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NYU Physics Department  

Available experiments for Intermediate Physics I


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Coupled Pendulums   Coupled Pendulums

The motion of two coupled pendulums is studied. While the general motion of this system may seem complicated, any motion of this system can be described by the sum of two normal modes. In a given normal mode all parts of the system oscillate at the same frequency and pass through their equilibrium positions at the same time. The two normal modes of this system will be observed and the frequency of each mode measured.





diffraction   Diffraction and Interference

In this experiment students examine what happens when a plane coherent monochromatic beam of light from a laser is incident on single slits of various widths, and double slits of various widths and separations.





Download: Interference.pdf

Heat Engine   Heat Engines

In this lab a cyclic heat engine utilizing air as the working substance is operated. The pressure and volume of the working subtsance is traced on a p/V plot. Assuming no loss of working substance, in one cycle the p/V curve is a closed loop. A differential amount of work (dW) done by the heat engine is pdV. In one cycle the work done by the engine is the areas enclosed by the p/V loop.




Download: Heat Engine.pdf

gas law   Ideal Gas Law and Absolute Zero

Students will investigate how the pressure between a given quantity of gas in a fixed volume varies with temperature. This linear relationship between pressure and temperature is extrapolated to zero pressure. The temperature at which this occurs is absolute zero.





Download: Gas Law.pdf

Lenses   Lenses

In the experiment students will verify the lens equation and investigate several types of lenses.







mechanical equivalent of heat   Mechanical Equivalent of Heat

In this experiment, students determine the amount of work done, measure the temperature rise of a drum, and calculate the amount of heat that would produce the same temperature rise.






Download: Mechanical Equivalent of Heat.pdf

oscillation   Oscillations of a String

In this experiment, free and forced oscillations of a string are studied. The free oscillations of a string fixed at both ends are investigated by driving the string very weakly with a force that varies sinusoidally with time. It will be assumed that the coupling is so weak that the free vibrations are unaffected by the driving force. The forced vibrations of a string fixed at one end and driven at the other end are also studied.




Download: Oscillations of a String.pdf

resonance   Resonance Tube

This experiment investigates standing sound waves in a tube subject to different boundary conditions. One end of the tube is closed off with a small speaker. The other end is closed with a movable piston which can be used to change the length of the tube. Sinusoidal sound waves are produced by the speaker and detected by a small microphone in the tube. At resonant frequencies of the tube, the sound waves will be enhanced. In a second experiment, a pulse of sound is sent down the tube and then the reflected pulse is examined.



Download: Resonance.pdf

Spectrum Analysis   Spectroscopy

In this experiment, students use a grating spectrometer to observe and measure the line spectra of various discharge lamps.






Download: Spectroscopy.pdf

Spectrum Analysis   Spectrum Analysis: The FFT Display

In this lab you will investigate the frequency spectrum of ``white noise'' and of a number of voltages that are periodic in time. Specifically, the voltages are the sine, square, triangle, and ramp (sawtooth) waves. To accomplish this the FFT display will be used. FFT stands for fast fourier transform. Without going into very much detail, the theory section will give you an idea of what the FFT does.




Download: Spectrum Analysis.pdf