In this page there is a collection of Flash animations used for illustrating some Physics concepts. The animations are sorted by category. Click on the icon to access the animation (it opens in a new tab).

You can download them for free, and you will need the Flash player to see the animations; the player is available free from here.

A more in-depth explanation of the Physics involved in each animation can be found here (in Spanish)

 Category  Name  Description  Animation


Intrinsic components

Drag and drop Tarzan to displace him from his equilibrium position and press play. The intrinsic components of acceleration, as well as the forces acting upon Tarzan can be plotted. You can add friction to the movement.


Motion Relative to a Frame in Translation

In this animation a moving frame of reference (the plane) throws a ball, which is being watched by the pilot and a fixed observer. The trajectories seen by both of them are plotted.


Motion Relative to a Frame in Rotation

In this animation, a girl located at the center of a spinning carousel, throws a ball towards its edge. Relative to the carousel rider (in red), the ball follows a curved path, whereas relative to the observer at rest (in blue) it follows a straight path. Drag and rotate the green arrow to change the initial direction of the velocity vector. Its module can be changed with the slider.

One-particle dynamics

Motion under a constant force

Drag and drop the yellow and red vectors to change their direction. The slides define their length.

One-particle dynamics

Newton's cannonball

Motion of a cannonball subject to the gravitational force. The shape of the trajectory depends on the initial velocity.

One-particle dynamics

Air drag

In this animation the movement of a free fall body is compared to the movement of the same object subject to air friction.

One-particle dynamics

Newton's third law

The mutual forces of action and reaction between two bodies are shown.

One-particle dynamics

Mechanical energy

Mechanical energy of a skier subjected to friction force.

One-particle dynamics

Simple harmonic motion

An idealized mass-spring system. The mass is attached to one end of the spring. Position, velocity, acceleration and energy (both potential and kinetic) of the mass are shown.

One-particle dynamics

Fictitious forces

Fictitious force acting upon a moving object seen from a non-inertial frame of reference.

Particle system

External and internal forces

External and internal forces acting upon a two-body system.

Particle system

1D ellastic collision

Ellastic collision between two cars. The mass and velocity of both cars can be changed.

Rigid body

Static equilibrium of a beam

This animation shows the forces on a beam, which is attached to the wall by a hinge about which the beam can rotate freely. Attached to the beam there is a mass that can be displaced along it. Drag and drop both objects to displace them.

Rigid body

Static equilibrium of a tower crane

This animation shows how a tower crane works. As the weight of the red mass varies, the blue mass must be displaced to balance the load.

Rigid body

Rotational motion equations

Rotational motion of a beam. The angular displacement, velocity and acceleration are shown (in the SI system of units). The beam length can be changed with the aid of the slider.

Rigid body

Pulley with mass

Two objects connected by a light string that passes over a pulley having a moment of inertia about its axis of rotation.

Rigid body

Rolling without slipping

Motion of a sphere when it slips or when it rolls without slipping.


Transverse harmonic waves

An harmonic transverse wave propagating on a rope traveling in the positive x-direction.


Standing waves

Standing waves propagating on a string.


Interference caused by a path difference

This animation is designed to show how the path difference between two harmonic waves affects their interference. Drag the second source (green point) to change its position. The wavelength as well as the phase difference between both waves can also be changed.


Longitudinal harmonic sound waves

Generation of longitudinal (compression) harmonic waves that move through a gas.


Electric field

Electric field created by two charges at rest. The value of the charges can be changed with the sliders, as well as the position at which the electric field is calculated.


Coulomb's law

Electrostatic interaction between two electrically charged particles in equilibrium.


Thomson's exeriment

Thomson's cathode ray tube experiment. It can be used to determine the velocity of the electrons (when they are not defected by the electric and magnetic fields) and the charge-to-mass ratio.


Magnetic field

Charged particle motion in a uniform magnetic field.


Faraday's law

When the magnetic flux through an area changes, an electric current is created.


Otto cycle

In this animation the Otto cycle is shown, as well as the associated p-V diagram.

These animations were written by María Teresa Martín Blas ( and Ana Serrano Fernández (, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

Website last modified September, 2016.