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Lessons

Magnetic Field on the Axis of a Current Loop

Submitted by Rich on Thu, 06/15/2017 - 22:17

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 advanced students can consider derivation of the equation, if they wish.

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Grade Level

A Quantitative Study of Helmholtz Coils

Submitted by Rich on Thu, 06/15/2017 - 22:05

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.

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Grade Level

Investigating the "Spinning Coin" (Euler Disk) Problem

Submitted by Rich on Thu, 06/15/2017 - 21:29

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 spin for a much longer time than a coin.

 

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Measure the Angle of an Incline Plane

Submitted by PocketLab on Fri, 06/02/2017 - 19:34

Exploration

An accelerometer is a device that will measure acceleration forces. These forces may be static, like the constant force of gravity pulling us towards the Earth’s surface, or the force may be dynamic, like an object moving or vibrating. This lab will show how to use to accelerometer to measure the static angle of a ramp as it rotates between 0° and 90°.

Objective

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Angular Velocity of Rolling Object at Different Inclines

Submitted by PocketLab on Fri, 06/02/2017 - 19:29

Exploration 

The moment of inertia (MOI) is the rotational inertia of an object as it rotates about a specific axis. Moment of inertia determines the torque required for a specific angular rotation about an axis. The moment of inertia depends upon the distribution of mass of the rotating object in relation to the axis the object is rotating about.

Objective

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Grade Level

Rotating Book

Submitted by PocketLab on Fri, 06/02/2017 - 18:59

Exploration

The moment of inertia (MOI) is the rotational inertia of an object as it rotates about a specific axis. Moment of inertia determines the torque required for a specific angular rotation about an axis. The moment of inertia depends upon the distribution of mass of the rotating object in relation to the axis the object is rotating about. Explore whether the stability of a book’s rotation is dependent upon the moment of inertia and therefore whether it changes based on the axis the book is rotating about.

Objective

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Friction on a Turntable

Submitted by PocketLab on Fri, 06/02/2017 - 18:56

Exploration

An inertial force arises from the rotation of the object and the object mass (sometimes called the centrifugal force, not to be confused with centripetal force). If the inertial force is greater than the force of friction, the object will slide off of the rotating turntable (following Newton’s First Law of Motion). The parameters that cause the inertial force to be greater than the force of friction depend on many variables.

Objective

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Arms of a Spinning Figure Skater

Submitted by PocketLab on Fri, 06/02/2017 - 18:52

Exploration

When a figure skater spins he/she uses the positioning of his/her arms to control the speed of the spin/ angular velocity. The angular momentum of the skater is always conserved, no matter the positioning of the arms, and can be represented by the equation L = Iw, where L is angular momentum, I is moment of inertia and w is angular velocity. The moment of inertia is an object’s resistance to change in angular velocity and is related to the distribution of the object’s mass.

Objective

Grade Level

Understanding Centripetal Force

Submitted by PocketLab on Fri, 06/02/2017 - 18:46

Exploration

An object experiencing a constant net force will experience a constant acceleration. Acceleration is defined as either a change in speed or a change in direction. When an object moves along a curved path it may maintain its speed, however it will be constantly changing its direction of movement. This type of acceleration along a curved path is called centripetal acceleration and is the result of a centripetal force, a force that is directed inward, toward the center of the curvature of the path. Examine the figure below.

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