Consider what experiments you covered in class and what equipment your school has available. Use the information provided in the Practical Assessment Task Notification. Consider the dependent and independent variables. Change the independent variable, measure it and record it. Measure the dependent variable and record it.
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Record your data using a table below. Note that the independent variable is recorded in the first column of the table.
Sometimes the data needs to be manipulated in order for the graph to produce a straight line so you must understand the underlying governing equations that describe the experiment. This means you must study the theory related to the topic of the experiment. To apply the theory to the practical assessment you must consider the variables, the relevant equation, and how to apply it. Some additional adjustments may be required: e. For practice, you can go through the equations and consider the dependence of different variables.
Make sure you consider how you can produce a straight line for different combinations of variables. Once you have drawn the graph, you will need to consider the equation that represents the graph, and how that compares to the equations you have already studied. Typically, you will need to identify the meaning of the gradient or the intercept and use it to calculate one of the control variables in the experiment or one of the physical constants.
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You must be able to identify flaws and suggest improvements in reliability, accuracy and validity, and in terms of errors. You can only do this if you have a good understanding of these terms. Matrix students are taught to use a table like the one below to demonstrate their understanding of how to assess and improve the validity, reliability and accuracy of their experiment.
If you know what the experiment will be in advance, you can try and assemble the necessary equipment and practise.
Practical Physics for College Students
The important thing is to think through and understand the different aspects of an experiment outlined above. You will then be able to apply them to any experiment. In Module 5 Advanced Mechanics, you are required to be familiar with the following investigations:.
We plot the independent variable on the x-axis and the dependent variable on the y-axis. To do this we have to rearrange the equation with the dependent variable being the subject:. This is not a straight line , so g will be difficult to determine. Instead, the data must be manipulated to obtain a straight line.
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But how? The independent variable is the height of the ball, and the dependent variable is the time it takes to fall. You must also select a good range for the independent variable height that makes the dependent variable time to fall able to be measured. Step 3 : Draw a line of best fit and measure its gradient.
This will allow you to determine g:. You may need to suggest improvements. For example, a small heavy object will be less affected by air resistance in this experiment. A small metal ball or a marble would be more suitable than a scrunched up piece of paper or a ping-pong ball.
Skip to main content. Subscribe Search My Account Login. Abstract SMALL books on practical physics have been very plentiful of recent years since the subject has taken a place in school, but the number of large and complete treatises in English embracing all branches is still few. A Text-book of Practical Physics.
Welcome to Practical Physics
By Dr. William Watson Pp. London: Longmans, Green and Co. Price 9 s. Rent or Buy article Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
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