Effective measurement techniques include the concept of measurement uncertainty. Students may make erroneous conclusions analyzing data using measurements that do not include the uncertainty of the measurement. In this lab, students determine a density range for a metal and identify the material based on this range.
This is a lab activity that allows students to collect data to practice using effective measurement. While other authors have produced similar labs, this version includes uncertainty analysis consistent with effective measurement technique as presented in the module Measurement and Uncertainty.
One video clip, with embedded graphs, can be used to help students understand the mathematical relationships that describe simple harmonic motion.
This topic is broken into units to help in formulating cohesive, effective lessons. Clicking on each unit title will display appropriate activities, lesson plans, or labs. Units are intended to help students understand the interconnectedness of the concepts of conservation of energy, momentum and angular momentum underpinning the basis for much of physics. Units are not listed in a prescribed order.
A high speed video clip of a roller coaster is used as an example of conservation of mechanical energy. Students use the video to determine whether mechanical energy is conserved while the roller coaster rolls up, and then back down a hil.
This activity describes the construction and use of a pneumatic cannon and free falling target used to teach the concepts of projectile motion in introductory physics.
An interactive lecture demonstration intended to help students use physics reasoning to predict the outcome of a puzzling electrostatics demonstration.
30-page illustrated guide to fundamentals of measurement. This is intended to be a clear, comprehensive overview of effective measurement technique. Intended for advanced high school or introductory college level students. Includes worked examples and problems.
This is a version of the time-tested lab where students roll a ball off a table top and use kinematics in two dimensions to try to predict where the ball will land. While many versions of this lab have been previously published, in this version students determine the uncertainty of all measurements and uncertainty of their prediction. The techniques and vocabulary are consistent with the Introduction to Measurement packet.
Students use a microphone and Vernier LabQuest to record the sound of a finger-snap echo in a 1-2 meter cardboard tube. Students measure the time for the echo to return to the microphone, and measure the length of the tube. Using their measurements, students determine the speed of sound. While other authors have produced similar labs, this version includes uncertainty analysis consistent with effective measurement technique as presented in the module Measurement and Uncertainty.
This activity describes a simple clear demonstration of electric generators (Faraday's Law) and electric motors (Lorentz Force). This demonstration can be used as an interactive lecture demonstration.