position or angle sensor

This sensor allows superb and easy to do investigations into the swing of a pendulum leading on to studies of harmonic motion and damping. (See several examples nearby). It allows you to record the period of every swing of a pendulum, instead of timing ten and dividing by ten. This in turn strikes us as more convincing. There are ways to do this experiment which ensure that your graph axis are centre screen and also that sets of pendulum swings will all start at the same part of a swing. These are features to look for in the software. Other reported uses include recording the rise of bread dough or as a lever arm responding to movement. You can use it to measure plant growth over time, though it is worth exploring ways to set this up as a lot of plant growth is due to the slip of the thread holding the plant!

Uses for a position sensor

  • Measuring plant growth.
    Responding to animal activity, for example when attached to a bird food supply.
  • Rates of reactions with a gas syringe (e.g. marble-acid rain).
  • Harmonic motion: oscillating springs and pendulums (displacement-time graphs).
  • Tensile strengths. Bending of a bridge.
  • Elasticity and expansion.
  • Extension of a spring.
  • Breathing movements with a spirometer.
  • Rise of bread dough.

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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