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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
A Physics Challenge
In this lesson, AP and college students are challenged to derive equations for the periods of two fundamental modes of oscillation of a pair of coupled physics carts. Derivation will involve Hooke's law, Newton's Second Law of Motion, and principles of simple harmonic motion. Theory is then compared to experimental results obtained from PocketLab Voyager rangefinder data using Phyphox software.
Lab Activity: Understanding Linear Motion - Match the Graph Activity
In the PocketLab activity Modeling Linear Motion - Position, Velocity versus Time, we learned how graphs can be used to model an object’s motion. In that activity, a cart was pushed up a ramp and PocketLab’s rangefinder measured its change in position and velocity vs. time as it traveled up the ramp, changed direction and came down the ramp. The graphs modeled the cart’s direction of movement and speed. In this activity, we will take the concept further.
In this lesson students will find that a current-carrying loop can be regarded as a dipole, as it generates a magnetic field for points on its axis. Students use PocketLab Voyager and Phyphox software to compare experiment and theory for the magnetic field on the axis of a current loop. A similar experiment not making use of Phyphox can be found by clicking this link. An experiment making use of a magnet, instead of a