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I have been writing code since age 12 so, by the time I finished my physics PhD in late 2018, it was clear to me that code is a powerful tool for exploring and understanding novel physical systems. The apps on this website consist largely of simulated thought experiments (but also games, utilities, and so on) that have helped me along my own path to understanding. They represent not only physical phenomena, but nonphysical phenomena as well, the benefit of studying the latter being to appreciate why the laws of nature take one particular form rather than one of the infinite others.

I consider myself to be a visual thinker, so it is this mindset that I hope to exploit and share with others. As I see it, symbolic language is only a recent development in the evolution of intelligence, with many millions of years of organisms relying primarily on visual interpretation and understanding. This is apparently still the primary mode of understanding to this day, as the amount of data taken in by our eyes dwarfs that of our other senses. Your visual cortex is a powerful device, and it would be a waste not to use it when thinking about physics, therefore I hope to stimulate your mind by activating those ancient functionalities of the brain which are already built to pick out patterns of behavior in the physical world.

I have a long ToDo list, and what I've created here is just the beginning of what I would call independent research of a playful kind. PolyPhys is essentially my virtual laboratory, with a diverse array of interactive apps representing high-level concepts in a way that I hope will inspire both experts and non-experts alike. All you have to do is watch and play, and if you find yourself observing something beautiful or perplexing while using these apps, then know that you are communing with reality at its most fundamental level.

- Andy

Created by Dr. Andrew G. Barrette (2021),