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For training students in competitive exams & physics olympiads, I want to illustrate deeper meanings in problem solving through diagrams.

I have my teaching material hand drawn in OneNote. I want to create some professional quality colorful diagrams that we find in Halliday, Resnick & Walker - Fundamentals of Physics.

To manually place Inductors or wedges or springs or lens or to create field diagrams on Adobe Illustrator is hard. You can imagine all the alignment troubles...

Any software with scripting/programming is also welcome.

So I decided to look out for help from the experienced ones in these regard.

Help very much appreciated. Thanks.

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The above comment seems to be true. Personally I recommend Asymptote. –  Siyuan Ren Jan 21 '12 at 13:59
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I dont know what software the PSE user Hans de Vries used to make the most beautiful figures I found in his online book: physics-quest, or check the 2nd image in the PSE answer. –  Helder Velez Jan 21 '12 at 16:33

1 Answer 1

Your needs here are rather different from those of the Question cited by Qmechanic (although the Answers there are certainly relevant). One nonspecific freeware possibility might be Google Sketchup, but perhaps you should decide whether you're willing to pay for the home edition of Mathematica, which would certainly do what you need, and many other things that would be relevant to olympiads, etc.

EDIT: Note that students don't need Mathematica to interact with any Mathematica Apps you construct, they can use a free player such as http://www.wolfram.com/cdf-player/

Non-interactive diagrams are now much less often printed out on paper, particularly by students, so that there is progressively less need for diagrams to be static. You might be better to think of ways to construct interactive apps (for which Mathematica is one possibility, Sketchup less so).

I look forward to seeing what other suggestions might turn up here.

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