John Di Bartolo

Lecturer of Physics, NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering

Physics Bites! - Lenses 2.0

 


If you think physics bites, try Physics Bites! - Lenses for the iPhone. (For the iPad, there is Physics Bites! - Lenses HD.) Students taking introductory physics courses often feel drowned in a sea of equations, unable to grasp the underlying concepts. By breaking content down into tiny "Bites," the goal of the Physics Bites! software is to allow the user to more easily digest otherwise complex principles. Each simulation has just enough interactivity for the user to control several aspects of the simulation without feeling overwhelmed by too many buttons and sliders.

 

"Lenses" is the first Physics Bites! module. It includes simulations demonstrating various aspects of lenses.

 

What's New in Version 2.1:

  • The pinching and zooming of simulation screens has been improved.
  • A bug which caused improper display on iPads has now been fixed. (NOTE: There is a iPad-native version of this app as well!)

What's New in Version 2.0:

  • A fifth simulation has been added: Curved Mirrors.
  • Although still compatible with earlier iPhones, “Physics Bites! - Lenses” now takes advantage of the larger screen on the iPhone 5.
  • Use the “save/load” button to save a configuration or load a previously saved configuration (just like the iPad version).

 

Lensmaker

 

By controlling the radii of curvature of the two spherical surfaces that make up a lens, as well as the index of refraction of the material itself, the user can see how the shape of the lens changes and what the resulting focal length of the lens is. The spherical surfaces themselves, together with the centers of curvature, can be shown or hidden.

One Lens

 

By controlling the focal length of the lens as well as the distance of the object from the lens, the user can see where the image appears and what its magnification is. The parallel, radial, and focal rays can be shown or hidden.

Two Lenses

 

By controlling the focal lengths of two lenses, the distance between the lenses, and the distance of the object from one of the lenses, the user can see where the final image appears and what its magnification is. The intermediate image (produces only by the first lens), together with the focal ray, can be shown or hidden.

Spherical Interface

 

By controlling the radius of curvature of the spherical interface that separates two transparent media, the distance of the object from the interface, and the indices of refraction of the media, the user can see where the final image appears and what its magnification is. The parallel, radial, and central rays can be shown or hidden.

Curved Mirrors

 

By controlling the radius of curvature of the mirror as well as the distance of the object from the mirror, the user can see where the image appears and what its magnification is. The parallel, radial, and central rays can be shown or hidden.


All simulations...

  • have a help screen which provides a brief tutorial.
  • can be rotated into landscape mode for a larger viewing area. (Controls disappear.)
  • allow the display to be resized by pinching.
  • allow the display to automatically resize itself to a best-fit view by double-tapping.
  • allow up to four configurations of settings to be saved. (New feature!)

 

Feedback
Please use the email address below to report any bugs, ask questions, or provide suggestions for improvement. Any requests for future Physics Bites! modules or for additional simulations to be added to the "Lenses" module are most welcome!