Fowler's Physics Applets

Michael Fowler - University of Virginia Physics

Old home page, with more Java

Check out our flashlets!

This website is under reconstruction! I am working with two students, Qian Xiong and Yixuan Nie, to update the Java applets to JavaScript, which will play in Chrome, Firefox, etc., probably on any device.

Newton's Cannon

Sorry -- this is still in Java!

Relevant lecture for Physics 109 Galileo and Einstein

Newton's Principia suggested that if you fire a cannon from a high mountain it could fall, circle the earth, or fly away depending on how hard it was fired. (More information, source code, and download)

Rutherford scattering from a Thomson Atom and from a Nuclear Atom - Relevant Lecture for Physics 252 Modern Physics

Watch alpha particles scatter from atomic nucleii. These applets compare the Physics of two competing theories in 1910 for distribution of charge in an atom.

Group Velocity and Phase Velocity

Change the group and phase velocities of interfering sine waves. Relevant Lecturefor Physics 252 Modern Physics.


Projectile Motion - Physics 581 Physics for High School Teachers

Shoot a cannon to see how high and far the ball flies. The applet uses real units and physical values to compare with calculations.


Einstein's Explanation of Brownian Motion - Physics 581 Physics for High School Teachers

This applet shows how atomic velocities cause the Brownian Motion of a dust particle. In one panel a small ball jitters. In the next, we see that it jitters because many smaller balls bat it rapidly about.


One-dimensional one-atom classical gas - Physics 581 Physics for High School Teachers b>

This applet describes a single atom gas moving in one dimension. It accelerates or decelerates only through classical collisions with the moving piston on its container. This alone is enough to explain why the gas gets warm when it is compressed and cool when expanded.


Two-dimensional collisions - Physics 581 Physics for High School Teachers

Sorry -- this one's still in Java!

One ball strikes another. Change relative masses, initial velocity, and angle of the collision. Watch it in the center of mass and lab frame. It makes the collision angles very clear, and the controls are sort of fun. (More information, source code, and download)