How to use high tech tools you own to explore science.

A Teacher Institute Workshop on 14 October 2006

Paul Doherty and Sebastian Martin.

Sebastian's activities

Using a digital camera to see infrared.

A digital camera can be used to photograph near infrared light. (Near infrared is infrared light close to the red end of the visible spectrum. Far infrared light is the thermal radiation from room temperature objects.) A good, easily available, source of near infrared light is a television remote control.

Analyzing a voltage signal in time and frequency

There are free programs for computers which allow them to record sounds and analyze the sound as a function of time and frequency. For example, the program Audacity which is available for MAC and Microsoft Windows computers. These programs can be used to record and analyze any low voltage input to the computer. For example the input from a solar cell. The solar cell can be used to detect and record the signal from an infrared TV remote control. Audacity can also be used to synthesize sound signals.

Computer Polarized light

Laptop computers and other devices using liquid crystal display screens usually emit linearly polarized light. This light can be used to examine the birefringence produced by stresses in molded clear plastic cases for compact disks and cassette tapes.

Computer Stroboscope

A television or a desktop computer with a cathode ray tube monitor, a CRT, can be used as a stroboscope. In both of these devices a line is scanned down the screen many times per second. These screens can be used to view vibrating rubber bands and other moving objects such as pencils and fingers.

Using an amplified speaker

 Sebastian Martin

Scientific Explorations with Paul Doherty

© 2006

10 October 2006