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About HyperPhysics


Rationale for Development

HyperPhysics is an exploration environment for concepts in physics which employs concept maps and other linking strategies to facilitate smooth navigation. For the most part, it is laid out in small segments or "cards", true to its original development in HyperCard. The entire environment is interconnected with thousands of links, reminiscent of a neural network. The bottom bar of each card contains links to major concept maps for divisions of physics, plus a "go back" feature to allow you to retrace the path of an exploration. The side bar contains a link to the extensive Index, which itself is composed of active links. That sidebar also contains links to relevant concept maps. The rationale for such concept maps is to provide a visual survey of conceptually connected material, and it is hoped that they will provide some answers to the question "where do I go from here?". Whether you need further explanation of concepts which underly the current card content, or are seeking applications which go beyond it, the concept map may help you find the desired information.

Part of the intent for this exploration environment is to provide many opportunities for numerical exploration in the form of active formuli and standard problems implemented in Javascript. An active exploration in physics will typically lead you to something which needs to be quantified, and it is hoped that the many Javascript-enabled calculations will provide many opportunities to answer "What if .." type questions.

The translation of the original HyperPhysics into HTML is nearing completion, with continuing active work underway in electricity & magnetism, thermodynamics, and light & vision. New parts will be posted as they are developed. The intent is to maintain the entire HyperPhysics project on the Web with stable locations so that links to it may be established with confidence that they will be there for an extended period of time. As the basic phase nears completion, the author is interested in extensions to specific applied areas. If you are interested in developing specific material for a specialized course, you might consider building it upon this framework with links to HyperPhysics to provide the basic conceptual background. The entire HyperPhysics project can be made available on a cross-platform CD ROM since it will remain compatible with the standard web browsers.

Please respect the Copyright

HyperPhysics (©C.R. Nave, 2000) is a continually developing base of instructional material in physics. It is not freeware or shareware, but the author is open to proposals for its use for non-profit instructional purposes. The overall intent has been to develop a wide ranging exploration environment which could be of use to students and teachers.


Carl R. (Rod) Nave

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Georgia State University

Atlanta, Georgia 30303-3083


If you want a CD version:

Send a check or money order for $40 payable to Rod Nave to the address at left. All proceeds from CDs are applied to maintaining and developing the HyperPhysics site as a free web resource. CDs are made when payment is received so that the content is fully current as of that date.

A number of educational institutions are using the material in computer-equipped classrooms, and for that purpose a lab-pack of 10 CDs will be prepared for a contribution of $200 to the HyperPhysics Project. A paid receipt will be included for the purpose of reimbursement from your institution.


Availability on CD ROM

If you are interested, the full current content of HyperPhysics can be provided to you on cross-platform CD for the cost of $40. It can be accessed by Mac or PC with your web browser exactly as you access it on the web. The proceeds from the CDs will contribute to further development of the HyperPhysics environment. It has been kept free from University or commerical financial support in order to maintain freedom to develop it in flexible ways. Some grant support may be sought to provide the CD version to a cohort of teachers for a pilot project, but so far the development cost has beem borne privately.

The distribution of HyperPhysics on CD will be subject to the constraints of a license to constrain it to non-profit educational purposes. One provision of this license is that it must not be opened to the world wide web from your computer acting as a server. You may place it on a server to a single classroom, but particularly during this development period, mirror sites to the web are prohibited. Providing it to the web from just one main server is important for error checking in the development process.

The understanding upon distribution is that if you contribute something to be added to the material (e.g., text, graphics, images, etc.) and it is incorporated into HyperPhysics, your contribution will be acknowledged on the added material and you will be sent the next revision of the CD ROM free of charge as compensation.


All documents and scripts in HyperPhysics are open and unprotected. Therefore you can immediately begin to modify or add to the material according to your preferences or needs.


While copying and modifying the material for personal use or class presentation use is permitted under the terms of this offering, all rights to the material are reserved and no part of the material may be reproduced for any commercial purpose. Arrangements for distribution to students for a fee to cover costs may be made with the author. The intent of the offering is the enhancement of physics and astronomy teaching, and uses of the material which are strictly educational will be quickly agreed to without additional charges.


NASA images and other public domain images included were downloaded from the Internet and may be freely used. Other images are the property of the author and covered by the copyright unless otherwise noted in the credits in the individual documents.

The server for HyperPhysics is located at Georgia State University and makes use of the University's network. HyperPhysics is provided free of charge for all classes in the Department of Physics and Astronomy through internal networks. The intellectual property rights and the responsibility for accuracy reside wholly with the author, Dr. Rod Nave.



Hypercard and Quicktime are trademarks of the Apple Computer Corporation.