STUDENT RESEARCH
 
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Accelerometer/Altimeter Sensor

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I believe the best way to experience physics is outside the classroom, and it's certainly a lot more fun! If you are interested in the physics of amusement park rides or sports, I have several student research projects I invite you to get involved with.

The Six Flags Over Texas theme park offers an exciting way to experience physics in action. Collin physics students have attended Physics Day at Six Flags in prior years.

Using a sensor (left) that records detailed acceleration and altimeter readings during a ride (right), we can explore various physics principles at work. Because Six Flags regularly adds new rides, there are always new student research opportunites available at the park.

Other research projects that involve using the acceleration and altimeter sensor involve the physics of sports.

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Six Flags Rollercoaster Data
Spring 2006
STUDENT CLASS PROJECTS
Below is a list of projects done by past students for extra credit.
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Student: Nathan Williamson
Project: Exploring the Physics of Rock Climbing and Skydiving (CASMNS Project )
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Description:
This project explores the physics of rock climbing and skydiving as experienced first-hand by the researcher. The differential relationship between acceleration, velocity and position are measured and explored numerically and graphically. Physical parameters such as force, terminal velocity, and drag coefficient are calculated.
 
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Student: Laura Chavez and Christopher Duran
Project: The Physics of Bowling
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Description:
Bowling balls are much more than just round solid spheres. Modern bowling balls are complex high-tech instruments with a variety of cores, surfaces, and hole patterns. Various physical aspects of a "hook" ball and "straight" ball are explored. This project incudes an experiment and trips to a bowling pro shop & bowling alley.
 
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Student: Bardia Baheri
Project: Electrostatic Rotary Motor
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Description:
Using the safe high voltage power we get by placing a sheet of aluminum foil on the face of a television or computer CRT screen, it spins a styrofoam cup around at a respectable speed.
 
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Student: Amir Widjaja
Project: Rollercoaster Simulation
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Description:
This simulation explores the physics of a rollercoaster. Try adjusting the parameters then click Start . This simulation was created using Macromedia Flash and a physics engine plug-in.
 
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Student: JJ Cereijo
Project: Physics and Soccer
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Description:

The objective of this project is to take digitally recorded video of a soccer ball being kicked and from that determe the velocity, the acceleration, and the force needed to accelerate and stop the ball. The work done by on the ball is also calculated.

 
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Student: Thi Nguyen, Teresa Phan, Ben Wallace
Project: Trebuchet
Presentation: HTML version PowerPoint version
 
Description:
The object of the trebuchet is the projectile that is attached to the sling. The sling is used to increase the lever arm and toss the projectiles a great distance. The more speed that is added to the lever, the farther the projectile on the sling will travel.
 
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Student: Jeffery Ding, Alan Jones
Project: Bridge Trusses
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Description:
Bridge trusses have to support their own weight and that of deck framing and deck loads from traffic and forces caused by live loads. This project reviews truss design and involves construction of a truss model. The model bridge is loaded to failure under multiple designs to experimentally explore truss strength.
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Student: Maria Ahmed
Project: Light
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Description:
This project reviews the following concepts: What is Light, Reflection and Refraction, Mirrors and Lenses, Diffraction and Interference, Speed of Light, Electromagnetic Spectrum, and Pictures. An exploratory experiment was also done.
 
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Student: Bueno Olivier
Project: Newton's Three Laws
Presentation: HTML version PowerPoint version
 
Description:
This project reviews Newton's Three Laws of Motion, (1) Inertia, (2) F=ma, and (3) Action-Reaction