Students doing video analysis of everyday motion can be a great way to bring physics into the real world. Due to the quality of some videos, they are sometimes difficult to analyze. Here are some tips for recording good videos for analysis:
Support the phone or camera to keep it still. Use a tripod, tape the phone to a box, or find another way to avoid the shakiness of hand-held video. This will also prevent the tendency to follow the motion with the camera.
Record the event in a well-lit area. Outdoors in daylight is the ideal environment, as even an overcast sky can provide more light than can be found indoors. However, going outside is not always practical. Old overhead projectors can provide a bright light that has no flicker, even when filming in high speed. The brighter the lighting, the less motion blur you will see in the video.
Position the camera so the line of sight is normal to the plane of motion. Ideally, all the motion would take place at a constant distance from the camera, but that is nearly impossible to achieve. Therefore, arrange the scene to have as little distance variation as possible. This is to make sure the scale you choose applies to as much of the motion as possible.
Place a ruler, meter stick, or other scale item in the same plane as the motion being recorded. Having the scale object at that same distance eliminates parallax error in scaling.
The 2015 AAPT Photo Contest, sponsored by Vernier, was held at the summer meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers in College Park, Maryland. Students submitted photo prints that demonstrated physics concepts, along with essays explaining the physics concepts. AAPT members voted on the entries. Each year we are impressed by the creativity of the students who enter this contest. The eye-drawing composition of many of the images reminds us that art has both an important role in our lives and a valuable connection to science.
Looking for an extra-long track for demonstrations or complex collisions? Vernier’s new 2.2 m Track is compatible with all accessories for the Vernier Dynamics System, including the Optics Expansion Kit, and Color Mixer Kit.
The Centripetal Force Apparatus allows you to investigate the relationship between centripetal force, angular velocity, mass, and radius. Use in conjunction with a force sensor, photogate, or the Wireless Dynamic Sensor System.
Do you do experiments with solar panels or other high-current devices? The new Vernier High Current Sensor has a range of ±10 A. Current is measured with a Hall effect sensor, which uses the magnetic field created by the current.
The Vernier Anemometer is an impellertype anemometer that measures wind speed in the range of 0.5 to 30 m/s (1 to 67 mph). The Anemometer fits in your palm for wind study measurements in the field. A standard camera mount on the back and an accessory rod allows you to position it in wind tunnels or in front of fans for wind turbine experiments.
To celebrate the introduction of our first mobile video analysis app, we asked you to take it for a spin and share with us your favorite insights. As usual, we were impressed with your ability to find fascinating science in everyday life! From the motion of a supermarket checkout conveyor belt to the flow of a creek, Video Physics can come in handy when you’re on the move. View the winning entries from ten fantastic physics teachers, download the video and Logger Pro files, and get Video Physics from the iTunes App Store.