The simulations are written for Windows computers. They use 3D, polygon-based graphics to simulate real objects and environments. The simulations can even be run in a stereoscopic mode for a real 3D effect when special glasses are worn. Below are brief descriptions of the programs currently available:
A single object moves back and forth in one dimension under the influence of friction and a force applied by the user. The simulation optionally displays a variety of relevant vectors and plots in real time, and can also save a "data" file which records the object's position as a function of time and can be analyzed as desired using other software. Although all motion takes place along one dimension, the object and environment are depicted in attractive 3D graphics.
In the first image below, all of the vectors and plots have been turned on, making a somewhat "busy" display. In the second, only a few vectors and plots are seen, the plots have been resized to be more easily visible, and the data panel is open, showing a list of the block's position as a function of time.
Two carts move back and forth in one dimension under the influence of friction and a force applied by the user. The environment is the same as in the 1D Motion simulation, but this time, because there are two objects, collisions can be studied. Each cart has a flexible bumper, and when they collide, the program switches to a highly exaggerated "slow motion" during which the carts' bumpers deform in response to the forces being applied to them. As in the 1D Motion simulation, a variety of vectors and plots can be displayed for both carts.
Again, in the first image below, all of the vectors are on, and the deformation of the carts can be seen. The second image shows a sparser display after a collision has taken place. The "camera" can be set to follow either cart or their center of mass. In this case, it is following the right cart. Also, after a collision, the plot of the carts' forces on each other optionally displays the total impulse for the collision, as seen in the last image.
Although intended primarily for use in studying circular motion, this program simulates motion in two dimensions under the influence of friction and a force applied by the user. The simulated object is a ball sitting on a horizontal surface, viewed from above. A "path" is displayed on the ground along which the user can attempt to guide the ball. By default, this path is a circle, although a parabola is also provided, as well as a utility for creating custom paths out of straight line segments and circular arcs. Using a keyboard, the user can only apply a fixed-strength force in one of eight directions, but with an analog joystick, significantly more precise control is possible.
In the first image below, a normal session can be seen with a circular track for the ball. The ball has left behind a trail, and intermittantly on that trail is a "shadow" of the external force which had been applied at that time. The radius of the track is easily adjustable. The second image shows a preconstructed "maze" track with straight line segments and ciruclar arcs. The third image shows the custom track creation tool. The blue arc is currently being adjusted.