# Time Steps and Binary Representation in Computer Simulations

TL;DR Using a time step whose decimal representation isn’t exactly representable in binary may lead to confusion over how much total time has elapsed in a computer simulation. It may be worth discussing in class, or worthy of an investigative or inquiry activity. Sometimes, a problem comes up repeatedly over the years and every time […]

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# So you want to be a GlowScript developer? Here’s how!

TL;DR Developing for GlowScript requires setting up a rather extensive, but straightforwardly installed, development environment. Actual coding is done in JavaScript.  GlowScript is an online programming environment inteneded to be used to teach computation in introductory physics, although it has other applications and purposes. Although GlowScript users write code in Python (Specifically VPython, which is […]

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# A Minimalist VPython Setup with Miniconda (Updated Monday, August 23, 2021)

I’ve updated this post to reflect one very important change to the install process under macOS 10.15 (Catalina) and one important caution. I’ve also numbered the steps for future reference. I’ve been using a full Anaconda distribution for over a year and it takes up about 4GB of disk space on my MacBook Air, which […]

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# Visualizing Eigenvectors with GlowScript

I owe this post entirely to my mathematics colleague Ethan Smith and his recent work on visualizing eigenvectors in a plane. This work is based in turn on the paper by Schoenfeld. I’ve taken the visualization to 3D with the help of GlowScript and Trinket. I was instantly interested in this project becuase I’m looking […]

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# Matter & Interactions II, Week 8

This week was devoted entirely to programming for chapter 17 on magnetic fields. At least two students had difficulties with lists, which was surprising they’d used them in a previous chapter. It was like they’d never seen them before. Must be something in the water. Next week is basically a waste of time because thee […]

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# Matter & Interactions II, Week 2

This week was yet another partial week. Between weather and holidays, we’ve not yet had a full week of classes. Such is life I guess. This week, we looked at the electric field of a static particle and the electric field of a fixed dipole on the dipole’s axis and on the perpendicular bisector of the […]

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# Matter & Interactions I, Week 6

Note that I’m writing this one week late. This week we focused on getting used to GlowScript by doing all of the computational activities in chapter 1 of the textbook. Most everyone did fine. One student in particular is having significant difficulty because he is not a native English speaker. He tells me he wants […]

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