 NYU Physics Department   Home

 Available experiments for General Physics I

The experiments are listed in alphabetical order. Click on the pictures for a larger image. Ballistic pendulum In this experiment students will measure the speed of a projectile fired by a ballistic pendulum by the use of a kinematic method and by the use of the law of conservation of energy and momentum.         Download: Ballistic-pendulum.pdf Centripetal Force Students measure the period of a revolving weight and use the information to calculate angular velocity and compare the centripetal force with the force of gravity.           Download: Centripetal Force.pdf Collisions in One Dimension Students will investigate the principle of momentum conservation by studying collisions in one dimension using two bodies/ gliders. Energy conservation will also be explored by analyzing elastic and inelastic collisions.         Download: Collision in One Dimension.pdf Conservation of Energy This experiment's purpose is to verify the concepts of potential energy and conservation of energyfor the the uniform gravitational field and for an ideal Hooke's Law spring.           Download: Conservation of Energy.pdf Equilibrium of a Particle Newton's 1st Law is investigated. The apparatus consists of a force table, and a set of movable pulleys with weights. A string is attached to a small ring at the top of the table which is centered with a pin.           Download:Equilibrium of a particle.pdf Human Arm To investigate the relationship between torque, moment of inertia, and angular acceleration for a human arm. Bicep force vs mass, triceps extension, and rotational inertia of the forearm will be observed.           Download: Human Arm Ideal Gas Law and Absolute Zero Students will investigate how the pressure for a fixed mass of gas at constant volume varies with temperature. Students will then determine the absolute zero temperature by plotting a pressure vs temperature graph and then extrapolating the graph to zero pressure. The temperature at zero pressure is absolute zero.         Download: Gas-law-and-absolute-zero.pdf Measurements, Statistics, and False Positives oh my! (This experiment will be available for the Fall 2018 (budget reasons)) In this lab the student’s will obtain an understanding that all measurements have uncertainties, the meaning of statistics, and understanding that a positive result isn't always true. Mechanical Equivalent of Heat In this experiment students will determine the amount of work done on a rotating drum attached to a pulley. They will then measure the temperature rise of the drum and the amount of heat energy equired to produce the same temperature rise.         Download: Mechanical equivalent of heat.pdf Motion 1 This experiment familiarizes the student with the use of the experimental software Capstone and Match Grap.They will also learn the use of the motion sensor and how to graphs of position, velocity and acceleration with the software.           Download: Motion1.pdf Motion 2 Student will investigate the relationship between position, velocity, acceleration, and time by the use of an air-track and glider. This lab focuses on the one dimensional case where each quantity can be considered as a scalar. Acceleration is also taken to be constant.         Download: Motion2.pdf Newton's 2nd Law Students will verify Newton's 2nd Law usinag a force sensor and then with a system of two masses.             Download: Newtons 2nd law.pdf 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 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, while 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 have maximum amplitude and students will measure the wavelength of the sound for the different standing waves. In a second experiment, a pulse of sound is sent down the tube and then the reflected pulse is examined under different boundary conditions.   Download: Resonance.pdf Sonometer In this experiment you will be observing the oscillations of a string. The arrangement of the equipment is similar to a guitar. You will be plucking the string and observing the frequencies using a FFT.           Download: Sonometer.pdf Work-Energy The work-energy relationship is explored by looking at the energy of a glider and weight at different positions during a fall.             Download: Work Energy.pdf