The purpose of this chapter is to provide several examples of physics experiments that utilize 21st century technology. The technology highlighted in this chapter is the PASCO GLX Handheld Interface. The Xplorer GLX captures, analyzes, stores, and prints data quickly without the use of a computer. It can also be connected to a computer to make use of the datastudio graphing software.
Most of the included labs are intended to be used by teachers that are new to this technology. As a teacher becomes comfortable with the technology, more advanced and inquiry based labs are easily done as extensions.
The following labs are written specifically for the GLX. However, they can be easily modified to use the PASCO PasPort Interface for collecting data with a computer. Older analog Interfaces from PASCO, such as the 500 and 750 Science Workshop Interface can use PASPORT digital and analog adapters that allow you to use PASCO's latest technology to be used without having to replace sensors.
Although the PASCO technology is documented in this chapter, other companies such as Data Harvest Educational Inc., Fourier Systems Inc., Texas Instruments Inc., and Vernier Software & Technology Inc., also offer probeware technology.
It is hoped that this chapter, which is only a beginning, will spark interest with physics teachers to begin using 21st century technology. If teachers are already using probeware technology, then this may serve as an additional resource. The idea of the physics FlexBook is an evolving supplemental physics resource. Additions to this chapter might include generic laboratory experiments that can be followed with any brand of probeware.
Lab #1 Position—Match Graph Lab (PASCO GLX)
Position-Match Graph Lab
The purpose of this activity is to explore graphs of motion (position versus time). The activity uses a motion sensor to measure the motion as a student moves back and forth in front of a flat reflector along a straight line at different speeds. http://www.pasco.com/file_downloads/experiments_of_month/glx/position_match_with_glx/Position-Match-with-GLX.zip.
Lab #2 Velocity of a Motorized Cart (PASCO GLX)
Velocity of a Motorized Cart
This activity uses a motion sensor to measure the motion of a motorized cart as it moves at different speeds. Although constant velocity is straightforward, the graphical representation of constant velocity involves many fundamental concepts of kinematics. The slope of a plot of position versus time is the speed of the object. Students will describe the relationship between the slope for each plot of data and the physical quantities represented by the slope. http://www.pasco.com/file_downloads/experiments/pdf-files/glx/physics/03-Vel-of-cart-SV.pdf.
Lab #3 Acceleration Due to Gravity (PASCO GLX)
Acceleration Due to Gravity
This activity uses the motion sensor to measure the motion of a ball as it falls and bounces. The motion of the ball is recorded and displayed, allowing students to analyze the position and velocity of the ball. A velocity versus time graph can be used to find the acceleration of the ball. Students will compare the experimental value of acceleration (slope of velocity versus time) to the accepted value for the acceleration due to gravity.http://www.dentonisd.org/512719301176/lib/512719301176/_files/05_Free_fall_SV.pdf
Lab #4 Acceleration on an Inclined Track (PASCO GLX)
Acceleration on an Inclined Track
This activity uses a motion sensor to measure the motion of a cart as it moves up and down an inclined plane. The Xplorer GLX is used to record and display the motion. From the collected data, students can determine whether the acceleration up and down the inclined plane is constant. http://www.aug.edu/hbusch/Phsc1011%20Files/Lab%202%20Accel%20on%20an%20inclined%20track.pdf.
Lab #5 Newton’s First Law —No Net Force (PASCO GLX)
This activity uses the motion sensor and PASCO GLX to measure the motion of a cart as it experiences different applied forces while traveling along a track. The purpose of this activity is to investigate the motion of an object when there is no net force applied compared to the motion when there is a net force applied.http://www.bayhicoach.com/pdfs/III%20Newtons%20First%20Law-No%20Net%20Force%20Activity.pdf
Lab #6 Newton’s Second Law—Constant Force (PASCO GLX)
Newton’s Second Law–Constant Force
The purpose of this activity is to determine what happens to an object’s acceleration when the net force applied to the object stays constant but the mass of the system is changed. A motion sensor is used to measure the motion of a cart that is accelerated by a net force. The Xplorer GLX is used to record the motion and display and analyze the velocity of the cart. http://www.rblanski.com/files/Lab_P08_Newton_s_Second_Law_Constant_Force.pdf.
Lab #7 Newton’s Second Law—Constant Mass (PASCO GLX)
The purpose of this activity is to determine what happens to an object’s acceleration when the net force applied to the object increases but the mass of the system is constant.
A motion sensor is used to measure the motion of a cart as it is accelerated by a net force. The Xplorer GLX is used to record the motion as well as to display and analyze the velocity of the cart throughout the experiment. http://authors.ck12.org/wiki/images/6/63/FLX_VA_LaboratoryActivities_2ndlawconstantM_7.doc.
Lab #8 Newton’s Third Law—Tug-of-War (PASCO GLX)
This activity uses a pair of force sensors attached to carts to measure the force each cart experiences during a tug-of-war between the two sensors. The Xplorer GLX is used to record and display the force from each sensor. Students can then compare the magnitude and direction of each force. http://www.pasco.com/physuniv/Forces/asset_upload_file938_35977.doc.
Lab #9 Static and Kinetic Friction (PASCO GLX)
Static and Kinetic Friction
The purpose of this activity is to investigate static friction and kinetic (sliding) friction. A force sensor is used to measure the force on an object as it is pulled across different surfaces. The Xplorer GLX is used to record and display the force versus time. The data can be used to determine the static and kinetic friction and then find the coefficients of static and kinetic friction. http://www.aug.edu/hbusch/Phys%202211%20Files/Lab%207%20Friction.pdf.
Lab #10 Momentum in Collisions (PASCO GLX)
Momentum in Collisions
This activity uses two motion sensors to measure the motion of two carts before and after they collide. The momentum of each cart before and after the collision can be compared. http://www.pasco.com/file_downloads/experiments/pdf-files/glx/physics/14-Momentum-SV.pdf.
Lab #11 Conservation of Energy (PASCO GLX)
Conservation of Energy
This activity uses a motion sensor to measure the motion of a ball as it falls from a given height. The Xplorer GLX is used to record and display the motion. Students can use the data to determine the ball’s gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy. A change in potential energy can then be compared to the final kinetic energy. http://authors.ck12.org/wiki/images/2/26/FLX_VA_LaboratoryActivities_cons_energy_11.doc.
Lab #12 Work and Energy (PASCO GLX)
Work and Energy
This activity uses a force sensor to measure the force applied to a cart by a string attached to a descending mass. A motion sensor is used to measure the motion of the cart as it is pulled by the string. The Xplorer GLX is used to record and display the force and the motion. Students can use the data to determine the work done on the system and the final kinetic energy of the system. They can then compare the work done to the final kinetic energy. http://www.pasco.com/file_downloads/experiments/pdf-files/glx/physics/19-Work-energy-SV.pdf.
Lab #13 Sound Wave Properties (PASCO GLX)
Sound Wave Properties
This activity uses the built-in GLX Sound Sensor to measure the sound waves from various sources.The Xplorer is used to record and display the data. Students can analyze the sound waves to determine the period, frequency, and wavelength of each sound. http://www.pasco.com/file_downloads/experiments/pdf-files/glx/physics/27-Sound-waves-SV.pdf.
Lab #14 Inference—Beat Frequency (PASCO GLX)
This activity uses the built-in Xplorer GLX Sound Generator to create two sound waves with slightly different frequencies. The GLX Stopwatch is used to record the amount of time for several beats to occur. Students can also determine the period of the beats and calculate the beat frequency. They can also compare the beat frequency to the difference in frequency. http://www.pasco.com/file_downloads/experiments_of_month/glx/beat_frequency_with_glx/Beat-Frequency-with-GLX.zip.
Lab #15 Transfer of Energy (PASCO GLX)
Transfer of Energy
This activity uses two fast-response temperature probes to measure the change in temperature of equal quantities of hot water in two differently colored aluminum cans. The temperature is recored for each container for a period of 15 minutes as the temperature cools. Students can then determine which aluminum can transfers thermal energy fastest. http://www.pasco.com/file_downloads/experiments/pdf-files/glx/physics/30-Transfer-energy-SV.pdf.