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AP/College

PocketLab Voyager: Vibrating Meter Sticks and Music Boxes

Submitted by Rich on Mon, 09/11/2017 - 17:38

The physics of the sounds produced by music boxes is definitely worth studying in curricula based upon NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards).   The prongs of a metal music box comb and an oscillating meter stick that overhangs a table are both examples of cantilevers--long projecting beams that are supported only at one end.  Other common examples include many suspension bridges, beams that support balconies on high rises, diving boards, airplane wings, and flagpoles mounted to the side of a building.

Grade Level

Voyager & Ozobot: A Quantitative Experiment on the Doppler Effect

Submitted by Rich on Mon, 09/04/2017 - 19:10

In this lesson we develop a laboratory experiment in which students quantitatively verify a major theoretical equation for the Doppler Effect when the wave source is at rest with respect to the medium and the observer is moving through the medium.  The waves are simulated waves on an iPad or similar device.  Ozobot keeps Voyager moving at a known speed, either toward or away from the wave source.

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Grade Level

PocketLab Voyager: A Quantitative Study of Torsional Harmonic Oscillators

Submitted by Rich on Mon, 08/28/2017 - 17:40

PocketLab Voyager is perfect for performing an experiment on torsional harmonic oscillation.  Voyager is taped to a mass hanging from a spring.  The mass is given both an initial vertical translation and a torsional twist and then released.  While simultaneously bobbing up-and-down and twisting back-and-forth, the two motions are recorded by Voyager.  The period of the translational motion is recorded by the acceleration sensor.  The angular velocity sensor concurrently records information for measuring the period of the torsional oscillation. 

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Grade Level

PocketLab Voyager: A Study of Coupled Pendulums

Submitted by Rich on Tue, 08/22/2017 - 20:26

This lesson deals with what are commonly referred to as coupled pendulums, in which energy is transferred back-and-forth between the pendulums via the coupling.  Pendulums coupled by springs are commonly studied in college physics classes during studies of simple harmonic motion.  However, our lesson makes use of string-coupled pendulums, as they are easier and less expensive to construct.

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Grade Level

PocketLab Voyager: Beat Phenomena with LED's and #50 Lamps

Submitted by Rich on Fri, 08/18/2017 - 20:29

It is quite well known that when two frequencies of sound are close together, beats are produced and heard.  Demonstrations of this phenomenon are common in acoustical studies in physics classes.  In this lesson we investigate three laboratory techniques for seeing beats instead of hearing them.  These visual beats can be recorded and studied by the use of the PocketLab app and Voyager’s light sensor.  The first technique uses two #50 lamps that are driven at slightly different AC sine wave frequenc

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Grade Level

PocketLab Voyager: Light Intensity of a #50 Lamp vs. a Slow Sine Wave Current

Submitted by Rich on Mon, 08/14/2017 - 18:32

In this investigation we study a slowly varying sine wave signal produced by a function generator and amplified by a power amplifier to light a small #50 lamp.  We are specifically interested in seeing the relationship between the light intensity of the lamp and the current it is carrying at any given instant of time.  PocketLab Voyager is a perfect laboratory for performing this investigation even though Voyager does not have a current sensor.

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Grade Level

PocketLab Voyager: Moment of Inertia and Conservation of Angular Momentum

Submitted by Rich on Fri, 08/11/2017 - 21:32

As shown in the image accompanying this lesson, conservation of angular momentum can be investigated using a Lazy Susan (LS), PocketLab, and a compact weight.   Voyager is mounted to the LS.  The LS is given a spin and gradually slows down from friction.   The compact weight is dropped just above the edge of the LS.  The resultant sudden decrease in angular velocity is recorded by Voyager.  The accompanying video shows all of this action.  Taking into account the moment of inertia of the LS, and

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Voyager & Ozobot: NGSS Science and Engineering Practices Challenge

Submitted by Rich on Fri, 08/04/2017 - 21:02

This lesson provides a challenge that incorporates all eight of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) science and engineering practices.  Although this lesson makes use of both Ozobot and Voyager, neither of these is required, as all data have been collected and are supplied.  Students match several geometric shapes with their corresponding angular velocity vs. time data obtained as Voyager/Ozobot travel around the shapes.  Students are also provided with angular momentum data from an unknown geometric shape and asked to sketch the shape from their analysis. 

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Grade Level

PocketLab Voyager: Double Slit Diffraction Interference & The Wavelength of Light

Submitted by Rich on Fri, 07/28/2017 - 02:52

A classic way to demonstrate the wave nature of light is to pass a coherent beam of light from a laser through a double slit.  In this lesson, students study the intensity of light in the resultant interference pattern using the light intensity sensor of PocketLab Voyager.  Students also compare intensity to theoretical predictions.  In addition, the wavelength of the light can be calculated from knowledge of slit separation, distances between bright fringes in the interference pattern, and distance from the double slit to the pattern. 

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Grade Level