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A Physlab consists of three things. The first is a simulation that you can interact with. The second is text describing a basic principle of physics. The two go hand in hand - the text should help you understand what is being shown in the simulation, and the simulation should help you understand what is being discussed in the text. To test your knowledge there is a third component, the Milestones - these are questions that will let you know whether you understand the material.

To see the simulations you must be using a web browser capable of handling Java 1.1, and you must have both Java and Javascript enabled on your browser. Each Physlab uses three windows and a menu. To use the Physlabs most effectively, make sure your web browser is maximized to use the whole screen. You might also consider removing the buttons, status bar, and address bar to free up more space on the screen. In Netscape and Internet Explorer, this can be done through the View menu.

Look for these icons

Milestone 1 Clicking on a milestone icon will bring up an interactive question so you can test yourself to see if you understand the concepts being discussed.
Pen and paper The pen and paper icon will accompany many of the milestones, following up the conceptual question with a numerical question you can work out on paper. In most cases you will need to measure something using the simulation. Answers are given at the end of each Physlab.
Check mark Although you are strongly encouraged to play with the simulations at all times, the check-mark icon will accompany a hint to guide your interaction with the simulation.