Newton's 2nd Law of Motion, Force = mass * acceleration (F=ma), makes sense to many students in one dimensional problems, when the force and the velocity are co-linear.  Understanding comes less readily when the force, and therefore the acceleration, is not in the same direction as the velocity. 

This simple demo, using a hand-drawn sprite reminiscent of a classic arcade game, provides a visual demonstration of the relationship between the acceleration vector and the velocity vector.  It also allows the demonstration of the relationship between mass, force, and acceleration.  Both the thrust and the mass of the ship can be changed by entering values in the text boxes in the top left of the screen.

Ship Controls


Key InputFunction
Left ArrowRotate CCW
Right ArrowRotate CW
Up ArrowThruster On
SpacebarFire (because why not)

This is definitely a work in progress, as are all of my demos.  I'd welcome any feedback you care to provide from either a design or pedagogical standpoint.  I want these demos to be useful and productive.

Development log

Leave a comment

Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.