I’ve been meaning for some time to dive into the world of simulations with VPython. I got some real motivation since, after years of advocating, we are starting AP Physics C at my school next year (both Mechanics and E&M). As a result I’ve started to gather and put together some resources, and since I’ve gotten a fair bit of positive feedback on the tutorials I modified from those crafted by Jim Deane, I thought I’d post them here. I plan on adding to this a lot in the next 6 months before the 16-17 school year.
Tutorials: Email me if you would like comment rights, I’d love the feedback!
- 01 Introduction to VPython
- 02 Loops, Physics, and Graphs
- This activity (or something like it) in class after 02 to link calculus and updating position
- 03 Acceleration and Simulation Accuracy
- 04 Updating Positions with Forces
- 05 Air Drag and Velocity Dependent Forces (I skipped this one in 17-18, the number of assignments was proving to be overwhelming for students)
- 05 Comparing simulations with data
The last tutorial, comparing simulations with data, was written to address the main criticism students had about vpython from the 16-17 school year; they didn’t see how it fit into the rest of the course. I wrote that tutorial to match a lab we do where we analyze graphs of energy vs time for an mass on a spring, so now the submitted assignment will be comparing the lab data with the simulation results.
Tutorials by Rhett Allain: This is how I started learning VPython.