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:
In my junior/senior level Classical Mechanics course, I have used:
- 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.
- 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.
TrackerFor 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.
- A one-page Tracker "cheat sheet" to remind the reader of the most commonly used tasks to analyze a video. (Download: pdf, LaTeX)
- 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.
- Measure the force on a person who is landing after a jump. Compare the effects of bending the knees a lot or bending the knees a little.
- Compare motion viewed from stationary, constant velocity, or constant acceleration reference frames.
- Measure center-of-mass motion for a two-dimensional collision of pucks.