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Physics

Theremin Synth Music with Voyager/ScratchX

Submitted by Rich on Thu, 08/23/2018 - 15:25

Introduction

theremin , named after its Russian inventor in the early 1900's, is an electronic musical instrument that is controlled without any contact by the musician.   Volume is controlled by moving one hand near one antenna, while pitch is controlled by moving the other hand near a second antenna.  The sound is generated by a pair of high-frequency oscillators.

Grade Level

Hysteresis of a Tactile Sensor

Submitted by Rich on Mon, 07/30/2018 - 15:38

What is hysteresis?

Hysteresis can be defined as a lag time in the response of a system to forces placed on the system.  A common way used in physics classes to observe hysteresis is by loading and then unloading weights from a suspended rubber band, while observing the extension of the rubber band.  Students find that the rubber band does not Obey Hooke's law.  They also observe that the amount of stretch of the rubber band is different when unloading than when loading.

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Grade Level

3D Printed Pendulum for Simple Harmonic Motion

Submitted by clifton on Mon, 07/09/2018 - 19:37

This 3D printed model demonstrates the physics of a simple pendulum that consists of a mass, m, hanging from an arm of length, L, and fixed at a pivot point, P. You can move the mass along the length of the arm to change the center of mass of the pendulum. If you displace the pendulum from equilibrium to an initial angle, θ, and release, the motion will be regular and repeat. This is an example of periodic motion also called simple harmonic motion.

Grade Level

PocketLab/Ozobot LIDAR Demonstration

Submitted by Rich on Fri, 07/06/2018 - 23:05

Introduction

LIDAR—an acronym for Light Detection and Ranging—is a method for remote sensing to measure distances.  While LIDAR commonly uses reflected laser light to accomplish this, students can investigate LIDAR principles by using Voyager’s IR rangefinder in conjunction with Ozobot Evo.  Ozobot is a tiny programmable robot that can follow lines.  In this activity, PocketLab Voyager is mounted on top of Ozobot.  While Ozobot t

Grade Level

Relative Velocity Lab: PocketLab/Ozobot/LEGO

Submitted by Rich on Sat, 06/30/2018 - 19:32

Introduction to Relative Velocity

Airplanes can experience head winds or tail winds that affect their flight time.  Similarly, motorboats on a river experience ground velocities that are dependent on whether they are traveling upstream or downstream.  Both of these phenomena are associated with a physics concept known as relative velocity--the main topic of this lab.

Grade Level

Voyager Rides an RC Car for Summertime Fun

Submitted by Rich on Wed, 06/20/2018 - 18:18

RC Car Fun!!!

Here is a fun summertime activity!  Race an RC car with PocketLab Voyager. Challenge your friends to see who can negotiate a series of cones in the shortest amount of time without hitting any of the cones.  Start and end times are obtained by Voyager's magnetometer as the RC car passes by magnets.  

PocketLab/Phyphox Damped Lissajous Figures

Submitted by Rich on Mon, 06/11/2018 - 20:33

Lissajous Introduction

Lissajous patterns have fascinated physics students for decades.  They are commonly observed on oscilloscopes by applying simple harmonic functions with different frequencies to the vertical and horizontal inputs.  Three examples are shown in Figure 1.  From left to right, the frequency ratios are 1:2, 2:3, and 3:4.  These Lissajous patterns were created by use of the parametric equation section of The Grapher software written by the author of this lesson.  You are welcome to use this softwa

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Science Lab: Helmholtz Coils Magnetic Field

Submitted by Rich on Sat, 05/19/2018 - 18:43

Helmholtz Coils

These coils come in pairs with the same number of turns 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

The Magnetic Field Around a Long Current Carrying Wire

Submitted by Rich on Mon, 05/14/2018 - 15:36

Magnetic Fields from Electric Currents

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.

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