I have developed an extensive series of computer demonstrations to accompany the lectures notes in Physics 161. These demonstrations are written in JAVA and are available here if you have a JAVA enabled browser. The demonstrations are a key part of the course.
The goals in writing these programs were to have a set of readily accessible, platform independent, demonstrations.
The first of these goals has been achieved: the demonstrations will be available at any time with a simple mouse click from anywhere on campus.
As for the second goal..... Two years ago I wrote:
"I have been frustrated however in the goal of arriving at platform independence. In principle, and to some degree in practice, the demonstrations will run on any (or at least many) JAVA enabled browser on any platform. However in the tests I have made, the implementations of JAVA on platforms other than PCs running Windows 95 or Windows NT are so inferior or buggy (specific problems are listed below) that running the demonstrations on the other platforms I have tried becomes quite frustrating. The competitive market place has led to enormous advances in "just in time" compilers and other technology that speeds up JAVA programs dramatically on the Windows platforms, so that the demonstrations run well on Pentium class PCs using Netscape, Microsoft's Internet Explorer, and SUN's HotJava browsers, as well as SUN's "appletviewer" program that comes with the JAVA development kit."Since then the overall speed of computers has increased, and the JAVA implementations on other platforms have improved. Recent tests I have done show that the demonstrations can be run on these platforms, although the Windows computers still have better performance.
I would be delighted to know of your experinece on runnign the demonstrations on various platforms, so please let me know!
The Java programs use the Java Graph Class Library version 2.4 by Leigh Brookshaw. The source code and some brief documentation of the programs is here.[Return to Home Page]