May 1, 2014 (Vol. 34, No. 9)
Strong Points: Users can import custom simulations, different modes
Weak Points: No instructions or background information
Learning about electromagnetic wave (or any wave) phenomena just got a bit more visual, thanks to the Loughborough Wave Lab app. With this free app, users can explore wave properties (specifically their propagation and interactions with other waves) via a simple simulation in which users tap the screen to generate a wave. As that wave propagates, a second tap will start a second wave, and so on. Users can pause and re-start the simulation at any point. App users can explore waves via five different excitation modes: Gaussian, sinusoidal, ripple tank, waveguide, and double slit. The wavelength can also be adjusted. Wave aficionados out there can actually configure their own wave simulations using the XML-based syntax CEML (Computational Electromagnetics Markup Language) and import them into the app.