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The Physics Education Technology (PhET) project is an ongoing effort to provide an extensive suite of simulations for teaching and learning subjects like physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and earth science.

These simulations help students to comprehend concepts through use of graphics and interactive animations.

Teachers can use PhET simulations to create worksheets for re-enforcement of the concepts.

PhET simulations are written in Java, Flash or HTML5. This helps to run these simulations online or to downloaded to your local computer.

To encourage quantitative exploration these simulations have measurement instruments including rulers, stop watches, voltmeters, and thermometers

PhET simulations and resources are freely available at the PhET website ( from University of Colorado at Boulder.

The Spoken Tutorial Effort for PhET has being contributed by Dr. Snehalatha Kaliappan, Madhuri Ganapathi and Meenal Ghoderao.

Basic Level

1. Introduction to PhET Simulations

  • Open PhET webpage
  • What is a PhET simulation
  • Registering on the page
  • Sign in on the page
  • Browse activities
  • How to share your activities page
  • Tips for using PhET
  • How to get offline access
  • Choose the simulations based on subject and grade level
  • Download simulations of different file formats used in PhET
  • Open the downloaded simulations

2. Build an Atoms

  • Build an atom using protons, neutrons and electrons.
  • Identify an element and its position on the periodic table.
  • Determine whether an atom is neutral or an ion.
  • Predict the charge.
  • Determine the mass of an atom or ion.
  • Determine the stability of atom/ion created.
  • Explain element symbol, charge, atomic number, mass number and isotope.
  • Relate the number of protons, neutrons and electrons to atomic symbol.

3. pH Scale

  • Determine pH of a solution.
  • Determine the acidity and basicity of a solution.
  • Arrange acids and bases according to their strength.
  • Effect of dilution on pH of a solution.
  • Determine the concentration of hydroxide ion, hydronium ion and water at a given pH.
  • Logarithmic and Linear scale.

4. States of Matter

  • How to use States of Matter, an interactive PhET simulation.
  • Characteristics of three States of Matter: solid, liquid and gas.
  • Change in behaviour of particles as pressure and temperature changes.
  • Compare interactions between particles in solids, liquids and gases.
  • Study the relation between temperature and Kinetic Energy of molecules.

5. Bending Light

  • Explain reflection, refraction and dispersion of light.
  • Explain refractive index with bending of light.
  • How reflection and refraction varies with different material media.
  • Use of optical instruments like prism and lens.
  • Measure intensity and velocity of light.
  • View different wave patterns.

6. Graphing Lines

  • About Cartesian coordinate system
  • Calculate the slope of a graphed line
  • Save and erase the plotted lines
  • Change slope and intercept for the line
  • Change variables in a linear equation to change the line

7. The Greenhouse Effect

  • Effect of greenhouse gases on atmospheric temperature.
  • Explore and compare the atmosphere of Ice age and Today.
  • Effect of Glass panes and Clouds on temperature.
  • Interaction of photons with atmospheric gases.
  • Contribution of atmospheric gases to Greenhouse Effect.

Intermediate Level

1. Photoelectric Effect

  • Study Photoelectric Effect.
  • Determine Threshold frequency.
  • Find Stopping potential and Work function.
  • Study the factors affecting current and energy of electrons.

2. Projectile Motion

  • Definition of a projectile
  • Definition of a trajectory and projectile motion
  • Effect of gravity on Projectile motion
  • Horizontal and vertical motion of a projectile
  • Effect of change in initial speed, cannon's angle and height of the pedestal on the trajectory
  • Effect of air resistance on projectile motion
  • Change in shape of the projectile as drag coefficient changes
  • Variables affecting drag force.
  • Change in mass and diameter of the projectile affects projectile motion
  • Effect of custom parameters on projectile motion

3. Gene Expression The Basics

  • Steps involved in Protein Synthesis.
  • Transcription of DNA sequence to mRNA.
  • Translation of mRNA to a protein sequence.
  • Factors affecting Protein Synthesis.
  • Average level of Green Fluorescent Protein produced in cells.

4. Gene Machine The Lac Operon

  • Explanation about components of lac operon.
  • About lactose regulation.
  • Genes involved in lactose regulation.
  • Roles of LacI, LacZ, and LacY in lactose regulation.
  • Build a lac operon.
  • Function of RNA polymerase molecule.
  • Factors affecting LacZ gene regulation.
  • Predict the effects on lactose metabolism when the concentration of lactose is changed.
  • Explore the effects of mutations within the lac operon by adding or removing genes from DNA.

Contributors and Content Editors