. 5 Minute Preview

Roller Coaster Physics

Adjust the hills on a toy-car roller coaster and watch what happens as the car careens toward an egg (that can be broken) at the end of the track. The heights of three hills can be manipulated, along with the mass of the car and the friction of the track. A graph of various variables of motion can be viewed as the car travels, including position, speed, acceleration, potential energy, kinetic energy, and total energy. 5 Minute Preview

Vectors

Manipulate the magnitudes and directions of two vectors to generate a sum and learn vector addition. The x and y components can be displayed, along with the dot product of the two vectors. 5 Minute Preview

### 6: Motion in Two Dimensions

Distance-Time and Velocity-Time Graphs - Metric

Create a graph of a runner's position versus time and watch the runner run a 40-meter dash based on the graph you made. Notice the connection between the slope of the line and the velocity of the runner. Add a second runner (a second graph) and connect real-world meaning to the intersection of two graphs. Also experiment with a graph of velocity versus time for the runners, and also distance traveled versus time. 5 Minute Preview

Golf Range

Try to get a hole in one by adjusting the velocity and launch angle of a golf ball. Explore the physics of projectile motion in a frictional or ideal setting. Horizontal and vertical velocity vectors can be displayed, as well as the path of the ball. The height of the golfer and the force of gravity are also adjustable. 5 Minute Preview

Feed the Monkey (Projectile Motion)

Fire a banana cannon at a monkey in a tree. The monkey drops from the tree at the moment the banana is fired from the cannon. Determine where to aim the cannon so the monkey catches the banana. The position of the cannon, launch angle and initial velocity of the banana can be varied. Students can observe the velocity vectors and the paths of the monkey and banana. 5 Minute Preview

Uniform Circular Motion

Measure the position, velocity, and acceleration (both components and magnitude) of an object undergoing circular motion. The radius and velocity of the object can be controlled, along with the mass of the object. The forces acting on the object also can be recorded. 5 Minute Preview

### 7: Gravitation

Gravitational Force

Drag two objects around and observe the gravitational force between them as their positions change. The mass of each object can be adjusted, and the gravitational force is displayed both as vectors and numerically. 5 Minute Preview

Gravity Pitch

Imagine a gigantic pitcher standing on Earth, ready to hurl a huge baseball. What will happen as the ball is thrown harder and harder? Find out with the Gravity Pitch Gizmo. Observe the path of the ball when it is thrown at different velocities. Throw the ball on different planets to see how each planet's gravity affects the ball. 5 Minute Preview

Orbital Motion - Kepler's Laws

Learn Kepler's three laws of planetary motion by examining the orbit of a planet around a star. The initial position, velocity, and mass of the planet can be varied as well as the mass of the star. The foci and centers of orbits can be displayed and compared to the location of the star. The area swept out by the planet in a given time period can be measured, and data on orbital radii and periods can be plotted in several ways. 5 Minute Preview

Solar System Explorer

Survey the solar system, observing the length of a year and the orbital path of each object. The positions of the eight official planets are displayed, as well as one dwarf planet, Pluto. Learn about Kepler's Laws and how planets are classified. 5 Minute Preview

Weight and Mass

Use a balance to measure mass and a spring scale to measure the weight of objects. Compare the masses and weights of objects on Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and the Moon. 5 Minute Preview

### 8: Rotational Motion

Atwood Machine

Measure the height and velocity of two objects connected by a massless rope over a pulley. Observe the forces acting on each mass throughout the simulation. Calculate the acceleration of the objects, and relate these calculations to Newton's Laws of Motion. The mass of each object can be manipulated, as well as the mass and radius of the pulley. 5 Minute Preview

Center of Mass

Drag blocks onto a two-dimensional surface and observe the effects on the center of mass. Use a grid to calculate the coordinates of the center of mass. Investigate predefined shapes or your own arrangements of blocks. 5 Minute Preview

Moment of Inertia

Place masses on a circular table and see how fast it spins when struck by a piston. Discover the relationships between angular velocity, mass, radius and moment of inertia for collections of point-masses, rings, disks, and more complex shapes. 5 Minute Preview

Torque and Moment of Inertia

One of the simplest machines is a see-saw lever. Place up to eight objects on the lever at different locations and try to balance it. Calculate net torque and moment of inertia based on the positions of the objects and the mass of the bar. The mass of each object can be changed, and the fulcrum position can be shifted as well. 5 Minute Preview

Uniform Circular Motion

Measure the position, velocity, and acceleration (both components and magnitude) of an object undergoing circular motion. The radius and velocity of the object can be controlled, along with the mass of the object. The forces acting on the object also can be recorded. 5 Minute Preview

### 9: Momentum and Its Conservation

2D Collisions

Investigate elastic collisions in two dimensions using two frictionless pucks. The mass, velocity, and initial position of each puck can be modified to create a variety of scenarios. 5 Minute Preview

Air Track

Adjust the mass and velocity of two gliders on a frictionless air track. Measure the velocity, momentum, and kinetic energy of each glider as they approach each other and collide. Collisions can be elastic or inelastic. 5 Minute Preview

Roller Coaster Physics

Adjust the hills on a toy-car roller coaster and watch what happens as the car careens toward an egg (that can be broken) at the end of the track. The heights of three hills can be manipulated, along with the mass of the car and the friction of the track. A graph of various variables of motion can be viewed as the car travels, including position, speed, acceleration, potential energy, kinetic energy, and total energy. 5 Minute Preview

### 10: Energy, Work, and Simple Machines

Ants on a Slant (Inclined Plane)

Lift food using ants with the help of a slanted stick. The steepness of the stick, the number of ants, and the size of the item being lifted can be varied. Observe the effect of friction on sliding objects. 5 Minute Preview

Energy of a Pendulum

Perform experiments with a pendulum to gain an understanding of energy conservation in simple harmonic motion. The mass, length, and gravitational acceleration of the pendulum can be adjusted, as well as the initial angle. The potential energy, kinetic energy, and total energy of the oscillating pendulum can be displayed on a table, bar chart or graph. 5 Minute Preview

Inclined Plane - Simple Machine

Investigate how an inclined plane redirects and reduces the force pulling a brick downward, with or without friction. A toy car can apply a variable upward force on the brick, and the mechanical advantage and efficiency of the plane can be determined. A graph of force versus distance illustrates the concept of work. 5 Minute Preview

Inclined Plane - Sliding Objects

Investigate the energy and motion of a block sliding down an inclined plane, with or without friction. The ramp angle can be varied and a variety of materials for the block and ramp can be used. Potential and kinetic energy are reported as the block slides down the ramp. Two experiments can be run simultaneously to compare results as factors are varied. 5 Minute Preview

Levers

Use a lever to lift a pig, turkey, or sheep. A strongman provides up to 1000 newtons of effort. The fulcrum, strongman, and animals can be moved to any position to create first-, second-, or third-class levers. 5 Minute Preview

Potential Energy on Shelves

Compare the potential energy of several objects when you place them on shelves of different heights. Learn that two objects at different heights can have the same potential energy, while two objects at the same height can have different potential energies. 5 Minute Preview

Pulley Lab

Use a pulley system to lift a heavy weight to a certain height. Measure the force required to lift the weight using up to three fixed and three movable pulleys. The weight to be lifted and the efficiency of the pulley system can be adjusted, and the height of the weight and the total input distance are reported. 5 Minute Preview

Pulleys

Lift a variety of heavy objects (armchair, safe, piano) using pulleys and a rope. Systems of one, two, four, or six pulleys can be used. Up to six people can be used to pull on the rope, which adds force (effort). 5 Minute Preview

Wheel and Axle

Use a wheel and axle to move a heavy load. Find out how many athletes it takes to move the load under different conditions. The radii of the wheel and the axle can be adjusted to help study mechanical advantage. 5 Minute Preview

### 11: Energy and Its Conservation

Energy Conversion in a System

A falling cylinder is attached to a rotating propeller that stirs and heats the water in a beaker. The mass and height of the cylinder, as well as the quantity and initial temperature of water can be adjusted. The temperature of the water is measured as energy is converted from one form to another. 5 Minute Preview

Energy Conversions

Where does energy come from? How does energy get from one place to another? Find out how electrical current is generated and how living things get energy to move and grow. Trace the path of energy and see how energy is converted from one form to another. 5 Minute Preview

Energy of a Pendulum

Perform experiments with a pendulum to gain an understanding of energy conservation in simple harmonic motion. The mass, length, and gravitational acceleration of the pendulum can be adjusted, as well as the initial angle. The potential energy, kinetic energy, and total energy of the oscillating pendulum can be displayed on a table, bar chart or graph. 5 Minute Preview

Household Energy Usage

Explore the energy used by many household appliances, such as television sets, hair dryers, lights, computers, etc. Make estimates for how long each item is used on a daily basis to get an estimate for the total power consumed during a day, a week, a month, and a year, and how that relates to consumer costs and environmental impact. 5 Minute Preview

Inclined Plane - Simple Machine

Investigate how an inclined plane redirects and reduces the force pulling a brick downward, with or without friction. A toy car can apply a variable upward force on the brick, and the mechanical advantage and efficiency of the plane can be determined. A graph of force versus distance illustrates the concept of work. 5 Minute Preview

Inclined Plane - Sliding Objects

Investigate the energy and motion of a block sliding down an inclined plane, with or without friction. The ramp angle can be varied and a variety of materials for the block and ramp can be used. Potential and kinetic energy are reported as the block slides down the ramp. Two experiments can be run simultaneously to compare results as factors are varied. 5 Minute Preview

### 12: Thermal Energy

Boyle's Law and Charles's Law

Investigate the properties of an ideal gas by performing experiments in which the temperature is held constant (Boyle's Law), and others in which the pressure remains fixed (Charles's Law). The pressure is controlled through the placement of masses on the lid of the container, and temperature is controlled with an adjustable heat source. Gay-Lussac's law relating pressure to temperature can also be explored by keeping the volume constant. 5 Minute Preview

Phase Changes

Explore the relationship between molecular motion, temperature, and phase changes. Compare the molecular structure of solids, liquids, and gases. Graph temperature changes as ice is melted and water is boiled. Find the effect of altitude on phase changes. The starting temperature, ice volume, altitude, and rate of heating or cooling can be adjusted. 5 Minute Preview

Phases of Water

Heat or cool a container of water and observe the phase changes that take place. Use a magnifying glass to observe water molecules as a solid, liquid, or gas. Compare the volumes of the three phases of water. 5 Minute Preview

Relative Humidity

Measure the temperature on wet and dry bulb thermometers to determine relative humidity. Measure the dew point by cooling a bucket of water until condensation forms on the surface. See how the relative humidity and dew point change over the course of a day. 5 Minute Preview

Temperature and Particle Motion

Observe the movement of particles of an ideal gas at a variety of temperatures. A histogram showing the Maxwell-Boltzmann velocity distribution is shown, and the most probable velocity, mean velocity, and root mean square velocity can be calculated. Molecules of different gases can be compared. 5 Minute Preview

### 13: States of Matter

Archimedes' Principle

Place weights into a boat and see how far the boat sinks into a tank of liquid. The depth of the boat can be measured, as well as the amount of liquid displaced. The dimensions of the boat and the density of the liquid can be adjusted. See how much weight the boat can hold before it sinks to the bottom! 5 Minute Preview

Conduction and Convection

Two flasks hold colored water, one yellow and the other blue. Set the starting temperature of each flask, choose a type of material to connect the flasks, and see how quickly the flasks heat up or cool down. The flasks can be connected with a hollow pipe, allowing the water in the flasks to mix, or a solid chunk that transfers heat but prevents mixing. 5 Minute Preview

Density

Measure the mass and volume of a variety of objects, then place them into a beaker of liquid to see if they float or sink. Learn to predict whether objects will float or sink in water based on their mass and volume. Compare how objects float or sink in a variety of liquids, including gasoline, oil, seawater, and corn syrup. 5 Minute Preview

Density Experiment: Slice and Dice

Drop a chunk of material in a beaker of water and observe whether it sinks or floats. Cut the chunk into smaller pieces of any size, and observe what happens as they are dropped in the beaker. The mass and volume of each chunk can be measured to gain a clear understanding of density and buoyancy. 5 Minute Preview

Density Laboratory

With a scale to measure mass, a graduated cylinder to measure volume, and a large beaker of liquid to observe flotation, the relationship between mass, volume, density, and flotation can be investigated. The density of the liquid in the beaker can be adjusted, and a variety of objects can be studied during the investigation. 5 Minute Preview

Density via Comparison

Using four beakers of liquids with known densities, estimate the density of a variety of objects. Place each object into each beaker to see whether it sinks or floats, and then use this information to compare the densities of the objects. 5 Minute Preview

Determining Density via Water Displacement

Drop objects in a beaker that is filled with water, and measure the water that flows over the edge. Using Archimedes' principle, determine the density of objects based on the amount of displaced water. 5 Minute Preview

Relative Humidity

Measure the temperature on wet and dry bulb thermometers to determine relative humidity. Measure the dew point by cooling a bucket of water until condensation forms on the surface. See how the relative humidity and dew point change over the course of a day. 5 Minute Preview

### 14: Vibrations and Waves

Longitudinal Waves

Observe the propagation of longitudinal (compression) waves in a closed or open tube with evenly-spaced dividers. The strength and frequency of the waves can be manipulated, or waves can be observed as individual pulses. Compare the movement of dividers to graphs of displacement, velocity, acceleration and pressure. 5 Minute Preview

Period of Mass on a Spring

Measure the period of a mass on the end of a spring. Determine the effects of gravitational acceleration, mass, and the spring constant on the period of the spring. Create an equation for the period of a spring given its mass and spring constant. 5 Minute Preview

Period of a Pendulum

Practice measuring the period of a pendulum. Perform experiments to determine how mass, length, gravitational acceleration, and angle affect the period of a pendulum. 5 Minute Preview

Phased Array

Observe the wave fronts produced by four closely-spaced emitters. The spacing and phase shift of each wave source can be adjusted, as well as the wave velocity. With all four sources you can observe a region of constructive interference that moves over time. The phased array has several real world applications such as radar and ultrasound. 5 Minute Preview

Ripple Tank

Study wave motion, diffraction, interference, and refraction in a simulated ripple tank. A wide variety of scenarios can be chosen, including barriers with one or two gaps, multiple wave sources, reflecting barriers, or submerged rocks. The wavelength and strength of waves can be adjusted, as well as the amount of damping in the tank. 5 Minute Preview

Simple Harmonic Motion

Observe two different forms of simple harmonic motion: a pendulum and a spring supporting a mass. Use a stopwatch to measure the period of each device as you adjust the mass hanging from the spring, the spring constant, the mass of the pendulum, the length of the pendulum, and the gravitational acceleration. 5 Minute Preview

Sound Beats and Sine Waves

Listen to and see interference patterns produced by sound waves with similar frequencies. Test your ability to distinguish and match sounds as musicians do when they tune their instruments. Calculate the number of "sound beats" you will hear based on the frequency of each sound. [Note: Headphones are recommended for this Gizmo.] 5 Minute Preview

### 15: Sound

Doppler Shift

Observe sound waves emitted from a moving vehicle. Measure the frequency of sound waves in front of and behind the vehicle as it moves, illustrating the Doppler effect. The frequency of sound waves, speed of the source, and the speed of sound can all be manipulated. Motion of the vehicle can be linear, oscillating, or circular. 5 Minute Preview

Hearing: Frequency and Volume

Test your hearing range by listening to low-, medium-, and high-frequency sounds. Compare the relative loudness of sounds at each frequency to create an equal-loudness curve. In a quiet room, measure your threshold of audibility for each frequency, and compare your results to others. The volume of each sound can be adjusted. 5 Minute Preview

Longitudinal Waves

Observe the propagation of longitudinal (compression) waves in a closed or open tube with evenly-spaced dividers. The strength and frequency of the waves can be manipulated, or waves can be observed as individual pulses. Compare the movement of dividers to graphs of displacement, velocity, acceleration and pressure. 5 Minute Preview

Sound Beats and Sine Waves

Listen to and see interference patterns produced by sound waves with similar frequencies. Test your ability to distinguish and match sounds as musicians do when they tune their instruments. Calculate the number of "sound beats" you will hear based on the frequency of each sound. [Note: Headphones are recommended for this Gizmo.] 5 Minute Preview

### 16: Fundamentals of Light

Color Absorption

Mix the primary colors of light by using red, green, and blue lights. Use pieces of colored glass to filter the light and create a wide variety of colors. Determine how light is absorbed and transmitted by each color of glass. 5 Minute Preview

Herschel Experiment - Metric

Shine sunlight through a prism and use a thermometer to measure the temperature in different regions of the spectrum. The thermometer can be dragged through the visible spectrum and beyond. This recreates the experiment of William Herschel that led to the discovery of infrared radiation in 1800. 5 Minute Preview

Star Spectra

Analyze the spectra of a variety of stars. Determine the elements that are represented in each spectrum, and use this information to infer the temperature and classification of the star. Look for unusual features such as redshifted stars, nebulae, and stars with large planets. 5 Minute Preview

### 17: Reflection and Mirrors

Laser Reflection

Point a laser at a mirror and compare the angle of the incoming beam to the angle of reflection. A protractor can be used to measure the angles of incidence and reflection, and the angle of the mirror can be adjusted. A beam splitter can be used to split the beam. Both plane and irregular mirrors can be used. 5 Minute Preview

Ray Tracing (Mirrors)

Observe light rays that reflect from a convex or concave mirror. Manipulate the position of an object and the focal length of the mirror and measure the distance and size of the resulting image. 5 Minute Preview

### 18: Refraction and Lenses

Basic Prism

Shine white light or a single-color beam through a prism. Explore how a prism refracts light and investigate the factors that affect the amount of refraction. The index of refraction of the prism, width of the prism, prism angle, light angle, and light wavelength can be adjusted. 5 Minute Preview

Ray Tracing (Lenses)

Observe light rays that pass through a convex or concave lens. Manipulate the position of an object and the focal length of the lens and measure the distance and size of the resulting image. 5 Minute Preview

Refraction

Determine the angle of refraction for a light beam moving from one medium to another. The angle of incidence and each index of refraction can be varied. Using the tools provided, the angle of refraction can be measured, and the wavelength and frequency of the waves in each substance can be compared as well. 5 Minute Preview

### 19: Interference and Diffraction

Longitudinal Waves

Observe the propagation of longitudinal (compression) waves in a closed or open tube with evenly-spaced dividers. The strength and frequency of the waves can be manipulated, or waves can be observed as individual pulses. Compare the movement of dividers to graphs of displacement, velocity, acceleration and pressure. 5 Minute Preview

Phased Array

Observe the wave fronts produced by four closely-spaced emitters. The spacing and phase shift of each wave source can be adjusted, as well as the wave velocity. With all four sources you can observe a region of constructive interference that moves over time. The phased array has several real world applications such as radar and ultrasound. 5 Minute Preview

Ripple Tank

Study wave motion, diffraction, interference, and refraction in a simulated ripple tank. A wide variety of scenarios can be chosen, including barriers with one or two gaps, multiple wave sources, reflecting barriers, or submerged rocks. The wavelength and strength of waves can be adjusted, as well as the amount of damping in the tank. 5 Minute Preview

Sound Beats and Sine Waves

Listen to and see interference patterns produced by sound waves with similar frequencies. Test your ability to distinguish and match sounds as musicians do when they tune their instruments. Calculate the number of "sound beats" you will hear based on the frequency of each sound. [Note: Headphones are recommended for this Gizmo.] 5 Minute Preview

### 20: Static Electricity

Charge Launcher

Launch a charged particle into a chamber. Charged particles can be added into the chamber to influence the path of the moving particle. The launch speed can be changed as well. Try to match a given path by manipulating the fixed particles in the chamber. 5 Minute Preview

Circuit Builder

Create circuits using batteries, light bulbs, switches, fuses, and a variety of materials. Examine series and parallel circuits, conductors and insulators, and the effects of battery voltage. Thousands of different circuits can be built with this Gizmo. 5 Minute Preview

Coulomb Force (Static)

Drag two charged particles around and observe the Coulomb force between them as their positions change. The charge of each object can be adjusted, and the force is displayed both numerically and with vectors as the distance between the objects is altered. 5 Minute Preview

Pith Ball Lab

Pith balls with positive, negative, or no electrical charge are suspended from strings. The charge and mass of the pith balls can be adjusted, along with the length of the string, which will cause the pith balls to change position. Distances can be measured as variables are adjusted, and the forces (Coulomb and gravitational) acting on the balls can be displayed. 5 Minute Preview

### 21: Electric Fields

Charge Launcher

Launch a charged particle into a chamber. Charged particles can be added into the chamber to influence the path of the moving particle. The launch speed can be changed as well. Try to match a given path by manipulating the fixed particles in the chamber. 5 Minute Preview

Electromagnetic Induction

Explore how a changing magnetic field can induce an electric current. A magnet can be moved up or down at a constant velocity below a loop of wire, or the loop of wire may be dragged in any direction or rotated. The magnetic and electric fields can be displayed, as well as the magnetic flux and the current in the wire. 5 Minute Preview

Photoelectric Effect

Shoot a beam of light at a metal plate in a virtual lab and observe the effect on surface electrons. The type of metal as well as the wavelength and amount of light can be adjusted. An electric field can be created to resist the electrons and measure their initial energies. 5 Minute Preview

### 22: Current Electricity

Advanced Circuits

Build compound circuits with series and parallel elements. Calculate voltages, resistance, and current across each component using Ohm's law and the equivalent resistance equation. Check your answers using a voltmeter, ammeter, and ohmmeter. Learn the function of fuses as a safety device. 5 Minute Preview

Circuit Builder

Create circuits using batteries, light bulbs, switches, fuses, and a variety of materials. Examine series and parallel circuits, conductors and insulators, and the effects of battery voltage. Thousands of different circuits can be built with this Gizmo. 5 Minute Preview

Circuits

Build electrical circuits using batteries, light bulbs, resistors, fuses, wires, and a switch. An ammeter, a voltmeter and an ohmmeter are available for measuring current, voltage and resistance throughout the circuit. The voltage of the battery and the precision of the meters can be adjusted. Multiple circuits can be built for comparison. 5 Minute Preview

### 23: Series and Parallel Circuits

Advanced Circuits

Build compound circuits with series and parallel elements. Calculate voltages, resistance, and current across each component using Ohm's law and the equivalent resistance equation. Check your answers using a voltmeter, ammeter, and ohmmeter. Learn the function of fuses as a safety device. 5 Minute Preview

Circuit Builder

Create circuits using batteries, light bulbs, switches, fuses, and a variety of materials. Examine series and parallel circuits, conductors and insulators, and the effects of battery voltage. Thousands of different circuits can be built with this Gizmo. 5 Minute Preview

Circuits

Build electrical circuits using batteries, light bulbs, resistors, fuses, wires, and a switch. An ammeter, a voltmeter and an ohmmeter are available for measuring current, voltage and resistance throughout the circuit. The voltage of the battery and the precision of the meters can be adjusted. Multiple circuits can be built for comparison. 5 Minute Preview

### 24: Magnetic Fields

Electromagnetic Induction

Explore how a changing magnetic field can induce an electric current. A magnet can be moved up or down at a constant velocity below a loop of wire, or the loop of wire may be dragged in any direction or rotated. The magnetic and electric fields can be displayed, as well as the magnetic flux and the current in the wire. 5 Minute Preview

Magnetic Induction

Measure the strength and direction of the magnetic field at different locations in a laboratory. Compare the strength of the induced magnetic field to Earth's magnetic field. The direction and magnitude of the inducting current can be adjusted. 5 Minute Preview

Magnetism

Drag bar magnets and a variety of other objects onto a piece of paper. Click Play to release the objects to see if they are attracted together, repelled apart, or unaffected. You can also sprinkle iron filings over the magnets and other objects to view the magnetic field lines that are produced. 5 Minute Preview

### 25: Electromagnetic Induction

Electromagnetic Induction

Explore how a changing magnetic field can induce an electric current. A magnet can be moved up or down at a constant velocity below a loop of wire, or the loop of wire may be dragged in any direction or rotated. The magnetic and electric fields can be displayed, as well as the magnetic flux and the current in the wire. 5 Minute Preview

Magnetic Induction

Measure the strength and direction of the magnetic field at different locations in a laboratory. Compare the strength of the induced magnetic field to Earth's magnetic field. The direction and magnitude of the inducting current can be adjusted. 5 Minute Preview

### 26: Electromagnetism

Electromagnetic Induction

### 27: Quantum Theory

Photoelectric Effect

Shoot a beam of light at a metal plate in a virtual lab and observe the effect on surface electrons. The type of metal as well as the wavelength and amount of light can be adjusted. An electric field can be created to resist the electrons and measure their initial energies. 5 Minute Preview

Star Spectra

Analyze the spectra of a variety of stars. Determine the elements that are represented in each spectrum, and use this information to infer the temperature and classification of the star. Look for unusual features such as redshifted stars, nebulae, and stars with large planets. 5 Minute Preview

### 28: The Atom

Bohr Model of Hydrogen

Shoot a stream of photons through a container of hydrogen gas. Observe how photons of certain energies are absorbed, causing the electron to move to different orbits. Build the spectrum of hydrogen based on photons that are absorbed and emitted. 5 Minute Preview

Bohr Model: Introduction

Fire photons to determine the spectrum of a gas. Observe how an absorbed photon changes the orbit of an electron and how a photon is emitted from an excited electron. Calculate the energies of absorbed and emitted photons based on energy level diagrams. The light energy produced by the laser can be modulated, and a lamp can be used to view the entire absorption spectrum at once. 5 Minute Preview

Electron Configuration

Create the electron configuration of any element by filling electron orbitals. Determine the relationship between electron configuration and atomic radius. Discover trends in atomic radii across periods and down families/groups of the periodic table. 5 Minute Preview

Element Builder

Use protons, neutrons, and electrons to build elements. As the number of protons, neutrons, and electrons changes, information such as the name and symbol of the element, the Z, N, and A numbers, the electron dot diagram, and the group and period from the periodic table are shown. Each element is classified as a metal, metalloid, or nonmetal, and its state at room temperature is also given. 5 Minute Preview

### 30: Nuclear Physics

Element Builder

Use protons, neutrons, and electrons to build elements. As the number of protons, neutrons, and electrons changes, information such as the name and symbol of the element, the Z, N, and A numbers, the electron dot diagram, and the group and period from the periodic table are shown. Each element is classified as a metal, metalloid, or nonmetal, and its state at room temperature is also given. 5 Minute Preview

Half-life

Investigate the decay of a radioactive substance. The half-life and the number of radioactive atoms can be adjusted, and theoretical or random decay can be observed. Data can be interpreted visually using a dynamic graph, a bar chart, and a table. Determine the half-lives of two sample isotopes as well as samples with randomly generated half-lives. 5 Minute Preview

Nuclear Decay

Observe the five main types of nuclear decay: alpha decay, beta decay, gamma decay, positron emission, and electron capture. Write nuclear equations by determining the mass numbers and atomic numbers of daughter products and emitted particles. 5 Minute Preview

How Free Gizmos Work

Start teaching with
**20-40 Free Gizmos**. See the full list.

Access **lesson materials** for Free Gizmos including teacher guides, lesson plans, and more.

All other Gizmos are limited to a **5 Minute Preview** and can only be used for 5 minutes a day.

**Free Gizmos change each semester.** The new collection will be available January 1 and July 1.

About STEM Cases

Students assume the role of a scientist trying to solve a real world problem. They use scientific practices to collect and analyze data, and form and test a hypothesis as they solve the problems.

Each STEM Case uses realtime reporting to show live student results.

Introduction to the Heatmap

STEM Cases take between 30-90 minutes for students to complete, depending on the case.

Student progress is automatically saved so that STEM Cases can be completed over multiple sessions.

Multiple grade-appropriate versions, or levels, exist for each STEM Case.

Each STEM Case level has an associated Handbook. These are interactive guides that focus on the science concepts underlying the case.

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