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Volume 2
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This page last updated:
1 March, 2007

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Labs in Volume 2

You can find information about specific labs from this page (it also serves as a table of contents for those wondering what's in the book).

Counting Clips

In this lab, you count paper clips based on their weight. This serves as an introduction to using sensors.

Hooke’s Law

This lab is about how springs stretch.

Suppose you're using Fathom and you want to put multiple springs on the same graph. Here's how.

Hanging Isosceles Triangles

Suppose you hang a weight from the center of a piece of string. How does the tension in the string depend on the horizontal distance between the ends of the string? A good exercise is statics.

Buoyancy and Density

Things weigh less when they're submerged in water. How much less? How does that depend on how far it's submerged?

A Weight on a Table

How much weight does each leg of a table support? How does that depend on the position of stuff on the table?

Dynamic Teeter Totter

In this lab you keep a teeter totter balanced using two force sensors. How is the force from one related to the force from the other? How does that relationship depend on where you press?

Rolling for Data

This is the first of four “ramp” labs. It's the Speed at the End extension from Rolling Down Ramps in Volume 1, expanded to a full lab.

Rolling Down Ramps Redux

Here we measure acceleration more directly, as change in speed over change in time, using two photogates.

Rolling Friction

This is exactly the same setup as the previous lab except that the track is flat. We see how amazingly small the coefficient of rolling friction is.

Kinetic Friction on a Ramp

How does the force you need to push a block up a ramp depend on the angle of the ramp?

Pendulum and Energy Conservation

We see how the potential energy of a pendulum bob gets converted to kinetic. This is also one more way to compute g.

Bouncing Balls and Energy Loss

Perhaps the coolest lab in the set. We study how bouncing decays by looking at the sound it makes.


You know how weight changes when you ride in an elevator? We use that to figure out how far you have gone. This also serves as an introduction to numerical modeling.

Impulse: The Physics of Crashing and Bouncing

We use numerical modeling to study collisions in detail.

Here is the sketch of a cool extension where you drop stuff that's hanging from a force sensor by a string and see the impulse when it "bounces" as the string extends to full length.

Vertical Pendulum

We study the motion of a hanging slinky as its oscillations decay.

Sensors to Use

= photogate
= force sensor
= microphone
= motion detector