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AP/College

Moment of Inertia of a 3D Filament Reel About Its CM

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Submitted by Rich on Mon, 11/04/2019 - 16:37

Introduction

Your school can put all of those empty 3D filament reels to good use in the physics classroom.  There's a good chance that you and your students could come up with some interesting physics lab investigations using these reels.  As shown in Figure 1, attach Voyager or PocketLab One to the reel, and the possibilities are endless!  This lesson describes a lab in which your students determine the moment of inertia of an empty 3D filament reel about its center-of-mass.  They will accomplish this using two independent methods.  One method has the reel acting as a p

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Grade Level

Unrolling Spool Problem Quantitative Experiment

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Submitted by Rich on Wed, 10/30/2019 - 22:26

Introduction

Think twice before discarding your school's empty 3D filament reels.  There's a good chance that you and your students could come up with some interesting physics lab investigations using these reels.  As shown in Figure 1, attach Voyager or PocketLab One to the reel, and the possibilities are endless!  This lesson describes a quantititive experiment that your students can perform in a study of the classic "unrolling spool problem".

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Grade Level

NGSS Seismic Basketball Challenge

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Submitted by Rich on Sat, 09/28/2019 - 14:43

The NGSS Seismic Basketball Challenge

This NGSS seismic basketball challenge fits well in the study of motion for high school physics students.  Here is a statement describing the challenge:

Place PocketLab Voyager on a wood floor with accelerometer data being captured. Drop a basketball onto the floor near Voyager and let it bounce several times, being careful to not let it hit Voyager.  From the recorded accelerometer data, determine the original height from which the basketball was released.  

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Grade Level

What is Ocean Acidification? (HS-Secondary)

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Submitted by Danny on Mon, 08/26/2019 - 00:12

Climate change is at the forefront of environmental concerns and it often revolves around atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and its effect on average surface temperature. However, carbon dioxide concentration is not only rising in the atmosphere but in the ocean as well. The source of this dissolved carbon dioxide is the rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels we hear so much about, as carbon dioxide is soluble in water.

Grade Level

intelino / PocketLab: Velocity vs. Impulse to Stop

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Submitted by Rich on Sat, 08/17/2019 - 15:34

Introduction

While driving at 40 mph, you see a red stop light ahead.  You press your brakes for several seconds, gradually coming to a stop.  A little later on the same road at 40 mph, you approach another light, this time green.  While approaching this light, it suddenly changes to yellow.  You make a split-second decision to put on your brakes to avoid going through a red light.  With the brakes applied quite hard, you quickly stop, waking up your sleeping friend in the front passenger seat.

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Grade Level

Damped Simple Harmonic Motion

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Submitted by Rich on Sun, 07/07/2019 - 19:47

Introduction

Damping causes oscillatory systems to dissipate energy to their surroundings.  Frictional losses are quite common in mechanical systems and result in damped simple harmonic motion.  For example, when a child stops pumping a swing, the amplitude of the oscillations gradually decay toward zero.  The same thing happens to a mass that hangs from an oscillating spring.  It is quite common for the amplitude of such oscillations to exhibit a behavior that is negative exp

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Grade Level

How much Carbon Dioxide do you Produce? (MS-ESS3-4 )

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Submitted by Danny on Fri, 07/05/2019 - 00:59

It is almost instinctive when you first get the PocketLab Air to breathe directly on it just to see what happens. As seen below, of the PocketLab Air's seven sensors, five of them detect changes from a direct human breath. These parameters are carbon dioxide, particulate matter, temperature, humidity, and pressure. The most interesting of these is the sharp rise in carbon dioxide which, as the most important greenhouse gas, brings about strong connections to the topic of climate change.

PocketLab University - Principles of Temperature Sensors

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Submitted by clifton on Thu, 06/20/2019 - 20:41

PocketLab University

PocketLab University is an initiative to develop college-level labs that students can conduct at home, in their dorm room, or in any other setting without the need for laboratory equipment. Lab 1 uses PocketLab Voyager to understand the physical principles that enable temperature sensors to convert the physical property of temperature to an electrical property that we can measure with simple circuitry. The student assignment is below.

Grade Level

Periodic Motion: Weights vs. Springs

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Submitted by Rich on Thu, 06/13/2019 - 16:54

Introduction

In a well-known 1938 book entitled "Demonstration Experiments in Physics", editor Richard Sutton describes a setup for producing periodic motion of a cart using weights instead of springs.  With today's technology this experiment can be done using an air disk, and data can be collected with PocketLab Voyager's rangefinder.  The data clearly shows that not all periodic motions are simple harmonic.  The restoring force when weights are used is constant, while the restoring force with springs is proportional to the displacement.  Springs produce simple harmonic

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