Forces and Motion
Visitors to this web site can choose to download or run online a Java simulation titled "Forces and Motion." This simulation allows the user to interact with an object by exerting pushing forces. There are four activities within the simulation. The 'Introduction' activity allows the user to exert a force on an object and observe the friction and resultant force vectors. The 'Friction' activity is the same as the introduction except that the user can vary the coefficients of friction and the acceleration due to gravity. The 'Force Graphs' activity displays force-time, position-time, velocity-time, or acceleration-time graphs of the motion the user produces. The 'Robot Moving Company' is a game in which a robot has to push objects from a moving truck to a house. Links to teacher lesson plans and other languages are also included on the site. This tool offers multiple ways to investigate applied forces. Students may use this resource to reinforce their conceptual understanding of vector addition and net force, as well as further develop their understanding of motion and force graphs. Students can use this resource to observe how the acceleration of the object depends on the mass and the applied force. Students can also develop an intuition for static and kinetic frictional forces and how they relate to the normal force.
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