Inexpensive conceptual experiments/demonstrations for physics teaching

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Kgwadi, Ntate D.
Watson, James
Issue Date
Thesis (M.S.)
Department of Physics and Astronomy
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Current research on cognitive learning is applied to the designing of several experiments for use in high school physical science and physics classes. The goal of the project was to use simple inexpensive materials to construct experiments and demonstrations that illustrate physics concepts and can easily be modeled using simple mathematics.Saline solutions are used to show simple examples of refraction and effects of a solution of varying density. The refractive index of two liquids is measured. The continuous refraction of a stratified fluid is demonstrated. Fluid flow is investigated. This leads to a simple experiment that leads to an easy way to measure the acceleration of gravity.The goal was met with several simple experiments using inexpensive materials, modeling techniques, and simple mathematics derivations were designed and tested. Data from the experiments gives results that are very close to the accepted values.