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Determining Planck's  constant using three differently coloured LEDs.  Here the students adjust the voltage to an LEMeasure the acceleration due to gravity in the laboratory or even…


…on the Moon.

D and try to judge the point at which it ‘switches on’ using an ammeter.  A simple formula gives the value for the famous constant of Quantum mechanics.  Energy losses and gains can be compensated for by using three different LEDs.


This is a virtual experiment to investigate the magnetic field produced by a coil.  The number of turns on the coil can be selected.  The maximum amps and voltage can be selected on the power supply and the actual amps read from a multimeter.


A magnetometer allows the reading of the deflection caused by the magnetic field.


This experiment can also determine the horizontal component of the local magnetic field due to the Earth.

This virtual experiment finds the value for the specific heat capacity of brass.  A brass weight is heated in boiling water and then plunged into a calorimeter filled with cold water.  The temperature of the water is monitored over several minutes giving a maximum and a cooling curve which can be used to correct the maximum due to heat lost to the room.  Evaluating the heat lost by the brass to the heat gained by the calorimeter and water gives a value for the specific heat of brass.

A brass cylinder is rotated using a handle.  A cord wrapped around the cylinder is attached to a weight which is lifted due to the friction of the cord against the cylinder.  The friction generates heat which raises the temperature of the cylinder.  The work done can be calculated from the torque on the cylinder and the number of turns.  The heat gained can be calculated from the mass, the specific heat and the temperature rise of the brass cylinder.  Equating the two gives a value for the Mechanical Equivalent of Heat.

The Virtual Physics Lab comprises the following experiments: Airtrack for average speed and acceleration; Airtrack for Newton’s second law, Hooke’s Law and Young’s Modulus; Rutherford’s gold foil; Gravity on Earth, Moon and Mars; I/V Characteristics for Diode and Filament bulb; Planck’s constant using coloured LEDs; Momentum using Ballistic Balance; Boyle’s Law, Inverse Square Law for Gamma Radiaton, Magnetic Field Line Demonstrator; Magnetic Field of a Coil and the Earth; Specific Heat of Brass; Mechanical Equivalent of Heat; Diffraction of Monochromatic Light; Capacitor charge and discharge; Moments; Millikan’s Oil Drop.


Email using the ‘Contact us’ menu option for to request an information pack including a demonstration disk.

Measure the acceleration due to gravity in the laboratory or even…


…on the Moon.


The experiments are performed in much the same way as a real experiment, but of course, they are all entirely safe and there is no possibility of breaking anything. There's no setup or clear up time. They are accessible from any PC with internet access. The student interacts with the apparatus and takes measurements from on-screen devices that mimic the behaviour of their real counterparts.


In Rutherford's famous Gold Foil experiment  particles are deflected by atoms in a thin gold foil. This is the experiment that revolutionised the model of the atom. The position of the detector can be moved with the mouse and the particles colliding with the detector can be counted using the electronic counter.


Millikan’s famous Oil Drop Experiment.  Measure the plate separation with a virtual micrometer.  Apply a high voltage to the plates and squirt in charged particles.  Measure their speed on the screen and use Newtons 2nd Law to determine the electrostatic force and hence the charge on an electron.


In the Young's Modulus experiment shown to the left, the number of weights can be changed by putting the mouse pointer over the weight holder and rotating the mouse wheel one-way to increase the number of weights  or the other way to decrease the number.