oPhysics: Interactive Physics Simulations

Select a simulation from one of the above categories or click on a category to see descriptions of the simulations for that category.


Friction: Pulling a Box on a Horizontal Surface

This is a simulation of a box being pulled along a horizontal surface by a rope. Students can use the simulation to explore the effects of static and kinetic friction and their relationship to the normal force of the surface.
Static and Kinetic Friction on an Inclined Plane

This is a simulation of a box being pulled along a horizontal surface by a rope. Students can use the simulation to explore the effects of static and kinetic friction and their relationship to the normal force of the surface.
Atwood's Machine / Atwood's Incline

This is a simulation of two objects attached to each other with a massless string. The string passes over a massless, frictionless pulley. Use the "Run" button to start the simulation, the "Pause" button to pause it, and the "Reset" button to reset the time back to zero. Use the sliders to adjust the masses of the two objects, the angle of the incline, and the coefficient of friction between mass m2 and the incline (in the simulation it is assumed that the static and kinetic friction coefficients have the same value). Use the checkboxes to show or hide the numerical values and the free body diagrams for the two objects.
The Conical Pendulum

This is a simulation of a conical pendulum. A conical pendulum consists of an object attached to a string and moving in a horizontal circle. The string length in the simulation is fixed, adjust the radius, animation speed, and view angle with the sliders.
Conical Pendulum Adjustable speed

Same as the simulation above, except the speed of the object can be adjusted instead of the radius.
Elliptical Orbits & Kepler's 2nd Law

This is a simulation of a planet orbiting a sun. Initial conditions can be adjusted. Use the sliders to adjust the initial speed of the planet, the initial distance from the center of the planet to the center of the sun, and the mass of the sun. Hit run to see the orbit animate. The orbit will be with elliptical, circular, parabolic, or hyperbolic, depending on the initial conditions. Show the Kepler's 2nd Law of planetary motion trace to see the elliptical orbit broken into eight wedges of equal area, each swept out in equal times.