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Smartphone Based Introductory Physics Labs

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many instruction is now forced to be online. For some disciplines, adapting to new rules did not present much difficulty, but for the majority of STEM based courses, especially the introductory ones for which labs are essential, the impact was truly devastating. Unfortunately, various ad hoc solutions (such as the use of simulations and/or hurriedly taped videos) – while temporarily solving the urgent needs of individual instructors, – cannot give students same “truly experimental experience”  that real labs can provide.  We introduce the concept of Smartphone based Introductory Physics labs (SmartIPL) as true labs for on-line physics teaching. The simple goal is are to ensure that even under the on-line instruction environment, the students can still obtain “truly experimental experience”.

    The basic lab instruction manual and design idea of SmartIPL is the following: (1) the student will use house hold items to set up the labs based on the detailed instruction videos and manuals; (2) the student will use the smartphone to collect the data (movies); (3) the student will use "Tracker" (or the App developed by us) to obtain and analyze the data with detailed instruction from the manual;  and (4) the student will put together a lab report under the instruction from the manual.

    We have developed 8 labs for Physics I Mechanics. Below are the corresponding instruction videos, lab manual and worksheet. All instruction videos can be found in our YouTube channel.

SmartIPL Content
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