Physics Labs

Inclined Plane Lab
The Egyptians knew that an Inclined Plane reduced the amount of effort needed to move heavy blocks to a higher level.  In this lab we investigate inclined planes with the idea that students are architects and need to design a suitable wheel chair access ramp for a public building.  After investigating a new concept called "Mechanical Advantage," we'll head out of the classroom to actually measure several wheel chair access ramps in the building and see how close our hypotheses came to what architects actually use.

Levers Lab
Using a lever correctly a student could easily lift a 5,000 pound vehicle.  But just how would it be done?  In this lab the secret of the lever is revealed!.

Ball Drop Labs (2)
Lots of students secretly feel that heavier objects fall faster than lighter objects.  The first lab in the series investigates this question. Using the apparatus pictured above, students release 5 ball bearings of different masses.  Releasing the ball bearing starts a timer.  The timer stops when the ball bearing hits a microphone board on the floor. From this data we can then calculate its speed and the gravity constant.  The second lab investigates acceleration due to gravity.  Can acceleration be detected within a two meter drop?

Low Friction Cart Lab
Based on Newton's Second Law of Motion (Force = Mass (x) Acceleration) we take a look at the effect of increased mass on the speed of a cart as it passes by a dual photogate.  Electronic timers track the movement of the cart past a 0.5m gap in the photogate.

Projectile Lab
Here we use old fashioned carbon paper to plot the impact points of ball bearings fired at different angles from 10 degrees to 90 degrees.  Which angle gives the best distance?