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Ideas for Physics Investigations

Listed below are some ideas for investigations/projects that utilize the ALBA software.
The level of each investigation is not specified although in some instances it is obvious that they are of an advanced nature. However there are a number of investigations that can be studied to different depths.
The investigation title should be viewed as starting point and/or a trigger for tailoring the investigation to your students' ability and interests.
If you have suggestions for additional investigations that you wish to share with other teachers please email the information to us and it will be added to our list below with full acknowledgement.

 
Investigation/Project Software djb hardware Comment
Comparison of Internal Resistance of different cell types. Investigator    
Comparison of the life of a different cells under load conditions. Investigator    
Comparison of Power/Load graphs of solar cells in series & parallel. Examine how light level affects Power/Load graph. ALBA software for manually entering results Solar Cell Investigations Board  
Efficiency of a motor under different:
a) applied voltages
b) mechanical loads.
Efficiency of a Motor, Disk 5 ALBA Joule& Watt Meter  
Examination of
a) different fuse types
b) different fuse values
and the rupture current.
Investigator Requires low value, high wattage shunt.  
Compare different types of mains lamps (e.g. standard, longlife, daylight, energy saving) and their brightness, running costs, manufacturers stated life Power_Energy_Cost Software. Power-Energy-Cost Meter
Light Sensor
 
Measurement of self inductance and factors that affect it. Inductors and DC, Disk 4 or the Investigator. DC Investigations Board  
Investigate the behaviour of inductors under AC conditions. Disk 3 Inductors for Disk 3 Applications  
Low pass filters. Disk 3 Decade capacitance unit  
Series and parallel resonance. Disk 3 Decade capacitance unit + Inductors  
Investigate the speed of a toy train and voltage applied to track. Introduction to Speed, Disk 2 Light Gate  
Examine and measure the cooling effect of different heat sink designs. Investigator Temperature Probe Could use IR thermometer and take reading manually.
Factors affecting electromagnetic braking. Introduction to Acceleration, Disk 2 Light Gates  

Relationship between magnetic force and
a) current
b) field strength
c) number of turns
d) core.

Balance Software Electronic Balance + Field Strength Sensor  
Investigate the effect of a magnetic field on the growth rate of plants.   Field Strength Sensor ¬†Could use a digital camera to measure growth.
Camera Experiments:
Relationship between Brightness and:
a) f number
b) shutter speed
Investigator Light sensor  
Relationship between pitch and :
a) tension
b) length
c) mass/unit length

G-Tune from jhc-software.com-see Note 1

Free demo version

Microphone Uses Fast Fourier Transforms and displays the frequency + harmonics
Examination of harmonics produced by different instruments

G-Tune from jhc-software.com-see Note 1

Free demo version

  Uses Fast Fourier Transforms and displays the frequency + harmonics
Comparison of harmonics on a keyboard and a 'real' instrument

G-Tune from jhc-software.com-see Note 1

Free demo version

  Uses Fast Fourier Transforms and displays the frequency + harmonics
The effect of loudness of music on reaction time among males and females Gap Timer Disk 2 Reaction Timer Switches This will also work with TSA.
Determine the mathematical relationship between the pitch of a note in a glass filled with water and the depth of the water.

G-Tune from jhc-software.com-see Note 1

Free demo version

  Uses Fast Fourier Transforms and displays the frequency + harmonics
Relationship between insulation thickness and heat loss. Investigator Temperature Probe Could use IR thermometer and take temperature manually.
Effect on SHC error when starting well above room temperature. SHC software on Disk 5 ALBA Joule & Watt Meter  
Measure the efficiency of a low voltage light bulb. Investigator ALBA Joule & Watt Meter + temperature probe + Input extension unit  
Set up an investigation to see if sugar concentrations in water can be found using the index of refraction of the solution     Ideal experiment for RayZer Lightbox
Comparison of Static Friction and :
a) different surfaces
b) different shapes (area)
Investigator Force Sensor  
Investigate the period of a pendulum and :
a) length
b) mass
Event Timer - Disk 2    
Projectile Experiments using ramp type launch
Investigate
a) energy conversions
b) range and release height
c) range and release velocity
d) range and mass
Fast Timer - Disk 2 P.E.T. Device  
Relationship between force on a catapult and distance travelled.   Force Sensor or Spring Balance  
Simple Harmonic Motion
a) comparison of force constant for different springs
b) examine damping in air
c) examine damping in liquids
ALBA Ranger Application on Disk 5 ALBA Ranger  

Note 1: Users wish to use the G-tune package please contact djb microtech directly to receive the latest version.

 
 
   
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