ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education

ComPADRE is a set of communities of teachers and students in physics and astronomy and web-based collections of resources to support their needs. The communities supported by ComPADRE are groups that can benefit from the sharing of materials, information, and experiences in a web environment. Example communities include teachers of specific physics or astronomy courses, societies of undergraduate physics and astronomy students, and teachers addressing specific grade levels, such as high-school or middle-school teachers. Resources included in the collections are chosen to enhance the teaching and learning experience, and include multimedia learning objects, lesson plans, tutorials, laboratories and other student activities, and discussion forums on the use of these materials. The different collections are organized under the ComPADRE umbrella, which provides a central database (the Physical Sciences Resource Center), technical support, support for collection editors and community leaders, and the means to coordinate efforts across the communities.

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  • ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
1D Quantum States Applet
Rating

This simulation shows time-dependent 1D quantum bound state wavefunctions for a number of different wells. Position, momentum, parity, energy, and current can all be viewed, with phase shown with color. Eigentstates can be selected using the energy level diagram. Multiple-energy-eigenstate wavefunctions can be created through changes in the amplitude and phase of the basis states using spinors. Postion and energy measurements can be taken, resulting in new states of the system.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Interactive
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Paul Falstad
Date Added:
04/30/2004
1D Quantum Transitions Applet
Rating

This simulation explores the transitions between quantum states in a number of 1D systems. The time-dependent wavefunction is displayed. An electric field resonant with the transition between states is applied and the changes in the wavefunction with time are tracked. The dipole transition probability is displayed for different initial to final state transitions, and the user may select the transition they wish to observe.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Interactive
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Paul Falstad
Date Added:
05/03/2004
2D Circular Square Well Applet
Rating

This simulation shows time-dependent 2D quantum bound state wavefunctions for a circular hard-walled potential. Position, momentum, angular momentum, and energy of the states can all be viewed, with phase shown with color. Eigentstates can be selected using the energy level diagram. Multiple-energy-eigenstate wavefunctions can be created through changes in the amplitude and phase of the basis states using spinors, or through the creation of Gaussian wavefunctions with the mouse. The quantum numbers of the states are shown.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Interactive
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Paul Falstad
Date Added:
05/17/2004
2-D Electrostatic Field Simulation
Rating

This applet simulates the electric field of many charge distributions, including point charges, line charges, dipoles, cylinders, conducting planes and more. The color can be adjusted for field magnitude or potential. Equipotential or field lines are optional. The field strength and number of particles are adjustable. The field can be displayed as a velocity field or a force field. The description is also available in German.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Interactive
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Paul Falstad
Date Added:
06/17/2004
2D-Ising Model
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

The EJS 2D Ising model displays a lattice of spins. You can change the lattice size, temperature, and external magnetic field. You can modify this simulation if you have Ejs installed by right-clicking within the plot and selecting “Open Ejs Model” from the pop-up menu item. The 2D-Ising model was created using the Easy Java Simulations (Ejs) modeling tool. It is distributed as a ready-to-run (compiled) Java archive. Double clicking the ejs_stp_Ising2D.jar file will run the program if Java is installed. Ejs is a part of the Open Source Physics Project and is designed to make it easier to access, modify, and generate computer models. Additional Ejs models are available. They can be found by searching ComPADRE for Open Source Physics, OSP, or Ejs.

Subject:
Computing and Information
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Anne Cox
Harvey Gould
Jan Tobochnik
Wolfgang Christian
Date Added:
02/20/2009
2D Quantum Harmonic Oscillator Applet
Rating

This simulation shows time-dependent 2D quantum bound state wavefunctions for a harmonic oscillator potential. Position, momentum, angular momentum (for symmetric potentials), and energy of the states can all be viewed, with phase shown with color. Eigentstates can be selected using the energy level diagram. Multiple-energy-eigenstate wavefunctions can be created through changes in the amplitude and phase of the basis states using spinors, or through the creation of Gaussian, elliptical, or square wavefunctions with the mouse. The quantum numbers of the states are shown.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Interactive
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Paul Falstad
Date Added:
05/17/2004
2D Rectangular Square Well Applet
Rating

This simulation shows time-dependent 2D quantum bound state wavefunctions for a rectangular hard-walled potential. Position, momentum, and energy of the states can all be viewed, with phase shown with color. Eigentstates can be selected using the energy level diagram. Multiple-energy-eigenstate wavefunctions can be created through changes in the amplitude and phase of the basis states using spinors, or through the creation of Gaussian, elliptical, or square wavefunctions with the mouse.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Interactive
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Paul Falstad
Date Added:
05/17/2004
2-D Vector Field Simulation
Rating

The applet simulates various vector fields, including spherical, radial, and constant plane. It is a generalized version of an electrostatic field simulation by the same author. The field strength and number of particles simulated are adjustable. Divergence, curl, and potential can be color-coded. Grid lines, potential lines, or streamlines can be displayed. Directions, specific links to the subject and source code are also included.

Subject:
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Interactive
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Paul Falstad
Date Added:
06/21/2004
2MASS Second Incremental Data Release Gallery
Rating

On July 14, NASA announced the public release of a huge collection of images (1.9 million) from the Two-Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS), the most thorough census of stars ever made. Using two automated, 51-inch telescopes, one in Arizona and the other in Chile, the three-year-old survey has so far taken images of half a million galaxies and 162 million stars. By its completion, the survey's catalogs will contain more than 300 million objects. A sampling of these images has been placed online at the 2MASS site at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) at the California Institute of Technology. The twelve-page gallery contains some amazing images, including the center of the Milky Way, the Sombrero galaxy, the Crab Nebula, and the Dark Nebula, offered as large thumbnails which link to a full-sized image. Users can learn more about 2MASS at the survey's homepages at Caltech and the University of Massachusetts.

Subject:
Education
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Internet Scout Project
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Internet Scout Project
Date Added:
03/18/2004
3-D Electrostatic Field Simulation
Rating

This applet simulates the electric field and potential for various charge distributions, including point, line, dipole, spherical and other charges. There is also a simulation, with adjustable speed, of a charge moving close to the speed of light. The field can be displayed as a velocity or force field with particles following field lines, or as field or equipotential lines. The potential and fields can be displayed in 3-D or on a movable 2-D slice. The field strength and number of particles is adjustable, and the charge can be reversed. Source code and directions (also in German) are included.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Interactive
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Paul Falstad
Date Added:
06/17/2004
3-D Magnetostatic Field Simulation
Rating

This applet simulates various magnetic sources, including a line of current, a square loop, a magnetic sphere and a solenoid. Size, number of particles, and field strength are adjustable. Display options include particles in velocity or force fields, field vectors, field lines and potential vectors. The vectors and lines can be displayed in 3D or on a movable 2D slice. Charge can be reversed. Source code and directions are included.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Interactive
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Paul Falstad
Date Added:
06/17/2004
3D Quantum Harmonic Oscillator Applet
Rating

This simulation shows time-dependent 3D quantum bound state wavefunctions for a harmonic oscillator potential. Position, angular momentum, and energy of the states can all be viewed, with phase shown with color. Eigentstates can be selected using the energy level diagram. Multiple-energy-eigenstate wavefunctions can be created through changes in the amplitude and phase of the basis states using spinors. The quantum numbers of the states are shown, and the states can be rotated.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Interactive
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Paul Falstad
Date Added:
05/17/2004
3-D Vector Field Simulation
Rating

This simulation illustrates a wide range of 3D vector fields, including spherical, radial, and linear. The fields can be displayed as vectors, particle trajectories, equipotentials, and other options. The number of particles, vectors, or streamlines, and the field strength are adjustable. Directions and source code are also included. This is an extension of a 3D Electric and Magnetic Field viewer from the same author.

Subject:
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Interactive
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Paul Falstad
Date Added:
06/21/2004
3-D Waves Applet
Rating

This java applet is a simulation that demonstrates scalar waves (such as sound waves) in three dimensions. It shows point sources, line sources, and plane waves, and also demonstrates interference between sources.

Subject:
Computing and Information
Physics
Material Type:
Interactive
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Shodor
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
CSERD: Computational Science Education Reference Desk
Author:
none mentioned
Paul Falstad
Date Added:
06/15/2004
The 40-inch Telescope from the Inside
Rating

This web site, hosted by the University of Chicago Dept. of Astronomy and Astrophysics, is an image gallery of the Yerkes 40 inch refracting telescope--the largest refractor in the world. It includes views of the telescope, the machinery that turns it, and the observatory building. Links go to other parts of the Yerkes website.

Subject:
Technology
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Date Added:
07/13/2007
4 Teachers: Family of Tools
Rating

This web page is a collection of 15 cost-free tools designed to help K-12 teachers use technology in all phases of instruction and assessment. The tools offer time-saving ways to monitor student research and writing, evaluate student performance, and create online lessons, classroom calendars, customized rubrics, tests/quizzes, exportable note-taking organizers for students, and more. 4 Teachers is funded by the ALTEC project, founded to support integration of technology in the K-12 classroom.

Subject:
Technology
Education
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Assessment
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Date Added:
11/18/2009
4 Teachers: Project Based Learning Checklists
Rating

This web page contains customizable student checklists for written reports, multimedia projects, oral presentations, and science projects. The checklists are organized for three grade bands: K-4, 5-8, and 9-12. The purpose of the checklists is to help students stay on track during a longer-term investigation, and promote their skills in responsibility and self-evaluating. 4 Teachers is funded by the ALTEC project, founded to support integration of technology in the K-12 classroom. ***PLEASE NOTE: Some of the pages within this resource are sponsored by commercial vendors. The Physics Front neither endorses nor recommends products for commercial sale.

Subject:
Technology
Education
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Assessment
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Date Added:
11/18/2009
532 nm Laser Lab
Rating

The main goal is to understand some basic laser theory and the method of creating a 532 nm (green) laser emission from an 808 nm (IR) laser. In the process you will learn the basics about laser diodes, pumping a gain medium, the purpose of special optical coatings, second harmonic generation, and the electronics / measurement tools for optical characterization. This lab can be constructed for under $1K with some creativity. Having introduced the lab already to students, they found it both interesting and fun to go through. Presented at the 2013 AAPT Summer Meeting in Portland, Oregon. W36: Advanced Labs Workshop

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Dr. Erik Sánchez
Date Added:
07/09/2013
60 Minutes: Cold Fusion Is Hot Again
Rating

When a pair of scientists first introduced cold nuclear fusion in 1989 as a source of almost limitless energy, the scientific community quickly discredited the experiments. In some venues, these experiments are case studies in faulty scientific investigation. But now a respected scientist at SRI International is doing extensive research on the same process -- with promising results. This 12-minute investigative report by CBS 60 Minutes explores the renewed interest in cold fusion and its implications for society. This resource is available for free online viewing. A four-page text synopsis is also provided. It could be especially useful as a springboard for a lesson on the importance of objectivity in scientific experimentation.

Subject:
Education
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Date Added:
10/21/2010