On this page, we hope to share some of the lab setups that we featured during Project PHYSLab '97. No thumbnails to slow the loading. Each description is preceded by a button that links to a specific jpeg file which will show when you click on it.
The page is organized roughly by subject area in a typical physics course. Not all labs that were done are shown here, yet. We hope to expand this page in the near future and into next year. If you have any questions about the setups or the experimental objectives, etc., contact the webmaster.
MechanicsUsing the Digital Timer in conjunction with the Projectile Launcher to determine the time the projectile is in the air, having launched it from different angles.
Using the Digital Timer and the Projectile Launcher to determine the height the projectile reaches at various horizontal distances and the time it takes to get there.
Using the Digital Timer and Photogate to measure the period of a pendulum.
Using the Digital Timer and Photogate to measure the period of a physical pendulum. In this case, the pendulum is a meter stick that is suspended from different positions. How does the period vary with the point of suspension?
Newton's Third Law, where the accelerations of two dynamics carts that are involved in a collision are measured. If Newton's Law holds, the accelerations should be equal in size and opposite in direction.
Another projectile, only this time an air rocket that is launched with a bicycle pump. From launching the air rocket straight upwards and timing it in the air, the initial speed can be determined. Then launching it at an angle, the range can be calculated. Thanks to John Baier for bringing this lab with him. The accuracy was amazing given the number of approximations!
Non-constant acceleration is provided by having a bead chain go over the edge of the table. A Smart Pulley monitors the motion, and the resulting kinematics quantities can be calculated. A chance to look at the third time derivative!
Waves & SoundA setup for determining two-source interference. The two ultrasonic transducers act as transmitters at approximately 40 Khz. A third transducer acts as the receiver, and registers the signal strength on a meter. By moving the receiver across the pattern, the wavelength of the ultrasound can be calculated and the interference pattern can be mapped.
Standing waves on a string are set up in this classic lab. The stepper motor acts to vibrate the string at a frequency that can be read by the Digital Timer. Dave Cross is responsible for this apparatus, as well as the 2-source and standing waves in a tube.
Dopper Effect can be studied using this apparatus. The spinning arm carries an ultrasonic transmitter. The Digital Timer is triggered when the opposite end of the arm passes through a photogate. The period of the sound is Doppler shifted up or down depending upon the direction and speed of the moving arm.