Open Source Physics Collection

Developed by: Wolfgang Christian, Douglas Brown, Fransisco Esquembre

middle schoolhigh schoolintro collegeinter-mediateupper levelgrad school   other

 Intro College Calculus-based
calc based
 Intro College Algebra-based
alg based

Mechanics  Electricity / Magnetism  Waves / Optics  Thermal / Statistical  Modern / Quantum +2
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students)  Recitation/Discussion Session  Lab  Homework  Studio

What? Open source code libraries, tools, and compiled simulations for physics, computation, and computer modeling. Includes curriculum resources that engage students and enable them to discover new ways to understand, describe, explain and predict physical phenomena.

Why? OSP is well-maintained by a devoted group of authors.The content scope is very comprehensive and the site supports an active, inclusive community dedicated to computation and computer modeling in physics. Models, simulations, and tools are all cost-free.

Why not? The content scope of OSP is robust, but there are certain gaps: Fluid Mechanics, Relativity, Atomic Physics, Medical Physics. Many of the models in the library are older Java files, which may not open in all browsers.

Student skills developed

Designed for:
  • Conceptual understanding
  • Problem-solving skills
Can be adapted for:
  • Lab skills

Instructor effort required

  • Low

Resources required

  • Projector
  • Computers for students

Developer's website: Open Source Physics Collection
Intro Article: W. Christian, M. Belloni, F. Esquembre, B. Mason, L. Barbato, and M. Riggsbee, The Physlet Approach to Simulation Design, Phys. Teach. 53 (7), 419 (2015).
This is the lowest level of research validation, corresponding to at least one of the validation categories below.

Research Validation Summary

Based on Research Into:

  • theories of how students learn
  • student ideas about specific topics

Demonstrated to Improve:

  • conceptual understanding
  • problem-solving skills
  • lab skills
  • beliefs and attitudes
  • attendance
  • retention of students
  • success of underrepresented groups
  • performance in subsequent classes

Studied using:

  • cycle of research and redevelopment
  • student interviews
  • classroom observations
  • analysis of written work
  • research at multiple institutions
  • research by multiple groups
  • peer-reviewed publication


Compatible Methods

Peer Instruction PhET Interactive Simulations Tutorials in Introductory Physics +48 more...

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