Jacob Electricity and Magnetism Simulation

Jacob is a particle-based simulation tool developed by Vojko Valencic for constructing and conducting virtual experiments from the topics of electricity and magnetism. This tool, named Jacob ("Java constructive objects"), is designed for students and lecturers of electrical engineering. Constructive objects in Jacob are building blocks, e.g., charged particles, conductive elements, imaginary forces, gauges, etc., that assemble experimental scenes. The computational engine of Jacob then iteratively solves the scene by considering built-in natural principles of interaction between constructive objects. Each iteration step is visualized giving real-time look and feel of the simulated phenomenon.

Ref: J. Svajger ; V. Valencic, Discovering electricity by computer-based experiments, IEEE Transactions on Education ( Volume: 46 , Issue: 4 , Nov. 2003 )

Create a simple Jacob Experiment:

  1. Create a container by selecting the Element | Create Circle menu and click-drag within the Jacob experiment panel.
  2. Create positive particles by selecting the Particles | Create Positive menu and clicking within the circle in (1).
  3. Repeat (1) and (2) with difference containers and particles.
  4. Save your configuration using the File | Save menu.
Modify a Jacob Experiment:
  1. Select the link to the Two Cylinders experiment in the Electricity section.
  2. Press the Run button to compute the electric fields.
  3. Select the Element | Move menu and click-drag within the circle to move it.
  4. Press the reload button to reset the original configuration.
  5. Repeat (1) and (2) with difference experiments and menu options.

Note: Menu options are also available by right-clicking within Jacob.

Jacob is an open source program available under the terms of GNU (General Public License), allowing developers to fully modify it or extend it to suit their needs. Wolfgang Christian (Davidson College) and Robert Hanson (St. Olaf College) converted the Jacob program from Java to JavaScript and extended it to support asynchronous loading and saving of Jacob experiment files (*.jco). A selection of Jacob experiments can be run by clicking on the links in this page. To access additional Jacob experiments, download and unzip the Jacob experiment archive to your local computer and open them from within Jacob using the File | Load menu.

Note: The Jacob window can be moved and resized by click-dragging the title and the lower right corner of the frame, respectively.