ADI Online Physics Investigations

PHY-01: Acceleration and Gravity

Guiding Question: What is the relationship between the mass of an object and its acceleration during free fall?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to figure out if heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones.

Lab Description: Students will use readily available materials (ziploc bags with different amounts of rice, sand, or beans) to design and implement an investigation to determine the relationship between mass and acceleration due to gravity. This can be done conceptually or mathematically.

PHY-02: Projectile Motion

Guiding Question: How do changes to the launch angle, the initial velocity, and the mass of a projectile affect its hang time?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to figure out a way to predict how long a pumpkin will stay in the air after it is launched.

Lab Description: The simulation will allow students to change the initial height, velocity, mass, and air resistance of projectile objects to see how that affects their flight path.

PHY-03: Force, Mass, and Acceleration

Guiding Question: What is the mathematical relationship among the net force exerted on an object, its inertial mass, and its acceleration?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to figure out the mathematical relationship among the net force acting on an object, its mass, and its acceleration.

Lab Description: The simulation will allow students to change the mass of an object and the amount of force applied to that object in order to see how that affects its acceleration.

PHY-04: Simple Harmonic Motion: Pendulums

Guiding Question: What variables affect the period of a pendulum?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to figure out which variables do and which variables do not change the period of the pendulum.

Lab Description: The simulation will allow students to vary the length of the string, the mass of the pendulum bob, the strength of gravity, and the amplitude of the swing as well as the friction of the system in order to see what affects these actions have on the period.

PHY-05: Simple Harmonic Motion: Springs

Guiding Question: What is the mathematical model of the simple harmonic motion of an object hanging from a spring?

Goal: The students' goal is to create a mathematical model that they can use to describe the vertical position of the mass hanging on a spring in terms of time.

Lab Description: The simulation will allow students to change the mass, release point, and type of spring. It is important to note that the model they develop will ignore dampening or the effect of slowing the mass-spring system down to a stop by frictional forces.

PHY-06: Electric Fields

Guiding Question: How does the electric potential difference change as you move away from the positive charge in an electric field?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to figure out how to explain and predict the electric potential difference between any two points in an electric field.

Lab Description: The simulation will allow students to change the location of positive and negative charges in a defined space and then view the resulting electric field and electrostatic potential.

PHY-07: Circuits

Guiding Question: How does the arrangement of four lightbulbs in a circuit affect the total current of the system?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to figure out the relationship between the arrangement and number of resistors and the total current flow.

Lab Description: The simulation will allow students to change the arrangement of batteries, resistors, light bulbs, fuses, and switches in a circuit to see how that affects the current.

PHY-08: Magnetic Fields

Guiding Question: What factors influence the induced voltage in a loop of wire in a changing magnetic field?

Goal: The students' goal is to explore principles of magnetic fields by manipulating different aspects of an electromagnet.

Lab Description: The simulation will allow students to change factors such as the direction a magnet moves into a coil, the proximity of the magnet to the coil, the orientation of the magnet relative to the coil, and the size of the coil have on the induced current in the system.