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A web-browser-based calculator for physicists

  1. Jun 23, 2013 #1

    I am currently developing a calculator for physicists which can be very simply opened in a web browser, without the need to install anything, or even be online. The repository is currently on Github here and can be freely accessed (click the download zip button at the bottom right corner).

    Anyone interested in joining the development is welcome. Also, if you find bugs or have good ideas for improvements, that's also welcome.

    The calculator can obviously do calculations with numbers, but also includes units manipulation, and physical constants. I recently added the capability to plot curves, so that's convenient for quick visualization of functions.

    I know that google can already do all this calculation and graphing, but I was kind of tired of typing the full name for constants, such as "electron charge". Also you cannot add custom things to google calculator, and you have to be online.

    So here you go, please tell me what you think.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 24, 2013 #2


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    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    Do you know WolframAlpha?
    I think you should compare your project to that, and not to the (very limited) calculator features of the google search.
  4. Jun 24, 2013 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    Also MATLAB has an app for interfacing with a MATLAB server to do the things that it does well. Many computational physicists and engineers use MATLAB for project work.

    MATLAB doesn't handle units of measure so that may be a plus in your favor.

    You could also check out domain specific languages such as the groovy addon that supports units of measure:

    def y = 99.inches + 32.feet

    println y.feet

    or something like that:


    Remember its a long uphill battle to build a better mousetrap ask any mouse...

    You'll have to decide on your target audience, highschool/college students or physicists/engineers who've used tools like MATLAB and Mathematica and have them installed on their work machines.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
  5. Jun 24, 2013 #4
    There are definitely things out there that can do that stuff already.

    About WolframAlpha, there are no possible comparisons in terms of capabilities. I do not aim at competing with this at all. The goal is a calculator that is available offline, thus would go faster for simple calculations (and is open source).

    Also, I use matlab all the time, but it is a very heavy (and pricy) program that I don't launch for simple stuff. And it does not do units.

    Concerning groovy, or similar, that's a programming language and the idea is to keep things simple without the need for the user of programming anything.
  6. Jun 24, 2013 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    With respect to groovy, the example I posted was a domain specific language for endusers not programmers. The idea was that sometimes typing in your equation with units of measure is better. I thought you might be interested in how it handled units of measure.
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