Motion Explorations for  Spectrum

Measure motion using blinking LED lights
INOVA LED lights have a dim setting that flashes 100 times a second. Record it with a digital camera on the night setting and measure acceleration.

Paper Tape Timer
Use a vibrating pen to make a timer and measure motion.
Paper Tape Timer.pdf

Newton's laws:
Make a frictionless airpuck and explore the forces measured by spring scales.

Frictionless airpuck CD
Use a balloon to blow air through a compact disk to make it move with little to no friction.

Spring scale explorations
Measure forces with spring scales

Falling coins
A coin dropping straight down and a coin in flight at high speed drop with the same acceleration.

Terminal velocity
Compare the terminal velocity of falling basket type coffee filters.

Turning in air
How does a cat turn over in midair?

Bouncing Balls
A light tennis ball dropped on the floor above a heavy basketball will bounce to a surprising height.

Gravity assist (similar to bouncing balls)
A spacecraft can receive a gravity assist from a planet in the same way that the lighter of two balls does during a collision.

Magnetic collisions

Spin a koosh


Here are a few additional activities that relate to motion.

Candle in Freefall

Curve balls

Flying tinsel

Domino Fall rate


Spinning cylinder

Mach 1

Magnet oscillators

Falling rhythm

Reaction Timer

Force between two magnets

Repel a grape magnetically

Paper airplane science

Particle accelerator


Phase pendulum

Slow waves on a phonecord

Scientific Explorations with Paul Doherty

© 2009

9 March 2009