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- Physics 12 (2012)

# Physics 12 (2012)

### 1: Kinematics

Adding Vectors

Move, rotate, and resize two vectors in a plane. Find their resultant, both graphically and by direct computation. 5 Minute Preview

Distance-Time Graphs - Metric

Create a graph of a runner's position versus time and watch the runner complete a 40-meter dash based on the graph you made. Notice the connection between the slope of the line and the speed of the runner. What will the runner do if the slope of the line is zero? What if the slope is negative? Add a second runner (a second graph) and connect real-world meaning to the intersection of two graphs. 5 Minute Preview

Distance-Time and Velocity-Time Graphs - Metric

Create a graph of a runner's position versus time and watch the runner run a 40-meter dash based on the graph you made. Notice the connection between the slope of the line and the velocity of the runner. Add a second runner (a second graph) and connect real-world meaning to the intersection of two graphs. Also experiment with a graph of velocity versus time for the runners, and also distance traveled versus time. 5 Minute Preview

Free-Fall Laboratory

Investigate the motion of an object as it falls to the ground. A variety of objects can be compared, and their motion can be observed in a vacuum, in normal air, and in denser air. The position, velocity, and acceleration are measured over time, and the forces on the object can be displayed. Using the manual settings, the mass, radius, height, and initial velocity of the object can be adjusted, as can the air density and wind. 5 Minute Preview

Golf Range

Try to get a hole in one by adjusting the velocity and launch angle of a golf ball. Explore the physics of projectile motion in a frictional or ideal setting. Horizontal and vertical velocity vectors can be displayed, as well as the path of the ball. The height of the golfer and the force of gravity are also adjustable. 5 Minute Preview

Measuring Motion

Go on an African safari and observe a variety of animals walking and running across the savanna. Videotape the animals, and then play back the videotape to estimate animal speeds. Which animals run fastest? 5 Minute Preview

Feed the Monkey (Projectile Motion)

Fire a banana cannon at a monkey in a tree. The monkey drops from the tree at the moment the banana is fired from the cannon. Determine where to aim the cannon so the monkey catches the banana. The position of the cannon, launch angle and initial velocity of the banana can be varied. Students can observe the velocity vectors and the paths of the monkey and banana. 5 Minute Preview

Vectors

Manipulate the magnitudes and directions of two vectors to generate a sum and learn vector addition. The x and y components can be displayed, along with the dot product of the two vectors. 5 Minute Preview

### 2: Dynamics

Atwood Machine

Measure the height and velocity of two objects connected by a massless rope over a pulley. Observe the forces acting on each mass throughout the simulation. Calculate the acceleration of the objects, and relate these calculations to Newton's Laws of Motion. The mass of each object can be manipulated, as well as the mass and radius of the pulley. 5 Minute Preview

Fan Cart Physics

Gain an understanding of Newton's Laws by experimenting with a cart (on which up to three fans are placed) on a linear track. The cart has a mass, as does each fan. The fans exert a constant force when switched on, and the direction of the fans can be altered as the position, velocity, and acceleration of the cart are measured. 5 Minute Preview

Free-Fall Laboratory

Investigate the motion of an object as it falls to the ground. A variety of objects can be compared, and their motion can be observed in a vacuum, in normal air, and in denser air. The position, velocity, and acceleration are measured over time, and the forces on the object can be displayed. Using the manual settings, the mass, radius, height, and initial velocity of the object can be adjusted, as can the air density and wind. 5 Minute Preview

Inclined Plane - Simple Machine

Investigate how an inclined plane redirects and reduces the force pulling a brick downward, with or without friction. A toy car can apply a variable upward force on the brick, and the mechanical advantage and efficiency of the plane can be determined. A graph of force versus distance illustrates the concept of work. 5 Minute Preview

Pulley Lab

Use a pulley system to lift a heavy weight to a certain height. Measure the force required to lift the weight using up to three fixed and three movable pulleys. The weight to be lifted and the efficiency of the pulley system can be adjusted, and the height of the weight and the total input distance are reported. 5 Minute Preview

Pulleys

Lift a variety of heavy objects (armchair, safe, piano) using pulleys and a rope. Systems of one, two, four, or six pulleys can be used. Up to six people can be used to pull on the rope, which adds force (effort). 5 Minute Preview

Roller Coaster Physics

Adjust the hills on a toy-car roller coaster and watch what happens as the car careens toward an egg (that can be broken) at the end of the track. The heights of three hills can be manipulated, along with the mass of the car and the friction of the track. A graph of various variables of motion can be viewed as the car travels, including position, speed, acceleration, potential energy, kinetic energy, and total energy. 5 Minute Preview

### 3: Uniform Circular Motion

Inclined Plane - Rolling Objects

Observe and compare objects of different shapes as they roll or slide down an inclined plane. Compare the percentages of translational and rotational kinetic energy for each object, and see how this affects how quickly each object moves. The slope of each ramp can be adjusted, and a variety of materials can be used for the objects and ramps. 5 Minute Preview

Moment of Inertia

Place masses on a circular table and see how fast it spins when struck by a piston. Discover the relationships between angular velocity, mass, radius and moment of inertia for collections of point-masses, rings, disks, and more complex shapes. 5 Minute Preview

Roller Coaster Physics

Adjust the hills on a toy-car roller coaster and watch what happens as the car careens toward an egg (that can be broken) at the end of the track. The heights of three hills can be manipulated, along with the mass of the car and the friction of the track. A graph of various variables of motion can be viewed as the car travels, including position, speed, acceleration, potential energy, kinetic energy, and total energy. 5 Minute Preview

Uniform Circular Motion

Measure the position, velocity, and acceleration (both components and magnitude) of an object undergoing circular motion. The radius and velocity of the object can be controlled, along with the mass of the object. The forces acting on the object also can be recorded. 5 Minute Preview

### 4: Work and Energy

Determining a Spring Constant

Place a pan on the end of a hanging spring. Measure how much the spring stretches when various masses are added to the pan. Create a graph of displacement vs. mass to determine the spring constant of the spring. 5 Minute Preview

Energy Conversion in a System

A falling cylinder is attached to a rotating propeller that stirs and heats the water in a beaker. The mass and height of the cylinder, as well as the quantity and initial temperature of water can be adjusted. The temperature of the water is measured as energy is converted from one form to another. 5 Minute Preview

Energy Conversions

Where does energy come from? How does energy get from one place to another? Find out how electrical current is generated and how living things get energy to move and grow. Trace the path of energy and see how energy is converted from one form to another. 5 Minute Preview

Energy of a Pendulum

Perform experiments with a pendulum to gain an understanding of energy conservation in simple harmonic motion. The mass, length, and gravitational acceleration of the pendulum can be adjusted, as well as the initial angle. The potential energy, kinetic energy, and total energy of the oscillating pendulum can be displayed on a table, bar chart or graph. 5 Minute Preview

Inclined Plane - Rolling Objects

Observe and compare objects of different shapes as they roll or slide down an inclined plane. Compare the percentages of translational and rotational kinetic energy for each object, and see how this affects how quickly each object moves. The slope of each ramp can be adjusted, and a variety of materials can be used for the objects and ramps. 5 Minute Preview

Inclined Plane - Simple Machine

Investigate how an inclined plane redirects and reduces the force pulling a brick downward, with or without friction. A toy car can apply a variable upward force on the brick, and the mechanical advantage and efficiency of the plane can be determined. A graph of force versus distance illustrates the concept of work. 5 Minute Preview

Inclined Plane - Sliding Objects

Investigate the energy and motion of a block sliding down an inclined plane, with or without friction. The ramp angle can be varied and a variety of materials for the block and ramp can be used. Potential and kinetic energy are reported as the block slides down the ramp. Two experiments can be run simultaneously to compare results as factors are varied. 5 Minute Preview

Period of Mass on a Spring

Measure the period of a mass on the end of a spring. Determine the effects of gravitational acceleration, mass, and the spring constant on the period of the spring. Create an equation for the period of a spring given its mass and spring constant. 5 Minute Preview

Period of a Pendulum

Practice measuring the period of a pendulum. Perform experiments to determine how mass, length, gravitational acceleration, and angle affect the period of a pendulum. 5 Minute Preview

Potential Energy on Shelves

Compare the potential energy of several objects when you place them on shelves of different heights. Learn that two objects at different heights can have the same potential energy, while two objects at the same height can have different potential energies. 5 Minute Preview

Simple Harmonic Motion

Observe two different forms of simple harmonic motion: a pendulum and a spring supporting a mass. Use a stopwatch to measure the period of each device as you adjust the mass hanging from the spring, the spring constant, the mass of the pendulum, the length of the pendulum, and the gravitational acceleration. 5 Minute Preview

### 5: Momentum and Collisions

2D Collisions

Investigate elastic collisions in two dimensions using two frictionless pucks. The mass, velocity, and initial position of each puck can be modified to create a variety of scenarios. 5 Minute Preview

Air Track

Adjust the mass and velocity of two gliders on a frictionless air track. Measure the velocity, momentum, and kinetic energy of each glider as they approach each other and collide. Collisions can be elastic or inelastic. 5 Minute Preview

Moment of Inertia

Place masses on a circular table and see how fast it spins when struck by a piston. Discover the relationships between angular velocity, mass, radius and moment of inertia for collections of point-masses, rings, disks, and more complex shapes. 5 Minute Preview

Roller Coaster Physics

Adjust the hills on a toy-car roller coaster and watch what happens as the car careens toward an egg (that can be broken) at the end of the track. The heights of three hills can be manipulated, along with the mass of the car and the friction of the track. A graph of various variables of motion can be viewed as the car travels, including position, speed, acceleration, potential energy, kinetic energy, and total energy. 5 Minute Preview

### 6: Gravitational Fields

Gravitational Force

Drag two objects around and observe the gravitational force between them as their positions change. The mass of each object can be adjusted, and the gravitational force is displayed both as vectors and numerically. 5 Minute Preview

Gravity Pitch

Imagine a gigantic pitcher standing on Earth, ready to hurl a huge baseball. What will happen as the ball is thrown harder and harder? Find out with the Gravity Pitch Gizmo. Observe the path of the ball when it is thrown at different velocities. Throw the ball on different planets to see how each planet's gravity affects the ball. 5 Minute Preview

Orbital Motion - Kepler's Laws

Learn Kepler's three laws of planetary motion by examining the orbit of a planet around a star. The initial position, velocity, and mass of the planet can be varied as well as the mass of the star. The foci and centers of orbits can be displayed and compared to the location of the star. The area swept out by the planet in a given time period can be measured, and data on orbital radii and periods can be plotted in several ways. 5 Minute Preview

Solar System Explorer

Survey the solar system, observing the length of a year and the orbital path of each object. The positions of the eight official planets are displayed, as well as one dwarf planet, Pluto. Learn about Kepler's Laws and how planets are classified. 5 Minute Preview

### 7: Electric Fields

Charge Launcher

Launch a charged particle into a chamber. Charged particles can be added into the chamber to influence the path of the moving particle. The launch speed can be changed as well. Try to match a given path by manipulating the fixed particles in the chamber. 5 Minute Preview

Circuits

Build electrical circuits using batteries, light bulbs, resistors, fuses, wires, and a switch. An ammeter, a voltmeter and an ohmmeter are available for measuring current, voltage and resistance throughout the circuit. The voltage of the battery and the precision of the meters can be adjusted. Multiple circuits can be built for comparison. 5 Minute Preview

Coulomb Force (Static)

Drag two charged particles around and observe the Coulomb force between them as their positions change. The charge of each object can be adjusted, and the force is displayed both numerically and with vectors as the distance between the objects is altered. 5 Minute Preview

Photoelectric Effect

Shoot a beam of light at a metal plate in a virtual lab and observe the effect on surface electrons. The type of metal as well as the wavelength and amount of light can be adjusted. An electric field can be created to resist the electrons and measure their initial energies. 5 Minute Preview

Pith Ball Lab

Pith balls with positive, negative, or no electrical charge are suspended from strings. The charge and mass of the pith balls can be adjusted, along with the length of the string, which will cause the pith balls to change position. Distances can be measured as variables are adjusted, and the forces (Coulomb and gravitational) acting on the balls can be displayed. 5 Minute Preview

### 8: Magnetic Fields

Electromagnetic Induction

Explore how a changing magnetic field can induce an electric current. A magnet can be moved up or down at a constant velocity below a loop of wire, or the loop of wire may be dragged in any direction or rotated. The magnetic and electric fields can be displayed, as well as the magnetic flux and the current in the wire. 5 Minute Preview

Energy Conversions

Where does energy come from? How does energy get from one place to another? Find out how electrical current is generated and how living things get energy to move and grow. Trace the path of energy and see how energy is converted from one form to another. 5 Minute Preview

Magnetic Induction

Measure the strength and direction of the magnetic field at different locations in a laboratory. Compare the strength of the induced magnetic field to Earth's magnetic field. The direction and magnitude of the inducting current can be adjusted. 5 Minute Preview

Magnetism

Drag bar magnets and a variety of other objects onto a piece of paper. Click Play to release the objects to see if they are attracted together, repelled apart, or unaffected. You can also sprinkle iron filings over the magnets and other objects to view the magnetic field lines that are produced. 5 Minute Preview

### 9: Waves and Light

Basic Prism

Shine white light or a single-color beam through a prism. Explore how a prism refracts light and investigate the factors that affect the amount of refraction. The index of refraction of the prism, width of the prism, prism angle, light angle, and light wavelength can be adjusted. 5 Minute Preview

Laser Reflection

Point a laser at a mirror and compare the angle of the incoming beam to the angle of reflection. A protractor can be used to measure the angles of incidence and reflection, and the angle of the mirror can be adjusted. A beam splitter can be used to split the beam. Both plane and irregular mirrors can be used. 5 Minute Preview

Refraction

Determine the angle of refraction for a light beam moving from one medium to another. The angle of incidence and each index of refraction can be varied. Using the tools provided, the angle of refraction can be measured, and the wavelength and frequency of the waves in each substance can be compared as well. 5 Minute Preview

Ripple Tank

Study wave motion, diffraction, interference, and refraction in a simulated ripple tank. A wide variety of scenarios can be chosen, including barriers with one or two gaps, multiple wave sources, reflecting barriers, or submerged rocks. The wavelength and strength of waves can be adjusted, as well as the amount of damping in the tank. 5 Minute Preview

Sound Beats and Sine Waves

Listen to and see interference patterns produced by sound waves with similar frequencies. Test your ability to distinguish and match sounds as musicians do when they tune their instruments. Calculate the number of "sound beats" you will hear based on the frequency of each sound. [Note: Headphones are recommended for this Gizmo.] 5 Minute Preview

### 10: Applications of the Wave Nature of Light

Herschel Experiment - Metric

Shine sunlight through a prism and use a thermometer to measure the temperature in different regions of the spectrum. The thermometer can be dragged through the visible spectrum and beyond. This recreates the experiment of William Herschel that led to the discovery of infrared radiation in 1800. 5 Minute Preview

Ripple Tank

Study wave motion, diffraction, interference, and refraction in a simulated ripple tank. A wide variety of scenarios can be chosen, including barriers with one or two gaps, multiple wave sources, reflecting barriers, or submerged rocks. The wavelength and strength of waves can be adjusted, as well as the amount of damping in the tank. 5 Minute Preview

Star Spectra

Analyze the spectra of a variety of stars. Determine the elements that are represented in each spectrum, and use this information to infer the temperature and classification of the star. Look for unusual features such as redshifted stars, nebulae, and stars with large planets. 5 Minute Preview

### 12: Quantum Mechanics

Bohr Model of Hydrogen

Shoot a stream of photons through a container of hydrogen gas. Observe how photons of certain energies are absorbed, causing the electron to move to different orbits. Build the spectrum of hydrogen based on photons that are absorbed and emitted. 5 Minute Preview

Bohr Model: Introduction

Fire photons to determine the spectrum of a gas. Observe how an absorbed photon changes the orbit of an electron and how a photon is emitted from an excited electron. Calculate the energies of absorbed and emitted photons based on energy level diagrams. The light energy produced by the laser can be modulated, and a lamp can be used to view the entire absorption spectrum at once. 5 Minute Preview

Nuclear Decay

Observe the five main types of nuclear decay: alpha decay, beta decay, gamma decay, positron emission, and electron capture. Write nuclear equations by determining the mass numbers and atomic numbers of daughter products and emitted particles. 5 Minute Preview

Photoelectric Effect

Shoot a beam of light at a metal plate in a virtual lab and observe the effect on surface electrons. The type of metal as well as the wavelength and amount of light can be adjusted. An electric field can be created to resist the electrons and measure their initial energies. 5 Minute Preview

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