About the Wolfram Demonstrations Project

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Conceived by Mathematica creator and scientist Stephen Wolfram as a way to bring computational exploration to the widest possible audience, the Wolfram Demonstrations Project is an open-code resource that uses dynamic computation to illuminate concepts in science, technology, mathematics, art, finance, and a remarkable range of other fields.

Its daily growing collection of interactive illustrations is created by Mathematica users from around the world who participate by contributing innovative Demonstrations.

Interactive computational resources have typically been scattered across the web. Moreover, their creation requires specialized programming knowledge, making them difficult and expensive to develop. As a result, their breadth and reach are limited.

With its debut in 2007, the Wolfram Demonstrations Project introduced a new paradigm for exploring ideas, providing a universal platform for interactive electronic publishing. The power to easily create interactive visualizations, once the province of computing experts alone, is now in the hands of every Mathematica user. More importantly, anyone around the world can freely use these thousands of fully functional Demonstrations.

From elementary education to front-line research, topics span an ever-growing array of categories. Some Demonstrations can be used to enliven a classroom or visualize complex concepts, while others shed new light on cutting-edge ideas from academic and industrial workgroups. Each is reviewed and edited by experts for content, clarity, presentation, quality, and reliability.

All Demonstrations run freely on any standard Windows, Mac, or Linux computer. In fact, you do not even need Mathematica. You can interact with any Demonstration using the free Wolfram CDF Player. If you have Mathematica you can also experiment and modify the code yourself.

Demonstrations can be created with just a few short lines of code. This opens the door for researchers, educators, students, and professionals at any level to create their own sophisticated mini-applications, then publish and share them with the world using Wolfram's Computable Document Format (CDF).

The Wolfram Demonstrations Project is part of the family of free online services from Wolfram Research—these include Wolfram|Alpha, the world's first computational knowledge engine; MathWorld, the number one mathematics website; as well as The Wolfram Functions Site, WolframTones, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

About the Site

What is a Demonstration?

A Demonstration is an interactive visualization of a concept. Demonstrations can be about any topic. As you move a Demonstration's controls, you see a change in its output that helps you understand the concept being shown.

How are Demonstrations created?

At its core, a Demonstration is a small program created with a standard copy of Mathematica. Demonstration authors fill out an authoring template and upload it to our site. Our server converts the filled-in template to an interactive Computable Document Format (CDF) object. See the author guidelines page for more information.

Who makes Demonstrations?

Anyone with a good idea and a copy of Mathematica can create a Demonstration—including you! We've received Demonstrations from a wide range of people, from distinguished professors and industry researchers to hobbyists to high-school students. Many staff members at Wolfram Research also author Demonstrations.

Using the Site

How can I find a particular Demonstration?

In the search field on any page, enter some words that describe what you are looking for. You can also browse the "Related Demonstrations" in the sidebar of any Demonstration's web page for other items that might be of interest. (If you ever discover we have a Demonstration you could not find by searching for relevant terms, please contact us using the feedback form at the bottom of this page, and we'll investigate.)

How can I find more information on a particular Demonstration?

Each Demonstration contains a set of related links to sites such as MathWorld, The Wolfram Functions Site, or other relevant sources of information.

How can I provide comments or request more information about Demonstrations?

Fill out the feedback form at the bottom of this page and send your questions and comments to us. We can address questions about Demonstration structure or creation and can help you get started making Demonstrations yourself. Our ability to respond to queries regarding subject matter may depend on authors' time and availability.

Can I request/suggest a Demonstration to be made?

Sure. Use the feedback form at the bottom of this page to send us your ideas. We try to implement suggestions as time and expertise permit.

Can I reproduce material from the site elsewhere?

You may use images from the site as long as you credit the Demonstrations Project and provide a backlink whenever possible. See our Terms of Use for more information.


Can I download the Demonstrations?

Yes, but if you are using Mac or Windows, you can interact with the Demonstrations right in your browser. To download a Demonstration or its source code, just click the link in the sidebar.

Do I need Mathematica to use a Demonstration?

No. The free Wolfram CDF Player lets you use any Demonstration from the Wolfram Demonstrations Project. Mathematica lets you modify any Demonstration's source code for your own projects. With Mathematica you also can write and submit new Demonstrations.

Why do I have to download CDF Player to see Demonstrations?

The technology required to run Demonstrations far exceeds the capabilities of web browsers, so the free Wolfram CDF Player is necessary.

Do I need to register to download Demonstrations?

No. You just need Mathematica or the free Wolfram CDF Player.

Can I see the source code for a Demonstration?

Yes. You can either preview or download the source code using the links in the sidebar.

Demonstrations Controls

Can I animate individual sliders?

Yes. Click the plus icon to the right of a slider to reveal its animation controls where you can animate, step backward and forward, and enter specific values. Click "Play" to animate the slider. You can control the speed with the "Faster" and "Slower" buttons and the direction of the playback with the last button in the animation controls.

Can I animate multiple controls?

Yes. Click the plus icon in the Demonstration's upper-right corner to open its Bookmarks/Autorun menu and select Autorun. The extent of the controls' animation may depend on the author's settings.

Can I step through a slider's values?

Yes. Open the animation controls (see "Can I animate individual sliders?" for instructions), then press the "Step Forward" and "Step Backward" buttons to step through the values.

How do I move a slider to an exact number?

Open the animation controls for a slider (see "Can I animate individual sliders?" for instructions). Move the slider to the desired number by entering that number into the input field. You can even enter irrational numbers, such as pi or the square root of two. For syntax, see How to Enter Input.

Is there a way to move the sliders more precisely?

For fine adjustments, hold down the Alt key while moving a slider. Holding Ctrl and/or Shift at the same time as Alt increases the precision of the adjustment.

Can I use a gamepad to control Demonstrations?

Demonstrations can all be controlled by peripheral input devices, such as gamepads and joysticks. The way the controls are hooked up depends on what kinds of controls the Demonstration uses.


Does Stephen Wolfram write Demonstrations?

Yes, he has written quite a few. Although it's one of his favorite activities, he usually only gets scraps of time for it. He tends to specialize in Demonstrations that involve very small amounts of code.

Is there a review process for Demonstrations?

Yes. Each Demonstration's content is rigorously reviewed by experts in relevant fields, and automated software-quality-assurance methods are used to check its operation.

Can Demonstrations be counted as academic publications?

Every Demonstration undergoes a rigorous review process that checks for quality, clarity, and accuracy, with standards similar to those of traditional academic publications.