reaction rate: thiosulfate & acid

Rates: Thiosulfate and acid Sodium thiosulfate and acid react to form a precipitate. The light sensor can be used, like a colorimeter, to monitor the rate of the reaction. In this experiment we study...

exothermic reactions

Exothermic reactions A temperature sensor can collect information about the heat generated when lime is mixed with water. Exothermic reactions are used in a glove heating pack. The proportions of this mixture is important....

heat of reaction

Heat of reaction As acid reacts with alkali, heat is evolved. This is the heat of neutralisation. This can be easily monitored using a temperature sensor. In this experiment the temperature is monitored continuously...

absorption of thermal radiation

Absorption of thermal radiation A shiny surface and a black surface absorb heat differently. Using temperature sensors or thermocouple probes it is possible to compare the temperatures on two these different surfaces. Either the...

oscillator motion

Oscillator motion A position sensor is attached to a weight and spring assembly as shown. This can be used to study simple harmonic motion and the effects of changing the mass or damping. Apparatus...

extension of a spring

Extension of a spring A position sensor is attached to a weight and spring assembly as shown. This can be used to graph the extension of the spring with increasing mass. Apparatus Clamps &...

cooling curve

Cooling curve Two temperature sensors can collect some interesting information about cooling during a change of state. In this experiment the temperature of a water bath increases as a substance cools. But the unusual...

heat insulation

Heat insulation A temperature sensor can be used to study the insulating properties of different materials. Two temperature sensors allow a simultaneous comparison to be made. In this experiment two beakers of hot water...

heat conduction

Heat conduction A temperature sensor can be used to study the conduction of heat through different materials. Two temperature sensors allow a comparison to be made. In this experiment strips of metal are heated...

pressure & temperature

Pressure & temperature How pressure changes with temperature can be monitored using sensors. A graph of pressure against temperature can be plotted as it happens. After the experiment, the scale of the axis can...

capacitor charge and discharge

Capacitor charge and discharge The voltage & current of a capacitor are measured as it charges and discharges. Sensors allow a graph to be plotted as this happens. The effect of different values of...

current and voltage

Current-Voltage relationships In this experiment the resistance of a lamp, resistor or diode is measured as the current is varied. Voltage and current sensors make the measurements while the software plots the results in...

characteristics of a thermistor

Thermistor characteristics The voltage & current of a thermistor are measured as its temperature changes. Sensors allow graphs of voltage and current to be plotted against time. Not only can the resistance of the...

heating effect of an electric current

Heating effect of an electric current The temperature, voltage & current of a heating unit are measured over a period of time. This allows us to calculate the power of the heater (voltage x...

battery life

Battery life In this experiment an electrical cell is tested to exhaustion. The cell might be a dry-cell, an alkaline cell or a lead-acid accumulator. The decreasing voltage is measured over a (long) period...

seismometer

Seismometer The magnetic field sensor responds to magnetic fields. We can use this idea, together with a metre rule damped with a sand bag, to demonstrate how a seismometer might function. If the apparatus...

magnetic fields

Magnetic fields The magnetic field sensor responds to a magnetic field. In this experiment the sensor is moved through Helmholtz coils and the variation in field is measured. Apparatus Clamp stand, Helmholtz coils, leads,...

radioactivity decay & penetration

Radioactive decay The radioactivity sensor is normally connected to a standard Geiger-Muller tube and can produce a radioactive decay curve in ‘real-time’. This is a very convincing display of radioactive decay. Protactinium, with its...

oxygen solubility and temperature

As the temperature of water increases, the solubility of oxygen decreases. This is significant in pollution studies – for example, when factory outflow warms a river. In this experiment a sample of aerated water...

osmosis

A pressure sensor can be used to monitor the progress of osmosis. In this experiment a dialysis bag containing sucrose solution is placed in a beaker of water. Over a period of time, water...

energy in food

As food burns it releases energy. This energy can be used to heat up a known volume of water and so calculate its energy content. The temperature change can be easily monitored using a temperature sensor. Furthermore, if the food stops burning too soon, the graph will show how much the water cools and you can add this temperature change into your calculations.

respiration; germination; fermentation; anaerobic & aerobic

When living things respire they use up oxygen. This can be monitored using an oxygen sensor. The living thing can be a plant, animal or microorganism. Maggots, locusts, or yeast are often used and so can pond-weed. If you use Elodea, its container should be kept in the dark or wrapped in foil.
It is also quite easy to show how temperature affects the rate of respiration
– however, in this example, the oxygen sensor should be able to compensate for its own response to temperature changes.

photosynthesis – measure oxygen or pH

Sensors can be used to monitor photosynthesis. They can show that as the light level increases, the oxygen level will also increase. It is also possible to show the effect of carbon dioxide levels (as added hydrogen carbonate solution) and to show the effect of coloured light.

enzymes: starch & amylase; pepsin & protein

Two experiments: in one amylase catalyses the hydrolysis of starch. Iodine can be used as an indicator to show that the starch has been broken down. A light sensor can be used, like a colorimeter, to monitor this change.
Another experiment aims to show the effect of different temperatures on the action of amylase.This experiment studies
the effect of the enzyme pepsin on protein. Pepsin catalyses the hydrolysis of the protein, albumin into amino acids. As the protein solution is cloudy and amino acids are soluble the liquid changes from cloudy to clear. The light sensor can be used, like a colorimeter, to monitor this change.

scientist 70: the biotechnologist – biosciences for Africa BFA (2014)

A Cambridge project seeks to improve farming practices in Africa by sharing advances in biotechnology. They’re called Biosciences for Farming in Africa (www.b4fa.org). Chris Creese meets one of their founders Dr David Bennett. There’s a ‘demonstration...

Play

temperature sensor

Sensors to measure heat and temperature These sensors are available in all flavours to suit different applications. You should be able to decide on the type that suits whole class use and have any...

museum of data logging

Here are pictures of labs, data loggers, sensors and experiments from the 1990’s to the 2000’s. You’ll see different solutions to computers in a lab and for example, different colorimeters and different ways to...

who is Roger Frost?

Perhaps someone once asked, who is Roger Frost? He’s a writer who used to collect ideas to teach science which this web aims to record. Over twenty years, Roger Frost ran training days for science...

a data logger is a scientist’s camera

data loggers – the scientist’s camera! There is a rich world of data waiting to be collected. Take an accelerometer with you on a theme park roller coaster or if that’s too sad, take...