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Interactive computer simulations and learning environments like virtual laboratories come out as an excellent alternative to conventional physics laboratories. Two of the physics laboratories from the second semester within the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Building Services of “Gheorghe Asachi” Technical University are focused on the study of standing waves. Standing waves are very important in the field of Civil Engineering because the structural integrity of buildings can be affected by standing waves and the mechanical resonance phenomenon. A good understanding of the properties of standing waves will make the properly constructed structures withstand various risk factors. Some improperly constructed structures could damage or breakdown even in the presence of vibrations or strong winds. This paper presents the computer simulations developed for the study of the standing waves on a vibrating string and the propagation of electromagnetic standing waves in a Lecher system. For both simulations, the canvas element, part of HTML5 standard, is used to draw the graphics animations. Also, many control components and some external JavaScript libraries are used to perform the virtual applications. Further, these computer simulations are posted on the virtual physics laboratory web-site and thus, students are able to engage in more productive self or group activities. ?2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Comput Appl Eng Educ; View this article online at wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/cae; DOI 10.1002/cae.21818

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