Sample Lab Projects
Jochim, Wijaya, & Wu drop objects of various shape and mass into a column beaker of water, and use a digital camera to record the experiments. The x and y coordinates of the moving object are obtained using the Logger Pro software, and the data subsequently analyzed using a combination of Logger Pro, Mathematica, and Maple. JWW find their data is excellently fit by a drag force proportional to the square of the velocity. They are able to calculate drag coefficients for their various objects.
Daudistel and Kumer, in an experiment similar to that of Jocim, Wijaya, and Wu, drop a steel ball covered with malleable clay into a tall water-filled beaker and film the process, using Logger Pro to produce Cartesian coordinates of the moving ball. DK, unlike JWW, use a drag force proportional to the first power of the velocity.
Montez & Wei analyze the kinematics of a punch (...as in boxing...) using a video camera and the Logger Pro software. They present multiple graphs of the position, velocity, and acceleration of the fist as a function of time.
Bartley and Mills study the physics of the Super Mario game environment by measuring Cartesian coordinates of Mario brother clips, then calculating velocities and accelerations, etc. They find, for a reasonable choice of scaling length, that the local gravitational acceleration is approximately 5 to 6 times the Earth's local surface value !!