Descriptions of Introductory Physics Experiments

CDA Computer data acquisition
Code Title Description CDA SSA
AA Measurements & Uncertainties Students learn to make measurements using meter sticks, micrometer and vernier calipers, and a beam balance. Aspects of estimating uncertainties is explored. No No
AB Statistical Analysis of Data The concept of uncertainties is expanded to include those associated with quantities that are indirectly determined (calculated) from measurements. This lab includes a tutorial on spreadsheet use and linear regression. Yes Yes
AG Velocity and Acceleration Using low friction cart and track, students investigate motion at constant acceleration and learn how to determine the signed component of the acceleration along the track.  Yes No
AM Position and Velocity Students learn how to use a motion detector and investigate how their body motion can be displayed as graphs of position vs. time and velocity vs. time and how they are related. Yes No
AN Acceleration and Force Using an electronic force sensor and a low friction cart and track, students investigate the dependence of an object's acceleration on its mass and on the applied force. Yes No
AP Acceleration Due to Gravity Students investigate the motion of an object moving with constant acceleration and determine \$g\$ the acceleration due to gravity at the earth's suface. Yes Yes
AQ Impulse and Momentum A cart on a track is propelled into a collision with various bumpers (spring, rubber, clay, and magnetic) mounted on a force probe. The motion sensor is used to determine cart velocities before and after the collision and a force probe is used to measure the impulse. The cart mass, initial velocity, and the type of collision (nearly elastic, partially and totally inelastic) are varied. Yes No
AT Atwood's Machine Using a pulley and hanging masses, students investigate Newton's second law of motion and study the dependence of an object's acceleration on its mass and on the applied force. Yes Yes
AV Vectors Simple graph paper, ruler, protractor experiment in which students learn polar/cartesian representations and transformations, vector components, addition, and subtraction. No No
BA Force Table Students make measurements of forces in equilibrium and verify vector addition relationships for forces. No No
BC Torques and Rotational Equilibrium Students hang masses on a meter stick that is free to rotate about a pivot point. By varying the position of the pivot point and the positions and values of the masses while keeping the meter stick balanced, they verify that the quantity relevant to turning motion is torque---the product of force and lever arm. No Yes
BR Centripetal Force Using a mass on a specially designed rotation platform the relationship F=mv^2/r is investigated. Force, mass and radius are measured directly. speed is inferred from a rotational period measurement and the radius. Yes No
CB Passive Forces Using the force sensor with a two-sided block and various weights, strings, chains, rubberbands and a meterstick, students investigate the properties of tension forces, normal forces and frictional forces. Yes Yes
FA Simple Harmonic Motion The simple harmonic motion of a mass on a spring is studied. The period of the motion is measured and compared with theoretical predictions. The measurements are also used to determine a value for the acceleration due to gravity. Yes Yes
GA Torsional Pendulum The rotational motion of a torsional pendulum is investigated. The period of the motion is measured and its dependence on the pendulum's moment of inertia is determined. The shear modulus of the wire material is also determined. Yes Yes
HA Hooke's Law \& Young's Modulus By measuring the elongation of a thin wire when subject to the stretching forces of hanging masses, studentsverify Hooke's law and determine the wire material's Young's modulus. No Yes
HC Sound Resonance Tube Resonance conditions for sound waves in a variable length tube are measured. The wavelengths for several frequencies are determined and the wave velocity is also obtained. Students also set up and observe (qualitative) traveling waves and standing waves on a long, finely-coiled spring. No Yes
IA Archimede's Principle Using graduated cylinder, water, beam balance, sinking and floating objects and cartesian diver, students compare the apparent weight of an object in air and under water, measure the displaced volume of water for a floating object and create a neutral bouyancy condition. No No
JA Boyle's Law Students measure the volume of a fixed quantity of a gas as they vary the pressure exerted on the gas in an attempt to verify Boyle's Law. No Yes
KA Heat of Fusion and Heat of Vaporization Calorimetry measurements of the heat of fusion and heat of vaporization of water using the method of mixtures. No No
ME Ultrasound Wave Interference The interference of two ultrasound waves is observed and the wavelength is determined. The frequency is measured and the wave velocity is also determined. No Yes
NA Electric Fields and Equipotentials The relationship among equipotential surfaces, the electric field and electric field lines are explored. Yes No
NC Electrostatics Using ordinary plastic tape and a specially designed "Pie-plate Electrostatic Demonstrator," students investigate the sign of electrostatically-charged objects, attraction and repulsion of static charges, charging by induction and charge transfer. No No
OA Ohm's Law Students investigate the behavior of resistive elements in DC circuits such as current vs. voltage characteristics for a carbon resistor and for a lightbulb. Yes Yes
OB Circuits Using a multi-lightbulb circuit board and fixed DC supply, students study series, parallel, and series/parallel arrangements using lightbulb brightness as a gauge of current in the lightbulb. No No
OE Resistor Capacitor Circuits Students investigate the charging and discharging of RC circuits. Yes No
PA Magnetic Fields Students map the magnetic fields around a bar magnet and a current-carrying coil. No No
PC Tangent Galvanometer Students use a tangent galvanometer to verify that the magnetic field of a coil at its center is proportional to the coil current and the number of turns of the coil. The horizontal component of the earth's field is also determined. Yes Yes
PE Electron Motion in a Magnetic Field Students measure the radius of the circular orbit of electrons in a uniform magnetic field as they vary the electron energy and the strength of the field. From this data they determine the ratio of the electron's charge to its mass. No Yes
PF Induced Currents Students investigate currents induced to flow in a closed circuit by a changing magnetic flux passing through the circuit. No No
TC Reflection and Refraction Students verify the laws of reflection and refraction and measure the index of refraction of a transparent material. No No
TE Thin Lenses and Mirrors Students observe and measure the imaging properties of lenses and mirrors. No No
TG Spectra and the Wavelength of Light Students observe and measure the dispersion of light into its component colors using a diffraction grating. Wavelengths from the discrete spectrum of helium are used to calibrate the spectrometer and the measured wavelengths of the hydrogen spectrum are used to determine the principle quantum numbers of the associated transistions and to determine the Rydberg constant. No No