Thursday, April 25, 2013
Having just bought a good android tablet my appreciation of the value of the sensors for physics practical work has greatly increased. Just a discussion of how the sensors work can be the basis for several lessons. Of course smartphones and tablets vary in terms of the sensors included and even of how a given sensor works so the teacher needs to do some research first.
Common sensors may include:
Microphone (audio sensor)
Ambient light sensor
Screen (touch sensor)
Wifi (wifi sensor)
Magnetic field sensor
Location sensor (GPS/wifi)
Here are two articles which give a short introduction to the subject. I have not yet found anything comprehensive. I expect to post more about this later.
Sensors used in Smartphone - a brief overview
Mobile devices gather piles of data that you may actually find helpful - describes how the accelerometer can be used
For apps look for terms such as lightmeter, sound meter, metal detector, accelerometer.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Friday, January 11, 2013
Here is a photo at the right. You can see the coloured fringes speading out from the light in the vertical and horizontal directions, four sets in all. The bottom one is clearest. They are clearer in reality than they are in the photo.
Saturday, December 29, 2012
Here is an interesting and intriguing topic which involves a lot of physics some of which is fairly basic. Perhaps good for an assignment? Cannot say how practical it is but looks impressive.
"AVEtec is the brainchild of Canadian engineer, Louis Michaud. His Atmospheric Vortex Engine (AVE) harnesses the physics of tornados to produce extremely cheap and clean energy. In his design, warm or humid air is introduced into a circular station, where it takes the form of a rising vortex, i.e. a controlled tornado. The temperature difference between this heated air and the atmosphere above it supports the vortex and drives multiple turbines. The vortex can be shut down at any time by turning off the source of warm air."
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
report in Universe Today.
"...uses X-ray diffraction, the standard practice for geologists on Earth using much larger laboratory instruments, and this is the first time this method has been used on another planet. It provides more accurate identifications of minerals than any method previously used on Mars. X-ray diffraction reads minerals’ internal structure by recording how their crystals distinctively interact with X-rays."
"We now know it is mineralogically similar to basaltic material, with significant amounts of feldspar, pyroxene and olivine, which was not unexpected. Roughly half the soil is non-crystalline material, such as volcanic glass or products from weathering of the glass."
Looks like a good item to use in class as an example of diffraction or use of X-rays.