Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Video Analysis Software

Video analysis is the single best tool that a teacher can add to her or his physics course, from a middle school science class to a college junior/senior level advanced physics course.

Direct Measurement Videos (DVM)

If you teach middle school science or a student's first high school physics course, I recommend Direct Measurement Videos. These videos, created by Peter Bohocek, include a frame counter, the frame rate, and a distance scale embedded into the video; thus no software is required for analyzing the video. Peter is the best videographer for video analysis. The library of videos includes:

Hockey slapshot

In my junior/senior level Classical Mechanics course, I have used:
  1. Disk Accelerated by a Model Rocket Engine as a lab where students model the wobbling disk to determine the percentage mass loss by the rocket engine.
  2. Dry Ice Puck Sliding on a Circular Hoop as a problem where students write a numerical model to calculate the angle where the normal force on the puck becomes zero.


For students who may take additional physics courses or who may become professional scientists in any scientific or engineering field, I recommend the software Tracker. Here are some resources for learning about Tracker.
  1. A one-page Tracker "cheat sheet" to remind the reader of the most commonly used tasks to analyze a video. (Download: pdf, LaTeX)
  2. A PowerPoint presentation about Tracker. The zip file includes the presentation, videos, and Tracker files. (Download: ppt, zip).

Here are some sample experiments for introductory high school or college physics.

1 comment:

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