Interactive Applets For Physics - The School of Physics at The University of Edinburgh
"Nothing is more interesting to the true theorist than a fact which directly contradicts a theory generally accepted up to that time, for this is his particular work." - Max Planck

Java Help

About Flash

Macromedia Flash allows for a web page to include advanced animation and interactive features. Most modern browsers will provide the option to install the free Flash Player when a page that requires Flash is encountered for the first time. Alternatively, it can be downloaded and installed manually.

About Java Applets

Java applets allow fully interactive applications and demos written in the Java Programming Language to run inside your web browser.

Most popular web browsers, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer (version 3 and above) and Netscape (up to version 4) have built-in support for early versions of Java. This is sufficient for viewing most existing applets and should work without requiring any software to be installed, though you may find that some applets do not run properly on very old browsers as they come with poorer support for Java.

About the Java Plug-in

The Sun Java Plug-in allows browsers to display applets which have been authored to use modern Java features not compatible with the older versions of Java included with popular browsers.

Where possible, we have marked any Java applets that require the plug-in as Java Plug-in applets.

To view such applets, you will need to install the Java plug-in on your computer. This is part of the Java 2 Run-time Environment (known as the J2RE or JRE) which can be freely downloaded. In most cases, you will be automatically guided through the installation when you try to view an applet that needs a plug-in. However, some applets on the web are not coded in such a way as to make this happen, so if you find that some applets report error messages or just don't work correctly then it may be an idea to try installing the plug-in first and see if that helps. Installing the plug-in first is also sensible as it guarantees that you will get the most recent version of the plug-in supported by your computer.

Note that users of multi-user Microsoft Windows systems such as Windows NT/2000 will require special privileges to install the plug-in - ask your friendly systems administrator for help! Users of Unix and Linux systems might find that the necessary software is already installed but requires some manual configuration. Users of browsers such as Firefox, Mozilla 1.0 (and above) or Netscape 6.2.1 (and above) will need to install the plug-in to see all applets as these browsers generally do not come with in-built Java support.


Unfortunately, the situation with Java applets and plug-ins can get rather complex so the above notes have been intentionally over-generalised for brevity (and sanity)! If you need any further help with viewing any of the Java resources in the library, please use the feedback page to contact us and we will try to help.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions please use the feedback page.
Copyright 2002-2005 The School of Physics, The University of Edinburgh. All Rights Reserved.