Oscillating String
Light, Sound and Waves

Light, sound and waves home experiments and simulations

Remote teaching support for 16-19 IOP RESOURCES

A selection of home experiments and online simulations that are suitable to use with your students aged 16-19 (KS5) whilst educating remotely to support and develop their understanding of Light, Sound and Waves.

  • Soundmeter apps (The link provided takes students to a free download of a 'software oscilloscope' that uses a computer's sound card) can be compared to Slink-o-scope to explain why a transverse graph is drawn to show displacement for a longitudinal sound wave.
  • PhET waves intro has three animations that link to water waves, sound and light and introduce the terms frequency and amplitude.
  • Marvin and Milo Eerie Blue Water - could be used to consider the excitation and de-excitation of electrons (a nice link to how a fluorescent light works!).
  • PhET Wave on a string explores a model for a transverse wave and looks at different factors that can be changed (if you get the settings right you should be able to produce a standing wave, which links to an A-level required practical.
  • PhET radio waves and electromagnetic fields looks at how radio waves can be produced and how radio waves can induce an alternating current.
  • PhET Blackbody spectrum enables students to investigate the effect of changing the temperature on the blackbody curve produced. 
  • Eye defects simulation from 'Physics at Home' explores reasons for eye defects and how to correct them (optional Medical module)
  • Double-slit simulation from 'Physics at Home' enables students to complete this experiment at home (with wave front visuals also included).


Health and Safety Guidance:

These experiments have been selected by trained teachers as appropriate for use at home, but we have not specifically tested them for home use.

All experiments are carried out at your own risk.

To avoid risk of injury or damage, we recommend that you follow the instructions as shown, and that a responsible adult supervises all practical activity and considers the suitability of each task for their child.

Teachers proposing to recommend any resources to their students should:

  1. work within safety policies established by their school;

  2. use their professional judgement to assess the suitability of experiments for their own students;

  3. direct students and their parents/guardians to follow all stated instructions.

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