What is PhET?
PhET is acronym for Physics Education Teaching. However now it also covers different other disciplines and it is a very interesting source for interactive simulations on different science topics. It is a project of University of Colorado Boulder, started by noble laureate Carl Wieman in 2002. “To advance science and math literacy and education worldwide through free interactive simulations” is their stated mission.
Simulations are interactive, animated and game like environments which help students to learn science in an effective way. In these simulations, the phenomena of real life are visualized through models.
Currently over 100 interactive simulations for teaching and learning Physics, Chemistry, Bio, Math and Earth Science are available on their website. All these simulations are free on web which you may run online or download them.
PhET circuit simulation lab requirements:
PhET interactive simulations are written in Flash and Java. To run these interactive simulations you must have a standard web browser with latest Java or Flash plug-in installed. One thing more which i would like to inform you that Chrome web browser doesn’t support to explore these simulation projects however Internet explorer and Mozilla Firefox support it.
To install latest version of Java click below.
Introduction video for PhET circuit simulation lab:
PhET Circuit Simulation Lab:
As stated earlier that PhET lab was originally founded as physics education teaching lab so it covers a lot of physics fields starting from simple mechanics including Sound, Heat, Electricity, Magnetism & Circuits to the most complicated Quantum and Radiations. The field Electricity & Circuits include following animated simulation projects.
This project of PhET simulation lab provides you an electronic kit at the desktop of your computer.
You can build electric circuits on your own choice using resistors, light bulbs, switches and batteries. The project also includes voltmeter and ammeter for realistic measurements of voltages and currents. You can switch the view to circuit diagram or real life practical circuit.
Using this simulator you are able to:
- Talk over primarily electricity concept
- Build the circuits using schematic circuit diagrams
- Take readings using ammeter and voltmeter
- Calculate resistance of a common material
- Discuss series and parallel electric circuits
It is a modified version of previously described circuit construction kit (CCK) having AC voltage sources in addition to DC batteries. This version adds inductors, capacitors and alternating current (AC) voltage sources. This project of PhET circuit simulation lab gives the opportunity to plot current and voltage graphs against time.