Using Open-Source Java Applets for Teaching Statistical Physics

August 5, 2002
AAPT meeting, Boise State University

Harvey Gould, Clark University

Jan Tobochnik, Kalamazoo College

Wolfgang Christian, Davidson College

Joshua Gould, University of Pittsburgh

Peter Sibley, Clark University

National Science Foundation PHY-9801878

Important Ideas in Statistical Physics

Limitations of Traditional Approaches

Nature of Simulations in Statistical Mechanics

Java Applets and the Open Source Physics Library

Java Applets for Statistical and Thermal Physics

In the talk a copy of was made. Because it has since been updated, I have include a link to the updated page.

During the talk I discussed the Demon algorithm and showed some results.

I also showed some results for a Lennard-Jones gas approaching equilibrium. result

Sample Code

A big advantage of the Open Source Physics Library is that we don't have to spend any time setting up a graphical environment, a plotting environment, and an input/output environment. Thus, the only serious thinking needs to go into the algorithm that does physics.

Source code can be found at