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Category archives for lab

Millikan Oil Drop without the Oil

I found this in the most recent issue of The Physics Teacher (September 2009). Surprisingly, there were several good articles in this issue. One article discusses a doable version of the Millikan Oil drop experiment. Maybe you are not a (or were not) a physics major, so you might not be familiar with how cool,…

Note to self: don’t do the mechanical equivalent of heat lab again. It doesn’t really work that well and there are better labs to do. So, what is the mechanical equivalent of heat lab? It is actually a pretty cool idea. Take and object and drop it. What happens to the kinetic energy the object…

What makes a good lab?

I was wondering around the blogosphere and read some stuff about introductory physics labs. In particular, I was looking at ZapperZ’s Revamping Introductory Physics and Dr. Pion’s Objectives for a Lab. Both of these are good posts. Here I thought I would add make take on this subject as I am picking the labs I…

I think the Mythbusters have a wonderful opportunity for educational outreach. Take this week’s episode. One myth was to see if arrows fired from a moving horse penetrated more than arrows fired from a standing position. They first did this with real horses, but they said the data was not convincing. I am pretty sure…

I previously talked about measurements (some) when I looked at the uncertainty in the distance to the Sun. One of the simple ways of determining the uncertainty of a calculated quantity is to use the uncertainty of the measured variables and find the max and min that calculated quantity can be. The example I used…