Thursday, October 1, 2015

Simulating the Atom and Nucleus [undergoing transformations]

The PhET program at the University of Colorado/Boulder has been making quality simulations since the 1990s. I don't recall the exact details of when I started crafting activities around them. But I know I chose to work PhET-based activities into my Conceptual Science lab manuals because I could count on them being universally accessible, free of charge.

When PhET ported its legacy Flash and Java sims into HTML5, some characteristics of the sims changed. Some of the changes broke some of the activities I had written for the original simulations.  

Here are the activities I've written for sims involving the atom and the nucleus.

Shine a Light [Photoelectric Effect] at PhET
Using PhET's Photoelectric Effect, investigate the nature of the photoelectric effect and determine the work function of an unknown metal. This activity is included in the Conceptual Physics 12th edition lab manual at Pearson.

Radioactive Speed Dating [Radiometric Dating] at PhET
Using PhET's Radioactive Dating Game sim, correctly estimate the age of the various virtual objects (skulls, rocks, etc.) using the principles of radiometric dating