Tagged With "PocketLab"

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Position Vs. Time Investigation

lessemj ·
Hello All, I'm an AP Calculus teacher, and I used the attached lab to introduce position vs. time graphs to my students. My school doesn't offer physics after freshmen year and historically students have struggled to translate graphs into the actual motion that they represent. This year, using PocketLab and some magnets, the students were able to create their own position vs. time graphs, and concept mastery has been significantly higher. I'm definitely planning on repeating this lab next...
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Negative Exponentially Damped Harmonic Motion from a PocketLab Pendulum

Rich ·
This experiment allows one to do a quantitative investigation of the damped harmonic motion of a swinging pendulum. The pendulum is a piece of wood about a yard long from a Michael's hobby shop one end of which has been attached to a PocketLab by a rubber band. The other end is taped to the top of a doorway, allowing the resultant pendulum to swing back-and-forth as shown in the image below. The y-axis is perpendicular to the XZ plane of the swinging pendulum. Therefore, the main item of...
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PocketLab on an Oscillating Cart

Rich ·
An oscillating cart with a PocketLab provides an interesting way to study Newton's Second Law of Motion as well as some principles of damped harmonic motion. The apparatus setup is shown in the figure below. The small dynamics cart that can quickly be made from parts included in the PocketLab Maker Kit is shown in its equilibrium position. Rubber bands are attached to each side of the cart and to two ring stands weighted down with some heavy books. It is best to use rubber bands that provide...
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Using PocketLab to Investigate Newton's Law of Cooling

Rich ·
In this experiment students will use PocketLab to collect data related to the cooling of a container of hot water as time goes on. Sir Isaac Newton modeled this process under the assumption that the rate at which heat moves from one object to another is proportional to the difference in temperature between the two objects, i.e., the cooling rate = -k*TempDiff. In the case of this experiment, the two objects are water and air. Newton showed that TempDiff = To * exp(-kt), where TempDiff is the...
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PocketLab Investigation of Fuel Efficiency

Rich ·
With gas prices as high as they are and having a growing concern for the environment, Americans today are becoming conscious about things they can do to improve fuel efficiency. Many realize that driving at the posted speed limits promotes both safety and reduces the rate at which fuel is consumed. With these things in mind, some have purchased hybrid vehicles including the Toyota Prius, all-electric vehicles such as the Nissan LEAF, or range-extending vehicles such as the Chevy Volt. Those...
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PocketLab on a Skier's Edge Machine

Rich ·
The PocketLab is an ideal device for measuring user performance for a variety of exercise equipment. One example of such equipment is the Skier's Edge, whose company was founded in 1987. This machine was designed for non-impact lateral conditioning that simulates the experience of downhill skiing. The photo below shows the skiing machine. The skier stands on the two black platforms, holding poles and moves the carriage back-and-forth on the curved white tracks. A close-up view of the...
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The Inverse Cube Law for a Neodymium Dipole Magnet

Rich ·
PocketLab makes is quite easy to investigate and verify the inverse cube law for the magnetic field of a neodymium magnet as a function of distance from the magnet. All that is needed in addition to The PocketLab is a centimeter ruler, small neodymium magnet, a small block of wood and a little double stick tape. The photo below shows how the neodymium magnet is taped to the block of wood with the magnet located at the 10 cm mark on the NSTA ruler. The height of the center of the magnet is at...
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PocketLab Joins Ozobot to Study Position, Velocity and Acceleration Concepts

Rich ·
Ozobot ( ozobot.com ) is a tiny one inch diameter line-traveling robot that can be used in conjunction with PocketLab to easily study the physics concepts of position, velocity, and acceleration and their time graphs. PocketLab is simply taped to the top of an Ozobot using double-sided mounting tape. In other words, Ozobot gives Pocket lab a ride. The photo below shows this setup, with Ozobot following a 1/4" heavy black line drawn with a chisel tip marking pen. A magnetic ruler can be...
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PocketLab Experiment on Centripetal Acceleration with a 3-speed Ceiling Fan

Rich ·
There are two approaches that the teacher can take to doing this experiment on centripetal acceleration with a three-speed ceiling fan and PocketLab. The first choice is for those with an available three-speed ceiling fan. In this case students can collect all data by actually performing the experiment themselves. The PocketLab should be mounted to one of the ceiling fan blades with a very strong double stick mounting tape. For safety, however, students should still wear goggles. The author...
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Investigating Ampere's Law for a Long Current Carrying Wire

Rich ·
One of the classes of problems dealing with magnetic fields concerns the production of a magnetic field by a current-carrying conductor or by moving charges. It was Oersted who discovered back in the early 1800's that currents produce magnetic effects. The quantitative relationship between the magnetic field strength and the current was later embodied in Ampere's Law, an extension of which made by Maxwell is one of the four basic equations of electromagnetism. PocketLab, used in conjunction...
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Multiple Pocket Labs?

marmoset ·
Is there anyway to run two (or more) instances of the PocketLab app having different PocketLab hardware assigned to each? I've got some great ideas I'd like to try out.
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Re: Multiple Pocket Labs?

Robby ·
Thanks for the question! Unfortunately, no, you can only have one PocketLab synced to one device. Let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks so much, Robby
Blog Post

Investigating the "Spinning Coin" (Euler Disk) Problem

Rich ·
Most everyone has spun a coin on its edge on a table top, and many find the result quite fascinating. The coin gradually begins to fall on its side while spinning, makes a whirring sound with increasing frequency the longer it spins, and then abruptly stops. The Swiss physicist, Leonhard Euler, studied this back in the 1700's. An educational toy, referred to as Euler's disk can now be purchased on-line and in hobby shops specializing in science. Such disks have been carefully engineered to...
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Re: Investigating the "Spinning Coin" (Euler Disk) Problem

Clif ·
Rich- Your lab made me think of a dynamics problem I had in grad school. I dug up my old textbook so I could share. We analyzed the motion of a similar spinning disk. It was one of the toughest dynamics problems I ever had to solve. You have to solve for a system of equations of the angular acceleration of the spinning disk and the linear acceleration of the disk's center of mass. Eventually the system of equations gets too cumbersome to solve by-hand and so we used a program called...
Blog Post

A Quantitative Study of Helmholtz Coils

Rich ·
These coils come in pairs with the same number of windings of wire on each of the two coils. In "true Helmholtz" configuration: (1) the coils are wired in series with identical currents in the same direction in each coil, and (2) the coils are placed a distance apart that is equal to the radius of each coil. When in this configuration, they produce a very uniform magnetic field that is directed along their common central axis. One of the most common uses for such coils in physics education...
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Re: A Quantitative Study of Helmholtz Coils

Clif ·
Rich- Awesome lab again! You probably noticed that there was change in the field readings along the y and z-axis even though the field should be really uniform in the x-axis between the coils. There are some hard iron and soft iron distortions of the magnetic field because of the coin cell battery, the mounting screws, and errors in the sensor component. We will eventually be able to calibrate the magnetic field readings and compensate for the distortions. Here's some calibration data that I...
Comment

Re: A Quantitative Study of Helmholtz Coils

Rich ·
Clif posted: Rich- Awesome lab again! You probably noticed that there was change in the field readings along the y and z-axis even though the field should be really uniform in the x-axis between the coils. There are some hard iron and soft iron distortions of the magnetic field because of the coin cell battery, the mounting screws, and errors in the sensor component. We will eventually be able to calibrate the magnetic field readings and compensate for the distortions. Here's some...
Blog Post

Magnetic Field on the Axis of a Current Loop

Rich ·
In this lesson students will find that a current-carrying loop can be regarded as a magnetic dipole, as it generates a magnetic field for points on its axis. The figure below shows a diagram and the equation for the magnetic field B. Derivation of this equation requries knowledge of the Biot-Savart Law, calculus and trigonometry. But in this lesson we are interested only in comparing experimental results from PocketLab's magnetometer to the theoretical equation in the figure below. More...
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The Physics of a Falling and Unrolling TP Roll

Rich ·
Yes, that's right--the physics of a falling and unrolling toilet paper roll. This experiment will give students practice in rotational motion of an object and translational motion of its center-of-mass. It will also involve both the kinematics and dynamics of the motion. While it can be done by use of the VelocityLab app, interpretation of the angular velocity data from the PocketLab app is much easier. The figure below shows the apparatus setup for this lab experiment. A ring stand is on a...
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Rotational Dynamics of a Falling Meter Stick

Rich ·
There is a well-known problem in rotational dynamics that involves a meter stick. The meter stick is held in a vertical position with one end on the floor. It is then released so that it falls to the floor. The end initially on the floor is not allowed to slip during the fall. Students are asked to derive an equation that predicts the angular velocity of the meter stick just before it hits the floor. The derivation involves many physics concepts including gravitational potential energy,...
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A PocketLab Experimental Analysis of a Yo-yo

Rich ·
The yo-yo, a toy with an axle connected to two disks and string wound on the axle, has been of fascination to many for centuries. It also offers a perfect opportunity to study angular velocity when a PocketLab has been attached to it. A graph of angular velocity vs. time of a yo-yo will require students to think carefully about the detailed behavior related to its motion. The author worked with a purchased $3 yo-yo, but found the results to be much clearer when attaching a PocketLab to a...
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An Experiment in Rotational Dynamics that Emphasizes the NGSS Science and Engineering Practices

Rich ·
Here is a PocketLab based project that will get your physical science and physics students involved in many of the Next Generation Science Standards, particularly in the NGSS science and engineering practices. Two wheels and a wood axle from the PocketLab Maker Kit are placed on a narrow inclined plane so that the red wheels overhang the sides of the inclined plane and the entire system rolls down on the wood axle without any slipping. When the wheels and axle get near the bottom of the...
Comment

Re: Determining the Radius of Curvature of a Gradual Street Turn

Clif ·
Rich- this is such a great demo! I'm sorry the video sync output failed after the trials. We've got an app update coming soon that will fix the bug and update a few other features.
Blog Post

Determining the Radius of Curvature of a Gradual Street Turn

Rich ·
This lesson is a physics application of PocketLab that allows students to determine the radius of curvature of a gradual turn on a street. A PocketLab mounted on the dashboard of a car records both the angular velocity and the centripetal acceleration of the car as it moves at a nearly constant speed around the curve. All of the required data for an example problem are contained in files attached to this lesson. Alternately, students can collect their own data. If the latter approach is...
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Quantitative Experiment to Determine the Relationship Between a Pendulum's Length and Period

Rich ·
PocketLab is a perfect device for determining the quantitative relationship between the length of a pendulum and its period of oscillation. Pendulums of known lengths were made from balsa wood strips such as those available from Michaels and other hobby stores. The photo below shows six such pendulums of lengths 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90 cm alongside a meter stick. The picture shows that PocketLab was taped with double-stick mounting tape to the pendulum whose length is 45 cm. The photo...
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Investigating Gay-Lussac's Law and Absolute Zero of Temperature with PocketLab and a Mason Jar

Rich ·
Gay-Lussac's Law states that when the volume of a container of gas is held constant, while the temperature of the gas is increased, then the pressure of the gas will also increase. In other words, pressure is directly proportional to the absolute temperature for a given mass of gas at constant volume. Although this is, strictly speaking, true only for an ideal gas, most gases that surround us behave much like an ideal gas. Even ordinary air, which is a mixture of gases, can behave like an...
Blog Post

Investigating Boyle's Law with PocketLab

Rich ·
With a pressure sensor built into PocketLab, there must surely be some way to investigate Boyle's Law. This law states that pressure and volume of an ideal gas are inversely proportional to one another provided that the temperature and amount of gas are kept constant within a closed system. What is needed is a closed system that is large enough to hold PocketLab in a way that pressure can be sensed while changing the volume of the enclosed gas (in our case, air). Educational Innovations,...
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A Momentum Conservation Experiment for an Inelastic Collision Between Two Carts

Rich ·
Do you have two PocketLab Maker Kit carts, and do you have the free VelocityLab app? Then you are all set to do some experiments in conservation of momentum with PocketLab! This lab discusses how to setup and perform an inelastic collision in which one cart (A) is moving toward another cart (B) that is at rest. When cart A hits cart B, they stick and move off together. The photo below shows the two carts shortly before the collision would occur. PocketLab is mounted on a front wheel of cart...
Blog Post

A Classic Conservation of Momentum Experiment with PocketLab

Rich ·
A well-known conservation of momentum experiment that has been around for many years involves dropping a brick onto a horizontally moving cart. With PocketLab and the VelocityLab app, your students can perform this experiment easily with the cart from the PocketLab Maker Kit and a small block of wood. The snapshot below shows the setup with the author about to drop the block of wood onto the cart coming from the left. A pair of rails, with inside separation just a little larger than the axle...
Blog Post

A Quantitative PocketLab Study of Momentum, Impulse, and Force in the Collision of Two Carts

Rich ·
You don't need an expensive air track to do a quantitative study of momentum, impulse, and force involved in the collision of two carts. You can get very good results by the use of two PocketLabs, two iPhones, and a pair of carts from the PocketLab Maker Kit. As shown in the picture below, each cart has a PocketLab mounted on one of its wheels, so that the z-axis is the axis of interest when the carts are moving. You can only connect one PocketLab to an iPhone at time, thus the need for two...
Blog Post

Conservation of Momentum When Two Carts "Explode"

Rich ·
Do you have two carts from the PocketLab Maker Kits? Do you have two PocketLabs? You probably have at least two students in your physics class with iPhones. Do they have the VelocityLap app installed on their iPhones? Then you have the major components for your students to investigate conservation of momentum when two carts on a track "explode". As shown in the picture below, each cart has a PocketLab mounted on one of its wheels, so that the z-axis is the axis of interest when the carts are...
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