Title: WebTOP: web-based interactive 3D optics and waves| simulations

Authors: Taha Mzoughi, John T. Foley, S. Davis Herring, Matt Morris, Ben Wyser

Addresses: Department of Physics and Astronomy, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA. ' Department of Physics and Astronomy, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA. ' Department of Physics and Astronomy, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA. ' Department of Computer Science and Engineering Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA. ' Department of Computer Science and Engineering Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA

Abstract: WebTOP is a three-dimensional, interactive computer graphics system developed at the Mississippi State University to help students learn about optics and waves. It has been used to help teach undergraduate introductory physics and upper-level optics classes. WebTOP is designed to be flexible, allowing faculty and students to use it in a variety of ways. It can be used for homework, classroom demonstrations, laboratories, and online tutorials. Currently, it comprises sixteen modules spanning eight different subject areas. The subject areas are waves, geometrical optics, reflection and refraction, polarisation, interference, diffraction, lasers, and scattering. This paper provides an overview of WebTOP, a description of each of the current modules, as well as outline of WebTOP|s use for teaching and learning.

Keywords: optics; waves; simulation; VRML; Java; physics education; undergraduate; introductory physics; interactive computer graphics; higher education; teaching; learning; internet; online learning; e-learning.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCEELL.2005.006794

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning, 2005 Vol.15 No.1/2, pp.79 - 94

Available online: 15 Apr 2005

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