May 1, 2012 (Vol. 32, No. 9)
Strong Points: Beautiful app, very interactive
Weak Points: Limited number of free experiments
Do you find yourself longing to conduct physics experiments, but you don’t have the necessary equipment? If you have an iPad, guess what—you actually do have everything you need! Just download the free Xperica HD app, a virtual physics laboratory that allows users to conduct touch screen-interactive experiments to demonstrate the law of moments, the specific heat of water, resistance in series, and oscillations. (Additionally, there is an add-on that can be purchased to gain six other experiments.) The app is beautifully designed, and the experiments really are interactive. For instance, you will find yourself dragging weights onto a scale, moving a thermometer into a beaker of water, using scale bars to adjust volumes and temperatures, and more! Each experiment includes a short overview, a procedure, and a description of the components of the apparatus. Upon conclusion, the “learn” button illuminates and a description of what you just observed is given.