In November 2011 the Google Foundation awarded Concord Consortium a grant to develop an HTML5 version of Molecular Workbench our award-winning Java-based physics simulation. We've extended these goals and have created a general framework we call Lab for integrating both simulations running in multiple modeling engines and data collection from sensors and probes.

Lab Interactives are sharable, embeddable, and authorable components defined in JSON that wrap a model with additional inquiry-oriented user interface components such as buttons, checkboxes, sliders, graphs etc.

Here's an example Interactive using MD2D, our 2D Molecular dynamics engine for exploring the emergent dynamics of a simple 2D model of charged and neutral atoms.

Charged and Neutral Atoms: Explore Coulomb and intermolecular attractions.

There are two kinds of attractive forces shown in this model: Coulomb forces (the attraction between ions) and Van der Waals forces (an additional attractive force between all atoms).

What kinds of patterns tend to form with charged and neutral atoms? How does changing the Van der Waals attraction or charging the atoms affect the melting and boiling point of the substance?

Interactive Components

The following different model types can be used in Interactives.

Bar and line graphs can also be integrated into Interactives.

Examples of the above components


From the beginning we've kept a close eye on performance and extensibility. Performance is best running in the latest browsers running on desktop computers however many of the simpler models also run acceptably on tablets and smartphones.

Performance benchmarking can be run for every Interactive displayed in the Interactive Browser or using: