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myphysicslab – help and faq

free source code

the java source code for the myphysicslab applet is available at you should be able to download individual files there by right-clicking on a file. you can also try accessing that directory by anonymous ftp at

the source code is covered by the gnu general public license. using the gnu gpl ensures that all subsequent improved versions will be free software. here free means freedom rather than "no cost".

i would like to hear from anyone downloading, using, or improving the source code. send me a note about what your interests are with the code. i would also appreciate if you could provide a link to if you use the source code on your website or at your school.

simplified source code

a simplified text-only version of the source code suitable for students to experiment with is available.

displaying simulations off-line

its easy to display the simulations when not connected to the internet. first download the lab.jar file. after downloading the lab.jar file, just double-click it. if java is installed, the simulations will start running. there is an additional menu item that lets you pick which simulation to run.

if double-clicking lab.jar doesn't work (and you are sure that java is installed) try typing at your command line:
    java -jar lab.jar

if you also want the web pages that go with the applet, you can download a copy of this website onto your computer for display off-line. it is accessible via anonymous ftp. here are the steps to take:
  1. establish an ftp connection to
  2. copy the files lab.jar (contains the java applet) and stylesheet2.css (used by all the .html files)
  3. copy whichever of the .html files you want.
  4. copy the /images/ subdirectory if desired. the images are not used by the java applet, they are only needed for images appearing in .html files.
  5. from within your browser, open the desired .html file on your hard disk.

changing size of display

if you need a larger display to fill the screen for a presentation, you should follow the instructions above to get a copy onto your local hard disk. if you are double-clicking the lab.jar file, then you can simply resize the window as desired.

if you have copied the .html files, then use a text editor to modify the .html file that shows the simulation of interest. the line to modify will be near the beginning and look something like this:
   <applet code = "com.myphysicslab.simlab.lab.class" name="lab" archive="lab.jar"
   codebase="." width=500 height=300>
you can change the width and height to whatever you need. then save the file and open it with your browser.
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