Sunday, 11 May 2014

Episode 36: Check out the app/game thingy I made as my Final Year Project

      So I just finished my fourth year as a physics student in the University of Ibadan and like all final year students, I had to submit a thesis which usually devolves to almost a hundred pages of boring research work that isn't actually useful to anybody or the design and construction of a simple device which applies certain principles which I should have been taught during my stay in school. I'm an anti-usualist (stole that word from Hilltown Bionic's dictionary) so I choose not to do a research on a topic that has already been researched a million times (what's the point of research if it isn't trying to uncover new things?) or build something that no one would ever use after I get a score for my project. I decided to make a physics game and dress it up as an academic project.
My Ideal Gas Law Simulator in Simulation Mode
     If you've read a few of my blog posts before, you should have heard of Project Monkey. Well, I haven't been able to work on that game for about a year now because I was busy with school stuff (academics, socials and basketball). I didn't want my game programming skills to get rusty so I decided to use my game engine to make a physics emulator (I had decided that almost 2 years ago). As time went by and my supervisor had some input, I ended up making this app that I've called "The Ideal Gas Law Simulator". It's a program that can be used by physics lecturers to demonstrate to students the effect of changes in the atmospheric conditions on the motion of gas molecules with the aid of a three dimensional video representation of the molecules of the gas. It is as if the observer were shrunk to sub-atomic size to watch the motion of the molecules in real time.
        The software is designed with students in mind, and not professional researchers. As such, the user interface is as simple as it can be while still capturing all the important pieces of the theory being studied. Three dimensional video representations of the actual objects and forces in consideration are displayed on the computer screen, as opposed to graphs and figures that have little meaning to a learner. The program applies the laws of physics to the motion of the molecules and so without making lengthy calculations, the user is able to change the value of a variable and see not only how it affects the value of another variable, but also how it affects the motion of the molecules.
Here's a video of the app in action

      If you're interested, you can download the app here. It's a 9.28MB download. It comes with a user manual too. Give me some feedback if you download it. I'm especially curious to know whether any layman (anyone who wasn't taught the ideal gas law in school) used it and found it a good way to understand the concepts of the ideal gas law. And yes, I have resumed work on Project Monkey and you'll be getting some info on that soon. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment here: