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.
Energy Conversion in a System A falling cylinder is attached to a rotating propeller that stirs and heats the water in a beaker. The mass and height of the cylinder, as well as the quantity and initial temperature of water can be adjusted. The temperature of the water is measured as energy is converted from one form to another.
Household Energy Usage Explore the energy used by many household appliances, such as television sets, hair dryers, lights, computers, etc. Make estimates for how long each item is used on a daily basis to get an estimate for the total power consumed during a day, a week, a month, and a year, and how that relates to consumer costs and environmental impact.
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.
Bohr Model: Introduction Fire photons to determine the spectrum of a gas. Observe how an absorbed photon changes the orbit of an electron and how a photon is emitted from an excited electron. Calculate the energies of absorbed and emitted photons based on energy level diagrams. The light energy produced by the laser can be modulated, and a lamp can be used to view the entire absorption spectrum at once.
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.