APS Excellence in Physics Education Award
November 2019

Education Prize Logo
Science SPORE Prize
November 2011

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

OSP Tools

OSP provides several stand-alone applications for physics teaching and student activities. These tools are designed for the creation of curricular packages or to support student modeling and laboratories.


Tracker Video Analysis Image

A Tracker dynamic model allows students to predict where to aim to hit a monkey falling with a parachute.

Tracker is an image and video analysis package and modeling tool that is built upon the Open Source Physics Java code library. Features include object tracking with position, velocity and acceleration overlays and graphs, special effect filters, multiple reference frames, calibration points and line profiles for analysis of spectra and interference patterns. It is designed to be used in introductory college physics labs and lectures.

Tracker can overlay simple dynamic particle models on a video clip. In a typical video modeling experiment students capture and open a digital video file, calibrate the scale, and define appropriate coordinate axes just as for traditional video analysis. But instead of tracking objects with the mouse, students define theoretical force expressions and initial conditions for a dynamic model simulation that synchronizes with and draws itself on the video. The behavior of the model is thus compared directly with that of the real-world motion. Tracker uses the Open Source Physics code library so sophisticated models are possible. Video modeling offers advantages over both traditional video analysis and simulation-only modeling.

OSP Projects:
Open Source Physics - EJS Modeling
Physlet Physics
Physlet Quantum Physics
STP Book