Effective measurement techniques include the concept of measurement uncertainty. Students may make erroneous conclusions analyzing data using measurements that do not include the uncertainty of the measurement. In this lab, students determine a density range for a metal and identify the material based on this range.
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This is a lab activity that allows students to collect data to practice using effective measurement. While other authors have produced similar labs, this version includes uncertainty analysis consistent with effective measurement technique as presented in the module Measurement and Uncertainty.
One video clip, with embedded graphs, can be used to help students understand the mathematical relationships that describe simple harmonic motion.
The Balls in a Box model shows a system of particles is very sensitive to its initial conditions. In general, an isolated system of many particles that is prepared in a nonrandom configuration will change in time so as to approach its most random configuration where it is in equilibrium. What happens if we choose the initial conditions in a very special way?
The default initial condition corresponds to eight stationary particles perfectly aligned on the x-axis. Two particles approach from the left and the right. What happens when these particles collide with the eight stationary particles? The EJS model solves Newton's second law of motion numerically but pauses when a collision is detected. This is called an EJS event. Conservation of energy and momentum are applied at the event and the simulation is resumed.
The EJS Beats model displays the result of adding two waves with different frequencies. The simulation displays the superposition of the two waves as well as a phasor diagram that shows how the waves add up at one point in space. The ratio of the wave amplitudes, the ratio of the frequencies, and the phase shift between the two waves can be changed via textboxes.
The EJS Classical Helium Model is an example of a three-body problem that is similar to the gravitational three-body problem of a heavy sun and two light planets. The important difference is that the helium atom's two electrons repel one another, unlike the planetary case where the intraplanetary interaction is attractive.
The Colliding Galaxies Model is an implementation of Alar and Juri Toomres' 1972 super computer model showing the formation of galactic bridges and tails under the assumption that galactic cores are point masses and that one galactic core is surrounded by 2D concentric rings of orbiting stars. The model assumes is that the stars (test particles) orbiting the galactic cores are non-interacting. When the two galaxies pass one another, tidal forces deform the star distribution into classic tidal features. Our EJS model reproduces this result showing that there is a long curving tail and that only the outermost ring of stars is affected by its companion galaxy. A thin bridge is also formed and some of the stars are captured by the companion galactic core.
A high speed video clip of a roller coaster is used as an example of conservation of mechanical energy. Students use the video to determine whether mechanical energy is conserved while the roller coaster rolls up, and then back down a hil.
This activity describes the construction and use of a pneumatic cannon and free falling target used to teach the concepts of projectile motion in introductory physics.
The EJS Damped Driven Harmonic Oscillator Phasor model displays the motion of damped driven harmonic oscillator. The resulting differential equation can be extended into the complex plane, and the resulting complex solution is displayed with the real part of this solution being the position of the oscillator. The natural frequency of the oscillator, the damping coefficient, and the driving force and driving frequency can be changed via textboxes.
The EJS Oscillations and Lissajous Figures model displays the motion of a superposition of two perpendicular harmonic oscillators. The simulation shows the result of the superposition. The amplitude and frequency of the oscillators can be changed via textboxes.
The EJS Three Current-Carrying Wires model is a ranking task exercise involving the ranking of the current magnitudes in three parallel current-carrying wires. The simulation displays the net force on each wire because of the other two wires.
An interactive lecture demonstration intended to help students use physics reasoning to predict the outcome of a puzzling electrostatics demonstration.
30-page illustrated guide to fundamentals of measurement. This is intended to be a clear, comprehensive overview of effective measurement technique. Intended for advanced high school or introductory college level students. Includes worked examples and problems.
This is a version of the time-tested lab where students roll a ball off a table top and use kinematics in two dimensions to try to predict where the ball will land. While many versions of this lab have been previously published, in this version students determine the uncertainty of all measurements and uncertainty of their prediction. The techniques and vocabulary are consistent with the Introduction to Measurement packet.
Students use a microphone and Vernier LabQuest to record the sound of a finger-snap echo in a 1-2 meter cardboard tube. Students measure the time for the echo to return to the microphone, and measure the length of the tube. Using their measurements, students determine the speed of sound. While other authors have produced similar labs, this version includes uncertainty analysis consistent with effective measurement technique as presented in the module Measurement and Uncertainty.
Students learn to determine the velocity of moving objects by doing simple analysis of video clips.
This Java archive contains a collection of simple Easy Java Simulations (EJS) programs for the teaching of computer-based modeling. The materials and text of this resource appeared in an article of the same name in The Physics Teacher [Phys. Teach. 76, No. 45, pp. 474-480 (2007)].
The EJS Radioactive Decay Model simulates the decay of a radioactive sample using discrete random events. It displays the number of radioactive nuclei as a function of time. You can change the initial number of nuclei and the decay constant as well as changing the plot to a semi-log plot.
This activity describes a simple clear demonstration of electric generators (Faraday's Law) and electric motors (Lorentz Force). This demonstration can be used as an interactive lecture demonstration.