accelerometer, dynamics pulley

Accelerometers contain the tiny chip sensors often used as triggers for car air bags. You can take one of these sensors into a lift, fix one to a dynamics trolley to look at collisions or swing them around to investigate circular motion. A very promising device to measure the previously unmeasurable. Rating: ****/++

The dynamics / mechanics pulley is a fascinating device for measuring the velocity and acceleration of a dynamics trolley, falling object or the puck on an air track. The pulley does the same as a ‘ticker timer’ but also generates the graphs for you. While its uses overlap with light gates and sonar distance sensors, these take 50 readings a second and offer better results. Ultimately, something like one of these it is a must for physics. My rating: **** /+++

I’ve rated these sensors but your assessment will be different. I give a score, out of five, for the sensor’s intrigue, interest, and learning potential. I also give a score for how often a science department might use it.

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