Virtual Mechanics Lab


David H. James

Dr. M. S. Cramer - Advisor


    The purpose of this project was to create a "Virtual Mechanics Laboratory" that is accessible through the Internet, and which allows interaction with simulation software for the benefit of understanding physical phenomena and computational techniques.   In this lab, there are five examples from different areas of mechanics.  The topics covered include projectile motion, a cylindrical pressure vessel, wave motion, acoustic waves, and blade-vortex interaction.  All of these problems are situations which are not easily reproduced it physical laboratory settings, and can be better understood by allowing the user to interact with the controlling parameters, and displaying data in a way that makes physical sense.  The five simulations were completed with varying amount of success.  The wave motion and the acoustic modes "labs" turned out better that expected, while the cylindrical pressure vessel, and the blade-vortex simulations were moderately effective as investigative tools.

System Requirements

The labs in this site are presented in the form of Java applets.  You must have a Java-enabled web browser to view the applets.  These applets were written using JDK 1.2, which means you will need to install a plug-in to view the applets.  There are currently plug-in's available for the Microsoft Windows and Sun Solaris platforms.  Please see the plug-in page for more information.


Featured Labs

Projectile Motion
Pressure Vessel
Wave Motion
Acoustic Modes



Sample Applets

The following applets were performed as a exercise for learnig to program in Java.

Color Test

Sample Applet (Sine Wave)


Future Work

If you are interested in building on this project, or are involved in similar work, I will be glad to provide the source-code for this project.  Please see Dr. Cramer in the ESM department or e-mail me.

David James