This is a Java Applet that demonstrates the connection between uniform circular motion and simple harmonic motion. An object moving around a circle at constant speed is displayed, along with two others moving in SHM in vertical and horizontal planes. Velocity and force vectors for each are displayed. By stepping through the animation, it can be seen that the SHM objects' position, velocity and force are the projection of the corresponding circular motion values on the appropriate axis.
Type of Material:
Java applet, illustration.
Lecture Demo or on-line tutorial.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
To understand the relationships between uniform circular motion and simple harmonic motion.
Target Student Population:
Introductory physics, High school and college
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Students need to know the basic principles of mechanics and circular motion. Knowledge of Hooke's law for springs would also be helpful.
This is a very nice animated version of a classic textbook diagrams on this subject. It is very simple illustration with vectors indicated.
The display is purely graphical, no quantitative information is given and the velocity and acceleration vectors are not immediately identified.
Due to the programming of the applet, it runs too fast in "play" mode to see the physics being illustrated. Users will need to step through the animation rather than playing it.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This applet is rather limited in scope but illustrates a single point.
There is no interactivity beyond stepping through the illustration.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Controls are obvious in their function. The ability to step through the animation is essential to view the physics.
The animation runs too quickly to make the "Play" button useful. Without the "Forward" and "Back" buttons, this applet would not be viewable.
The physical quantities shown with the vectors are not labeled.
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