Motion and force

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    2D Collisions

    Investigate elastic collisions in two dimensions using two frictionless pucks. The mass, velocity, and initial position of each puck can be modified to create a variety of scenarios.

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    Air Track

    Adjust the mass and velocity of two gliders on a frictionless air track. Measure the velocity, momentum, and kinetic energy of each glider as they approach each other and collide. Collisions can be elastic or inelastic.

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    Archimedes' Principle

    Place weights into a boat and see how far the boat sinks into a tank of liquid. The depth of the boat can be measured, as well as the amount of liquid displaced. The dimensions of the boat and the density of the liquid can be adjusted. See how much weight the boat can hold before it sinks to the bottom!

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    Atwood Machine

    Measure the height and velocity of two objects connected by a massless rope over a pulley. Observe the forces acting on each mass throughout the simulation. Calculate the acceleration of the objects, and relate these calculations to Newton's Laws of Motion. The mass of each object can be manipulated, as well as the mass and radius of the pulley.

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    Center of Mass

    Drag blocks onto a two-dimensional surface and observe the effects on the center of mass. Use a grid to calculate the coordinates of the center of mass. Investigate predefined shapes or your own arrangements of blocks.

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    Determining a Spring Constant

    Place a pan on the end of a hanging spring. Measure how much the spring stretches when various masses are added to the pan. Create a graph of displacement vs. mass to determine the spring constant of the spring.

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    Distance-Time and Velocity-Time Graphs

    Create a graph of a runner's position versus time and watch the runner run a 40-yard dash based on the graph you made. Notice the connection between the slope of the line and the velocity of the runner. Add a second runner (a second graph) and connect real-world meaning to the intersection of two graphs. Also experiment with a graph of velocity versus time for the runners, and also distance traveled versus time.

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    Distance-Time and Velocity-Time Graphs

    Create a graph of a runner's position versus time and watch the runner run a 40-meter dash based on the graph you made. Notice the connection between the slope of the line and the velocity of the runner. Add a second runner (a second graph) and connect real-world meaning to the intersection of two graphs. Also experiment with a graph of velocity versus time for the runners, and also distance traveled versus time.

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    Distance-Time Graphs

    Create a graph of a runner's position versus time and watch the runner complete a 40-yard dash based on the graph you made. Notice the connection between the slope of the line and the speed of the runner. What will the runner do if the slope of the line is zero? What if the slope is negative? Add a second runner (a second graph) and connect real-world meaning to the intersection of two graphs.

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    Distance-Time Graphs

    Create a graph of a runner's position versus time and watch the runner complete a 40-meter dash based on the graph you made. Notice the connection between the slope of the line and the speed of the runner. What will the runner do if the slope of the line is zero? What if the slope is negative? Add a second runner (a second graph) and connect real-world meaning to the intersection of two graphs.

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    Energy of a Pendulum

    Perform experiments with a pendulum to gain an understanding of energy conservation in simple harmonic motion. The mass, length, and gravitational acceleration of the pendulum can be adjusted, as well as the initial angle. The potential energy, kinetic energy, and total energy of the oscillating pendulum can be displayed on a table, bar chart or graph.

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    Fan Cart Physics

    Gain an understanding of Newton's Laws by experimenting with a cart (on which up to three fans are placed) on a linear track. The cart has a mass, as does each fan. The fans exert a constant force when switched on, and the direction of the fans can be altered as the position, velocity, and acceleration of the cart are measured.

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    Free-Fall Laboratory

    Investigate the motion of an object as it falls to the ground. A variety of objects can be compared, and their motion can be observed in a vacuum, in normal air, and in denser air. The position, velocity, and acceleration are measured over time, and the forces on the object can be displayed. Using the manual settings, the mass, radius, height, and initial velocity of the object can be adjusted, as can the air density and wind.

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    Golf Range

    Try to get a hole in one by adjusting the velocity and launch angle of a golf ball. Explore the physics of projectile motion in a frictional or ideal setting. Horizontal and vertical velocity vectors can be displayed, as well as the path of the ball. The height of the golfer and the force of gravity are also adjustable.

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    Gravitational Force

    Drag two objects around and observe the gravitational force between them as their positions change. The mass of each object can be adjusted, and the gravitational force is displayed both as vectors and numerically.

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    Inclined Plane - Rolling Objects

    Observe and compare objects of different shapes as they roll or slide down an inclined plane. Compare the percentages of translational and rotational kinetic energy for each object, and see how this affects how quickly each object moves. The slope of each ramp can be adjusted, and a variety of materials can be used for the objects and ramps.

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    Inclined Plane - Simple Machine

    Investigate how an inclined plane redirects and reduces the force pulling a brick downward, with or without friction. A toy car can apply a variable upward force on the brick, and the mechanical advantage and efficiency of the plane can be determined. A graph of force versus distance illustrates the concept of work.

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    Inclined Plane - Sliding Objects

    Investigate the energy and motion of a block sliding down an inclined plane, with or without friction. The ramp angle can be varied and a variety of materials for the block and ramp can be used. Potential and kinetic energy are reported as the block slides down the ramp. Two experiments can be run simultaneously to compare results as factors are varied.

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    Moment of Inertia

    Place masses on a circular table and see how fast it spins when struck by a piston. Discover the relationships between angular velocity, mass, radius and moment of inertia for collections of point-masses, rings, disks, and more complex shapes.

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    Orbital Motion - Kepler's Laws

    Learn Kepler's three laws of planetary motion by examining the orbit of a planet around a star. The initial position, velocity, and mass of the planet can be varied as well as the mass of the star. The foci and centers of orbits can be displayed and compared to the location of the star. The area swept out by the planet in a given time period can be measured, and data on orbital radii and periods can be plotted in several ways.

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    Period of a Pendulum

    Practice measuring the period of a pendulum. Perform experiments to determine how mass, length, gravitational acceleration, and angle affect the period of a pendulum.

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    Period of Mass on a Spring

    Measure the period of a mass on the end of a spring. Determine the effects of gravitational acceleration, mass, and the spring constant on the period of the spring. Create an equation for the period of a spring given its mass and spring constant.

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    Pulley Lab

    Use a pulley system to lift a heavy weight to a certain height. Measure the force required to lift the weight using up to three fixed and three movable pulleys. The weight to be lifted and the efficiency of the pulley system can be adjusted, and the height of the weight and the total input distance are reported.

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    Roller Coaster Physics

    Adjust the hills on a toy-car roller coaster and watch what happens as the car careens toward an egg (that can be broken) at the end of the track. The heights of three hills can be manipulated, along with the mass of the car and the friction of the track. A graph of various variables of motion can be viewed as the car travels, including potential, kinetic, and total energies, and the x- and y- components of position, velocity, and acceleration.

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    Shoot the Monkey

    Fire a banana cannon at a monkey in a tree. The monkey drops from the tree at the moment the banana is fired from the cannon. Determine where to aim the cannon so the monkey catches the banana. The position of the cannon, launch angle and initial velocity of the banana can be varied. Students can observe the velocity vectors and the paths of the monkey and banana.

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    Simple Harmonic Motion

    Observe two different forms of simple harmonic motion: a pendulum and a spring supporting a mass. Use a stopwatch to measure the period of each device as you adjust the mass hanging from the spring, the spring constant, the mass of the pendulum, the length of the pendulum, and the gravitational acceleration.

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    Torque and Moment of Inertia

    One of the simplest machines is a see-saw lever. Place up to eight objects on the lever at different locations and try to balance it. Calculate net torque and moment of inertia based on the positions of the objects and the mass of the bar. The mass of each object can be changed, and the fulcrum position can be shifted as well.

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    Trebuchet

    Design your own trebuchet to fling a projectile at a castle wall. All of the dimensions of the trebuchet can be adjusted, as well as the masses of the counterweight and payload. Select a target on the Launch tab, or just see how far your projectile will go.

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    Uniform Circular Motion

    Measure the position, velocity, and acceleration (both components and magnitude) of an object undergoing circular motion. The radius and velocity of the object can be controlled, along with the mass of the object. The forces acting on the object also can be recorded.

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    Unit Conversions

    Use unit conversion tiles to convert from one unit to another. Tiles can be flipped to cancel units. Convert between metric units or between metric and U.S. customary units. Solve distance, time, speed, mass, volume, and density problems.

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    Vectors

    Manipulate the magnitudes and directions of two vectors to generate a sum and learn vector addition. The x and y components can be displayed, along with the dot product of the two vectors.