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Rating: 5 stars
Used in Course: Not used in course
Submitted by: Chuck Bennett (Faculty), Oct 07, 2000
Comment: Physlets are small, versatile building blocks that can be controlled by JavaScripts. 
Individual Physlets can intercommunicate; for example, the Animator4 physlet can
display motion as the DataGraph4 physlet plots it. The details of how this
occurs are controlled by your scripts, and thus may be completely customized
according to your pedagogical goals.

More importantly, Phylets allow you to go beyond the typical Java simulation
by creating applications that require active participation from the
student.  Students can be asked to analyze motion using parameters that
must be inferred from "measurements" taken from the computer

The authors have recently published a
that provides a wealth of tutorial and pedagogical information.

Technical Remarks:

A Physlet only does what your scripts tell it to do. Therefore the usability
and effectiveness a particular Physlet application has much more to do with the
associated scripts than with any particular Physlet. 

Getting started with your first Physlet application can be a bit
daunting.  The very best approach is to copy the source (just right-click
on the browser screen) from an application you want to use. You can
download the java archives (jar files) if you want to host the application on
your server.

Most folks with just a bit of programming background will find it easy to modify
existing scripts to produce customized applications.  The Physlet book and
the Physlet website have tons of example script to start with.