Newton's Laws

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Newton's Laws and Thermodynamics are the only sections complete as if 6-23-09.

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Newton's Laws of Motion - JavaScript Simulations 

In this section you will test your knowledge of the laws of motion  by operating a simulated ion propelled spaceship in the vacuum of space. The simulations take place in two dimensions ( X,Y ) and time.  Time only advances in response button click for a period set by you.  It is event (mouse click) driven software rather than a real time simulation. This is good for learning, because time freezes between mouse clicks giving you time to make calculations or study.  In response to mouse clicks time advances almost instantaneously.  The limits I set on the number loops are recommendations only. My script does not limit iteration loops but your browser/operating system will.  It is simpler to repeat  clicking my script buttons rather than responding to software interrupts. Working in two dimensions makes it easy for student to plot motion with pen and paper. 

At first one would think that teaching the basics of physics in deep space is a strange way to start teaching physics.  Actually, Newton's Laws would be obvious if We lived in deep space.  If you threw a baseball it would travel in one direction indefinitely and you would be propelled in the opposite direction at a much slower rate.  Inertia and action/reaction would be clearly demonstrated by this single act.  Atmosphere and friction tend to complicate physics.  What was amazing about  Newton was that he could see that an object in motion will continue to move indefinitely when not acted on by an external force,  even though he lived on a planet (earth) where everything came to rest eventually.


JavaScript Simulations Below

Thrust and Motion


















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Last updated: November 15, 2013.