Physics is taught by Mrs. Chase. In this class we learn both algebra-based and calculus-based physics through hands-on demonstrative labs and group problem solving. We use software and tools such as Vernier Graphical Analysis and motion sensors to demonstrate scenarios in real-time. This course is based off of and uses material from the AP Physics I and AP Physics Mechanics curriculum.
One of my favorite things about physics is that we don’t always have to watch others do experiments and take notes- we get to do them ourselves! This experiment required the building of a modified Atwoods’ machine, which is a method of solving for forces such as gravity, friction, and tension. We built the Atwood’s machine by balancing a board against a stack of books and placing a pulley at the end. This experiment allowed us to see, not just learn, why changing the angle at which the board was positioned changed the amount of mass necessary to move the hanging mass- that is, the amount of mass necessary to bypass the force of friction. After completing the experiment, we compiled our results in a formal write-up, which you can find here.
This explosive investigation tested our ability to understand why momentum is conserved and energy is not conserved during a hyperelastic collision, which we modeled using magnetic carts and force sensors. By measuring the spring constant of the “exploding” mechanism, we were able to find the initial energy of the system. Then, we measured the velocity versus time for the collision in order to test whether or not energy or momentum is conserved. You can find my group’s slide presentation here.