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Latest News on the site

The front page has news on the latest news about the website. If we make a big change we will post an article there. The is also an automatically generated list of pages at: However, many of the changes are administrative changes not real changes to the content.  Keep on the lookout.


The PVCDROM is designed to be read like a book. There are links to the next and previous pages at the top of each page and in the footer bar.

On the left side of the page is a table of contents. Click on the chapter headings to see the contents of a chapter. Click again to collapse the chapter and just show the heading.

Check your understanding

We are in the process of adding questions on each page. Answering these questions will help you check your understanding and help you to remember the content on this page. Responses to these questions are anonymously recorded and patterns will be analyzed by staff. We will be improving the content of the website and these questions based on patterns in the responses.

Browser compatibility

The PVCDROM uses interactivity and animations to explain concepts in photovoltaics. We are gradually phasing out the animations in Flash and Shockwave in preference for modern browsers where plugins are not needed and averything is done in HTML5. Most modern browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer (10 or later) and Safari support HTML5.

Live Calculation

Spread throughout the document are mini-calculators for the equations in the text. Enter numbers in the blue fields. Javascript is required for the live calculations and is present on nearly all browsers.

Enter very large or very small numbers using the standard exponential notation. For example, 1 000 000 (106) is entered as 1e6.

Flash Player

Most of the animations are now in Flash. It is available on most computers, including linux, but not on the iPhone, iPad or most tablets. Go to the page Properties of Light where you should see animated photons moving across the screen.

Download Flash


Shockwave is needed for some of the animations but we are phasing it out. To check if shockwave is installed go to

If you do not have Shockwave installed, download it for free from the Internet.

Download Shockwave

Unfortunately Shockwave is not available for Linux. We are gradually phasing out the shockwave animations. They are only a very few of them now and the plugin causes a lot of problems. It will mysteriously stop working on some computers for some animations.


Java was previously used for the interactive graphs but is no longer necessary.


Press F11 on most browsers to make the pages fit the screen.