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Properties of Matter

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

Brownian Motion: Order from Chaos

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Submitted by Rich on Fri, 03/15/2019 - 02:27

Brownian Motion

Brownian motion can be defined as the random motion of particles in a liquid or gas caused by the bombardment from molecules in the containing medium.  Have you ever looked at dust particles in the sunlight shining through a window?  They appear to move about randomly, even defying gravity.  This is an example of Brownian motion in which the dust particles are bombarded on all sides by gas molecules in the air.  Other examples of Brownian motion include the motion of grains of pollen on the surface of still water, the dif

Grade Level

Ideal Gas Law Verified in a Steel Balls Lab

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Submitted by Rich on Tue, 03/05/2019 - 22:18

Introduction to the Ideal Gas Law

The ideal gas law is commonly seen in the form PV = nRT, where P is the pressure, V is the volume, T is the absolute temperature, n is the amount of the gas in moles, and R is the ideal gas constant.  It is a composite form of Boyle's, Charles's, Avogadro's, and Gay Lussac's laws.  This law helps to explain how many things work, including bicycle pumps, hot air balloons, pressure cookers, and steam engines, just to mention a few.

Grade Level

Moment of Inertia vs. Mass

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Submitted by Rich on Sun, 02/17/2019 - 21:06

Introduction to Moment of Inertia

There are numerous analogies when comparing linear and rotational motion.  At the heart of these comparisons lie the concepts of mass on one hand and moment of inertia on the other.  In addition to being a property of any physical object, mass is a measure of the resistance of an object to acceleration when a net force has been applied to the object.  Newton's Second Law of Motion expresses this in the familiar equation F = ma.  By analogy, the moment of inertia of any rigid obj

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Grade Level

Thermal Energy Particle Motion Experiment

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Submitted by PocketLab on Sat, 02/09/2019 - 00:28

How does adding thermal energy effect the particle motion of a gas? 

Thermal Energy Examples

Matter makes up everything around us. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the chair we are sitting on, the cells in our body, it is all made up of matter. Matter can exist in different states: Take water for example, it can exist as a solid (an ice cube), liquid (water in a cup for drinking), and gas  (vapor rising from a boiling pot of water). In all three states, water is always made of the same molecules, H20, and the difference is the amount of thermal energy.

Grade Level

Hysteresis with Rubber Bands

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Submitted by Rich on Wed, 02/06/2019 - 17:49

Introduction to Hysteresis

Hysteresis can be defined as a lag time in the response of a system to forces placed on the system.  The response of the system depends not only on the present magnitude of the force but also on the previous history of the system.  From the point of view of mathematics, the response to the force is a double-valued function.  This means that one value applies when the force is increasing, while another value applies when the force is decreasing.  A graphical plot of force and re

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Grade Level

PocketLab Voyager: Newton's Law of Cooling

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Submitted by Rich on Thu, 01/03/2019 - 03:02

Newton's Law of Cooling

In this experiment students will use PocketLab Voyager to collect data related to the cooling of a container of hot water as time goes on.  Sir Isaac Newton modeled this process under the assumption that the rate at which heat moves from one object to another is proportional to the difference in temperature between the two objects, i.e., the cooling rate = -k*TempDiff.  In the case of this experiment, the two objects are water and air.

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Grade Level

Fluid Pressure in a Fluid at Rest

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Submitted by Rich on Fri, 12/21/2018 - 01:22

Introduction

In a PockeLab lesson entitled "Hydrostatic Pressure Lab", posted by kwarnke in October 2017, students investigate the relationship between the height of a column of water and hydrostatic pressure.  The lab results worked very well in this regard, but the apparatus uses a 5-gallon jug with modifications, a bicycle pump, and 5 meters of vinyl tubing.  We should be able to come up with a much simpler and less expensive fluid pressure apparatus to achieve the same result, as the

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Hysteresis of a Tactile Sensor

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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

Color and temperature of objects

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Submitted by PocketLab on Fri, 02/09/2018 - 20:39

Introduction:
On a hot, sunny day, would you rather wear dark or light-colored clothes? Have you ever walked across dark pavement barefoot on a hot day? How did that feel? Would you rather walk on the dark pavement or a lighter colored sidewalk along green grass? In this experiment you will investigate how the color of objects can affect it’s temperature.