APS Excellence in Physics Education Award
November 2019

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Science SPORE Prize
November 2011

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

OSP Programming

Physics Pedagogy and Computer Science

The continued use of procedural languages in education is due, in part, to the lack of up-to-date curricular materials that combine science topics with an object-oriented programming framework. Although there are many resources for teaching computational physics, few are object-oriented. What is needed by the broader science education community is not another computational physics, numerical analysis, or Java programming resource (although such resources are essential for discipline-specific practitioners), but a synthesis of curriculum development, computational physics, computer science, and physics education that will be useful for scientists and students wishing to write their own simulations and develop their own curricular material. The OSP code library and OSP examples meet this need. OSP code is described in the OSP User's Guide by Wolfgang Christian in An Introduction to Computer Simulation Methods by Harvey Gould, Jan Tobochnik, and Wolfgang Christian and in documentation in the OSP ComPADRE Collection.

Physics Pedagogy and Computer Science

OSP Library

  • Scatter and line plots and histograms
  • Lattices, vector fields, scalar fields, complex fields, and contour plots
  • User-interface components for handling input and output
  • Drawing framework for easily performing custom visualizations
  • Ordinary differential equation (ODE) solvers
  • Three-dimensional drawing framework
  • Record simulations and save them as animated gifs and QuickTime movies
  • Save the state of a simulation in XML

The OSP Library is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

OSP Examples

Ready to run OSP examples are available in the ComPADRE OSP Collection.

OSP Guide Examples
Computer Simulation Methods

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