Simulating Nature

Simulations for science education have been around for decades. Traditionally, the coding skills required were just out of reach for beginning students. Not so anymore. Using elementary javascript, we can code basic to advanced sims that show interesting science without having to spend years learning software development.

Books are great. There's no denying that. However, so are motion graphics! We can make abstract science concepts visual by coding up simple simulations. Our forthcoming science.js library will make it easy for students and coders everywhere to build their own sims.

Recent Posts

  • The True Nature of Accelerating Objects, in Code - Part II.

    (If you missed part 1 of this discussion, the following won’t make a ton of sense. Read Part 1 here.) Recap: we’ve used a seemingly valid way to change the position and velocity of a moving particle. However, upon closer inspection, it turned out to not give physically realistic motion....

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  • The True Nature of Accelerating Objects, in Code - Part I

    The first weeks of intro physics class focus on kinematics, or the study of motion. Chances are you came across an equation that looks like this: This equation, derived using integral calculus usually, gives the position as a function of time for a particle undergoing constant acceleration. If the object...

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  • The Philosophy Behind Designing a Sim

    Physics simulations have been around for a long time. Since the earliest days of computer programming, physicists have been using the powers of computer generated graphical visualization to make models of physical phenomena, both for education and fundamental research. What follows are a few design principles to keep in mind...

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  • A vintage simulation, redone.

    In the late 1960’s, Frank Sinden, a mathematician at Bell Labs, created one of the earliest computer animations. It featured some basic examples of elementary physics: how a mass will respond to a force, the effects of the familiar inverse square law of Newtonian gravitation on particles, and even non-physical...

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Many existing simulation collections suffer from the common blight of stagnation. They are built with old technology (flash or java applets) by old people (no offense intended, but programming is a young person's game!). The often look dated (like 90's video games), don't work on modern devices, and fail to communicate the fundamentals of the science to the students using them. These sims are fresh - built by students using modern javascript libraries. Sure, one day, they too will be old - but that day is not today!