APS Excellence in Physics Education Award
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November 2011

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The Open Source Physics Project is supported by NSF DUE-0442581.

Computer Program Detail Page

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Electric Field: What is Wrong? Package
written by Anne Cox, Wolfgang Christian, and Francisco Esquembre
The EJS Electric Field: What is Wrong? Package is a collection of models for electrostatics with errors intentionally built into each model.  Users can move charges around and see the force, observe the electric field generated by charge configurations, and observe the motion of test particles in electric fields to try to identify the errors in the simulation. Users can inspect, modify and correct any simulation in the package by right-clicking within the plot and selecting "Open Ejs Model" from the pop-up menu item. The package also includes a brief overview of programming basics needed to correct the models.

The Electric Field: What is Wrong? Package was created using the Easy Java Simulations (Ejs) modeling tool.  It is distributed as a ready-to-run (compiled) Java archive.  Double clicking the ejs_em_electric_wiw.jar file will launch the package if Java is installed.  Navigate within the package and click on a green triangle to run a particular simulation. Ejs is a part of the Open Source Physics Project and is designed to make it easier to access, modify, and generate computer models.  Additional Ejs models are available on ComPADRE.

Journal article describing the use of these resources: The Physics Teacher, Vol 49, No 5, p. 273-276. http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.3578417

Please note that this resource requires at least version 1.5 of Java (JRE).
2 supplemental documents are available
2 source code documents are available
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Practices
- Active Learning
= Modeling
Electricity & Magnetism
- Electric Fields and Potential
= Electric Field
- Electrostatics
= Coulomb's Law
General Physics
- Computational Physics
- Upper Undergraduate
- Lower Undergraduate
- High School
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Simulation
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Learners
- Educators
- application/java
  • Currently 5.0/5

Rated 5.0 stars by 1 person

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Access Rights:
Free access
This material is released under a GNU General Public License Version 3 license. Additional information is available.
Rights Holder:
Wolfgang Christian
Java Archive file
Ejs, OSP, dipole, electric force, field vectors, multipole, test charge
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created April 14, 2010 by Anne Cox
Record Updated:
August 14, 2023 by wee lookang
Last Update
when Cataloged:
April 14, 2010
Other Collections:

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (1993 Version)


G. Forces of Nature
  • 4G (9-12) #3.  There are two kinds of charges?positive and negative. Like charges repel one another, opposite charges attract. In materials, there are almost exactly equal proportions of positive and negative charges, making the materials as a whole electrically neutral. Negative charges, being associated with electrons, are far more mobile in materials than positive charges are. A very small excess or deficit of negative charges in a material produces noticeable electric forces.

NSES Content Standards

Con.B: Physical Science
  • 9-12: Motions & Forces
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
A. Cox, W. Christian, and F. Esquembre, Computer Program ELECTRIC FIELD: WHAT IS WRONG? PACKAGE, Version 1.0 (2010), WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=9964&DocID=1589).
A. Cox, W. Christian, and F. Esquembre, Computer Program ELECTRIC FIELD: WHAT IS WRONG? PACKAGE, Version 1.0 (2010), <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=9964&DocID=1589>.
APA Format
Cox, A., Christian, W., & Esquembre, F. (2010). Electric Field: What is Wrong? Package (Version 1.0) [Computer software]. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=9964&DocID=1589
Chicago Format
Cox, A, W. Christian, and F. Esquembre. "Electric Field: What is Wrong? Package." Version 1.0. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=9964&DocID=1589 (accessed 23 June 2024).
MLA Format
Cox, Anne, Wolfgang Christian, and Francisco Esquembre. Electric Field: What is Wrong? Package. Vers. 1.0. Computer software. 2010. Java (JRE) 1.5, Java Archive file.23 June 2024 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=9964&DocID=1589>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Anne Cox and Wolfgang Christian and Francisco Esquembre", Title = {Electric Field: What is Wrong? Package}, Month = {April}, Year = {2010} }
Refer Export Format

%A Anne Cox %A Wolfgang Christian %A Francisco Esquembre %T Electric Field: What is Wrong? Package %D April 14, 2010 %U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=9964&DocID=1589 %O 1.0 %O Java Archive file %O application/java %O Java Archive file

EndNote Export Format

%0 Computer Program %A Cox, Anne %A Christian, Wolfgang %A Esquembre, Francisco %D April 14, 2010 %T Electric Field: What is Wrong? Package %7 1.0 %8 April 14, 2010 %9 Java Archive file %U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=9964&DocID=1589

Disclaimer: ComPADRE offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure. Please refer to the style manuals in the Citation Source Information area for clarifications.

Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ.

This resource and its subdocuments is stored in 10 shared folders.

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Electric Field: What is Wrong? Package:

Covers the Same Topic As Coulomb's Law and Electric Field Package

Coulomb's Law and Electric Field package shows correct versions of similar simulations.

relation by Anne Cox
Is Based On Easy Java Simulations Modeling and Authoring Tool

The Easy Java Simulations Modeling and Authoring Tool is needed to explore the computational model used in the Electric Field: What is Wrong? Package.

relation by Wolfgang Christian

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