Three Physics Examples - "getting the physics right" plus a little more
*To use the applcaitons below you will need the Flash
6 or greater player plug-in to your browser. The Flash player is available
for free from Macromedia
Animations in Flash. There are basically two ways to create animations with Flash: (1) using the Flash engine for linear interpolation of an object between two positions, and (2) pixel-by-pixel control of the object position by exact movie clip commands. [ mc._x (mc._y)] Using pixel controls, it is possible to manipulate an object's position with virtually unlimited bounds.
The bouncing ball. Using Flash it is possible to make an object go up and down. But it is important that the physics should be right. Teaching a concept visually using incorrect animations yields students that have profound physical misconceptions. Here are three examples. The first is an object that goes up and down with "linear physics". The second uses the easing feature of Flash to mimic the acceleration of gravity. The third uses the actual law of gravitation.
Works in Flash 5.
The second example, the pendulum allows pendular but not perfect pendular motion. One can change the period but not the length of this pendulum. Also, there is a timer. It is possible to devise virtual "physics" experiments with this animation. In fact a science fair type project could be accomplished with such a tool.
In this third example, we show two projectiles which can be thrust from a specified angle with a specified velocity. Shown are the times to hit the ground and the maximum height.
Works in Flash 5.
In this example, we show simple elliptical motion about a "sun". In the first example, there is a single planet. In the second, the user can select multiple planets, creating an entire pseudo solar system. The physics here is all wrong.
In each of these problems, getting the physics right requires some considerable extra effort beyond the rather powerful but intuitive animation features of Flash.
A GPS unit is a receiver that obtains the distances from and the coordinates of a number of satellite. The graphic is shown below
As you can see multiple signals are obtained in order to obtain the exact location. We have two lessons on the GPS unit and a FLASH movie for you to experiment with a planar GPS unit.
To use the applcaitons below you will need the Flash 6 or greater player
plug-in to your browser. The Flash player is available for free from Macromedia
©2002 G. Donald Allen
Last updated: May 3, 2003 19:45