Computer Tools

All Vanderbilt students may download Microsoft Office for free.

Also, install the Data Analysis ToolPak for Excel . This will add several valuable tools to Excel, in particular a histogram function. Notes on using this are available here: Using the Histogram Function.

You also have free access to Mathematica and MATLAB:

Software Distribution and Support | School of Engineering | Vanderbilt University


Below are links to websites and freeware that I have found useful in physics education. (No warranty is implied.)

WebSites with Java applets a wide variety of physics simulations 1st semester simulations 2nd semester simulations Fourier synthesizer optical simulations elegant, simple raytracing simulator



MagicPlot Student: easy to use curve fitting/data plotting software

gnuplot: a powerful mathematics analysis and plotting program

Microsoft Mathematics: a pc calculator, function plotter

SpectrumLab: audio Fourier analysis software

EMANIM: demonstrates the wave nature of linear and circular polarization

Audacity: audio recording and editing software

Tracker: video motion analysis

Stellarium: a virtual planetarium

Fiji: a distribution of ImageJ ( a freeware image processing and analysis program designed for bio-sciences.) which includes many plug-ins not found in the basic distribution