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  • Biology
  • Neurons
  • Cells
Java Logo Original Sim and Translations


  • Biology
  • Neurons
  • Cells


Stimulate a neuron and monitor what happens. Pause, rewind, and move forward in time in order to observe the ions as they move across the neuron membrane.

Sample Learning Goals

  • Describe why ions can or cannot move across neuron membranes.
  • Identify leakage and gated channels, and describe the function of each.
  • Describe how membrane permeability changes in terms of different types of channels in a neuron.
  • Describe the sequence of events that generates an action potential.
Version 1.1.18

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Teacher-Submitted Activities

Neuron - an inquiry lesson idea A gold star indicates high-quality, inquiry-based activities that follow the PhET design guidelines. This contribution was designed by PhET. Trish Loeblein HS
Action Potential Simulation - Guided Inquiry Activity Kara Reichert HS
Preguntas de razonamiento para todas las simulaciones HTML5 This contribution was designed by PhET. Diana López MS
Simulación de Acción Potencial - Actividad de Consulta Guiada Kara Reichert (Traducción por Mayra Tavares) HS

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HTML5 sims can run on iPads and Chromebooks, as well as PC, Mac, and Linux systems.

iOS 12+ Safari
iPad compatible sims

Not officially supported. If you are using the HTML5 sims on Android, we recommend using the latest version of Google Chrome.

Latest version of Google Chrome
The HTML5 and Flash PhET sims are supported on all Chromebooks.
Chromebook compatible sims

Windows Systems:
Microsoft Edge, latest version of Firefox, latest version of Google Chrome.

Macintosh Systems:
macOS 10.13+, Safari 13+, latest version of Chrome.

Linux Systems:
Not officially supported. Please contact with troubleshooting issues.

Design Team Third-party Libraries Thanks To
  • Amanda McGarry
  • Noah Podolefsky
  • Wendy Adams
  • Katherine Perkins
  • John Blanco (developer)
  • Sharfudeen Ashraf (developer)
  • almond-0.2.9.js
  • FileSaver-b8054a2.js
  • fontawesome-webfont-3.0.2.svg
  • game-up-camera-1.0.0.js
  • jama-1.0.2
  • jquery-2.1.0.js
  • lodash-2.4.1.js
  • pegjs-0.7.0.js
  • seedrandom-2.4.2.js
  • text-2.0.12.js
  • Francoise (Benay) Bentley
  • Janet Casagrand
  • Mike Klymkowsky
  • Conversion funded in part by Ghent University