Mr. Rogers' AP Physics C: Mechanics (With IB Physics Topics) Objectives

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    AP Review Investigations Internal assessment

Physics Investigations

The month of May following the AP test will be entirely spent performing hands-on physics experiments to answer the essential question shown below:

Essential Question: Do the mathematical models and principles of physics actually work?

The investigations selected below are intended to help meet the IB internal assessment standards.

 

Investigation 1:  Frequency vs length of a simple pendulum

IB Standard:
Purpose: Determine if the pendulum equation can predictive frequency
Instructions: Collect frequency data for pendulums of various lengths.
Equipment: String, Washers, tape measure, timer
Safety:
Deliverables: An Excel spread sheet with the data for each pendulum length along with the predicted frequency (use a spread sheet formula) in a table. Three Excel graphs: 1) shows a plot of frequency vs. length with an appropriate regression equation and an R-squared value, 2) shows a plot of frequency squared vs. 1/length with an appropriate regression equation and an R-squared value, 3) shows a plot of measured frequency vs. predicted frequency with an appropriate regression equation and an R-squared value,
 

Investigation 2:  Measurement of g with a simple pendulum

IB Standard:
Purpose: Measure g with a simple pendulum
Instructions: Devise a statistically significant method of measuring g using a pendulum. Create a 95% confidence interval for g.
Equipment: String, Washers, tape measure, timer
Safety:
Deliverables: An Excel spread sheet with the data required to obtain a 95% confidence interval for g.
 

Investigation 3: Estimate the friction force acting on an air track

IB Standard: 2.3
Purpose: Determine how close an air track comes to providing zero friction force.
Instructions: Devise a statistically significant method of measuring the friction force on an air track. Create a 95% confidence interval for the force. Keep in mind that in a friction free environment, a slider on an inclined air track would bounce back to the same height. In the real world, it will not because friction does work that converts some of the system's mechanical energy into heat.
Equipment: Air track
Safety: Air tracks appear robust but are relatively delicate. Do not slam the sliders into each other. Be careful not to dop or ding either the track or the sliders.
Deliverables: An Excel spread sheet with the data required to obtain a 95% confidence interval for friction force.
 

Investigation 4: Conservation of momentum an air track

IB Standard:
Purpose: Determine if momentum is conserved during a collision of two sliders of equal mass on an air track.
Instructions: Devise a statistically significant method for verifying conservation of momentum using an air track and sliders of equal mass.
Equipment: Air track, two photogates, computer equipped for Vernier sensors, tape measure.
Safety: Air tracks appear robust but are relatively delicate. Do not slam the sliders into each other. Be careful not to drop or ding either the track or the sliders.
Deliverables: An Excel spread use for calculating velocities showing the % difference between the before and after velocities for several trials. (Note: before and after velocities are sufficient for verifying conservation of momentum because the two sliders have equal mass.)
 

Investigation 5: Video measurement of g

IB Standard:
Purpose: Measure g using web camera video of a dropped object.
Instructions: Devise a statistically significant method of measuring g using web camera video of a dropped object.
Equipment: Falling object (select one that does not bounce), web camera on a computer, 8ft rod marked for measurement
Safety: The falling object should be selected with care in order to prevent damage to the floor or injuries to people.
Deliverables: An excel spread sheet showing all relevant data including a plot of displacement verses time with a quadratic regression equation and a graph of transformed data with a linear equation. (R-squared values are to be on all graphs.) Determine g from both equations and calculate a % difference from the accepted value of 9.8 m/s^2 for both estimates.
 

Investigation 6: Human reaction time

IB Standard:
Purpose: Determine why it is essentially impossible to catch a dollar bill dropped between the fingers when the image of Washington is aligned with the fingers just before the drop.
Instructions: Devise a means of measuring human reaction time to an object dropped between the fingers. List the reaction time (average of 4 measurements for each student) of all the students in the class and create a 95% confidence interval for it.
Equipment: to be determined by the student.
Safety:
Deliverables: An Excel spread sheet with all data and calculations. Also include a one answer to the purpose.
 

Investigation 7: Investigation of Tickle-Me-Cookie Monster mechanism

IB Standard:
Purpose: Determine what makes the Tickle-Me-Cookie Monster's stomach vibrate when he laughs.
Instructions: Devise a procedure for characterizing cookie monster's vibration using the specified equipment shown below. Form a hypothesis about the mechanism causing it. Dissect the doll and determine if your hypothesis is correct. Tickle-Me-Cookie Monster must be reassembled and work properly after the investigation.
Equipment: a Tickle-Me-Cookie Monster, Vernier LabPro, associated software, computer (on red carts), and microphone
Safety:
Deliverables: A word document containing the following:
  1. graphs of the microphone output vs. time for the vibration sound.
  2. An FFT plot of the vibration sound.
  3. A sample calculation of the vibration sound's frequency.
  4. A brief (one sentence) explanation of the vibration's source.
 

Investigation 8: Measurement of the speed of sound in aluminum

IB Standard:
Purpose: Measure the speed of sound in an aluminum rod.
Instructions: Devise a procedure for measuring the speed of sound in a rod by making it resonate and measuring the resonant frequency.
Equipment: An aluminum rod, Vernier LabPro, associated software, computer (on red carts), and microphone
Safety:
Deliverables: A word document containing the following:
  1. graphs of the microphone output vs. time for the vibration sound.
  2. An FFT plot of the vibration sound.
  3. A sample calculation of the rods vibration frequency and the speed of sound in the rod..
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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