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.

Simple Harmonic Motion: Mass on a Spring

This simulation shows the oscillation of a box attached to a spring. Adjust the initial position of the box, the mass of the box, and the spring constant. Use the Run, Pause, Reset, and Step buttons to examine the animation. Check or uncheck boxes to view/hide various information.
Oscillation Graphs Quiz

In this "quiz" you will be shown a motion graph for an oscillating object. It can be a position, velocity, acceleration, or net force graph - each graph is vs. time. From four other graphs of a different aspect of the object's motion, you must choose the one that matches the motion shown in the original graph. After you check you answer you can create a new randomly selected graph and try again, over and over.
Simple Harmonic Motion Tutorial

This is a multi-step tutorial on Simple Harmonic Motion, showing derivations of the equations for position, velocity, acceleration, and period of an object in simple harmonic motion.
Waves Tutorial

This is a multi-page tutorial on the basics of mechanical waves. It incorporates many of the simulations listed separately in this menu, but also includes many animations and a lot of general information about waves. Each page has links at the bottom that lead you to the next (or previous) page in the tutorial.
Wave Pulse Interference and Superposition

This simulation allows students to observe the superposition of two wave pulses of varying height and width. This is an animated simulation of the superposition of two waves pulses. The sliders can be used to change the height and width of the pulses, as well as the animation speed. Use the buttons to start or stop the animation.
Superposition of Transverse Waves

Simulation of the superposition of two waves moving in the same medium.

Simple Harmonic Motion animation relating SHM to uniform circular motion.
Longitudinal Waves

Animated longitudinal travelling and standing waves.
Longitudinal and Transverse Wave Basics

This simulation shows standing waves both on strings and in open and closed air columns. Use the buttons to choose waves on a string or waves in air columns, as well as the particular harmonic. Use the check boxes to show or hide the transverse and longitudinal displacement waves, as well as the pressure variation wave.
Standing Waves

This is a simulation of two cars moving in one dimension. You can adjust the initial position, initial velocity, and acceleration of each of the cars. When the run button is pressed, you can watch an animation of the motion of the cars and also see the position vs. time graph for each of the cars.
Standing Waves on Strings

Simulation of standing waves on strings. Use the sliders to adjust the vibrational frequency, the linear density of the string, and the string tension.
Wave Pulse Reflection (Free & Fixed Ends)

This is a simulation of a wave pulse bouncing off the end of a string. The string's end can be fixed or free, and there are options for showing the undisturbed incident and reflected waves.
Air Column Resonance

This simulation is intended to show how the process of sound wave resonance in air columns works.
Air Column Resonance with Longitudinal Waves

This is a another simulation of sound wave interference in air columns. This version of the simulation allows you to look at the longitudinal version of the first two standing waves. As with their transverse counterparts, when these two longitudinal waves align perfectly, resonance occurs. Adjust the slider to find the various resonances and look for the relationship between the length of the tube and the wavelength of the wave. Note that this relationship depends on whether the far end of the tube is open or closed.
The Doppler Effect & Sonic Boom

Explore the Doppler Effect for sound and Sonic Boom. Use the sliders to adjust the speed of the sound source and the sound observer.
Surface Wave Interference in 3D

This is a 3D simulation showing the interference of surface waves (like waves on water). View from various angles and adjust the frequency, amplitude and distance between the two wave sources.