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Waves and Electromagnetic Radiation
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Charges And Fields

This is an interactive from PhET that lets you arrange electric charges in space. Learn how this generates an electric field and a resulting electrostatic potential. You can plot the results as well. Requires Java download.

Light Is Waves: Crash Course Physics #39

This is a video from crash course on light. Learn about its wave based properties and how we use that to predict how light will travel and interact with other light waves. Requires Html5.

Magnetism: Crash Course Physics

This is a video from Crash Course on magnetism and electromagnetic waves. Learn about the properties behind magnetism and about Earth’s magnetic field. Requires html5.

Sound: Crash Course Physics

This is a video from Crash Course on sound. Learn about waves how sound travels using these properties. Also, learn about how technology is designed to utilize these waves and how we can detect them. Requires Html5.
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Wave Properties (PS4.A)

  • The wavelength and frequency of a wave are related to one another by the speed of travel of the wave, which depends on the type of wave and the medium through which it is passing. (HS-PS4-1)
  • Information can be digitized (e.g., a picture stored as the values of an array of pixels); in this form, it can be stored reliably in computer memory and sent over long distances as a series of wave pulses. (HS-PS4-2),(HS-PS4-5)
  • [From the 3–5 grade band endpoints] Waves can add or cancel one another as they cross, depending on their relative phase (i.e., relative position of peaks and troughs of the waves), but they emerge unaffected by each other. (Boundary: The discussion at this grade level is qualitative only; it can be based on the fact that two different sounds can pass a location in different directions without getting mixed up.) (HS-PS4-3)

Electromagnetic Radiation (PS4.B)

  • Electromagnetic radiation (e.g., radio, microwaves, light) can be modeled as a wave of changing electric and magnetic fields or as particles called photons. The wave model is useful for explaining many features of electromagnetic radiation, and the particle model explains other features. (HS-PS4-3)
  • When light or longer wavelength electromagnetic radiation is absorbed in matter, it is generally converted into thermal energy (heat). Shorter wavelength electromagnetic radiation (ultraviolet, X-rays, gamma rays) can ionize atoms and cause damage to living cells. (HS-PS4-4)
  • Photoelectric materials emit electrons when they absorb light of a high-enough frequency. (HS-PS4-5)

About NGSS

Next Generation Science Standards is a multi-state effort to create new education standards that are “rich in content and practice, arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education.”


Our team from Temple University has developed this resource for all K-12 students and teachers of science. These vetted learning tools align to the NGSS. Find one we should include? Just fill out the form.

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Many of these science resources require Java and Flash. Click below to download.

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