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PhysLab - A 3D Virtual Physics Laboratory of Simulated Experiments for Advanced Physics Learning

Price, Colin ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2173-9897 and Price-Mohr, R. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9494-6398 (2019) PhysLab - A 3D Virtual Physics Laboratory of Simulated Experiments for Advanced Physics Learning. Physics Education, 54 (3). article no. 035006. ISSN 0031-9120

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Abstract

We introduce a virtual physics laboratory, “PhysLab”, created using 3D video game technology suitable for advanced level physics courses in secondary schools. This comprises 32 simulated experiments covering a range of physics topics, selected in collaboration with practicing school teachers. PhysLab is made available at no cost for the physics education community in two forms: first an installable application, ready to run; and secondly as a development platform where we provide all computer code and assets. While we focus on the theory, design and pedagogical aspects of PhysLab, we provide some critical reflections on the use of simulations in physics teaching in general, and especially how these could be most effectively used in the physics classroom. The experiments are classified according to their nature: supporting theory; “What if”-scenarios, like playing badminton on the Moon; or as hypothetical situations, such as what happens if you drop your home town into a hole through the centre of the Earth. We also discuss the details of several PhysLab simulations: the Wilberforce Pendulum; oscillations of a mass on a rubber band, which involves non-linearity; the Drude theory of electrical conduction; the Cyclotron, and a “Journey to the Centre of the Earth”.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Keywords: virtual physics laboratory, 3D video game technology, advanced level physics, secondary education, teaching
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
Q Science > QC Physics
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: Academic Departments > Worcester Business School
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Colin Price
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2019 15:58
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2019 09:16
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/7652

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