Energy & Work

Arbor Scientific is providing physics and physical science teachers with a collection of student lab activities for the study of Energy and Work. Here you can browse lab activities by title and get teachers notes, student worksheets and a list of equipment and supplies needed for each activity.

  • Momentum - Tailgated by a Dart

    Posted on February 10, 2012 by Arbor Scientific

    In this lab, students will learn to estimate the speed of an object by applying conservation of momentum to an inelastic collision. Energy is not lost its transferred from one object to another. Students will fire a dart into the back of the free rolling car and measure the distance of the car, calculate the speed of the dart and car, and measure the mass of the car and dart.

    This post was posted in Labs, Motion, Forces, Energy & Work

  • The Firing Squad Demo

    Posted on January 1, 2011 by Stephen Rea

    Every day we have to make choices. Sometimes these can be life changing. In the Firing Squad Demo the student you pick to be the target, will have to choose between two dart guns to be shot with!

    This post was posted in Labs, Energy & Work and was tagged with mass, newton's laws, Firing Squad, Demo, dart guns

  • Pulleys: Fixed, Movable and Systems

    Posted on January 1, 2011 by Arbor Scientific

    Students construct a complex system of six pulleys and determine its ideal mechanical advantage. They then use the system to lift a weight and measure the work input and energy output of the system. They calculate the actual mechanical advantage and efficiency of the system and evaluate the system for sources of loss.

    This post was posted in Labs, Energy & Work and was tagged with pulleys, work, work and energy

  • Specific Heat Inquiry

    Posted on January 1, 2011 by Dr. Russell Harkay

    One characteristic or property of all solids and liquids is something called the Specific Heat, abbreviated as Cv. This quantity represents the amount of heat required to raise or lower a given quantity (a gram or a Kilogram) by one degree. Water has an extremely high Specific Heat (1 calorie per gram per degree C). A rule of thermodynamics (the study of heat and heat transfer) is that when two objects are placed in contact, they will eventually reach thermal equilibrium. Energy (heat is a measure of energy in a substance) flows from the warmer object...

    This post was posted in Labs, Energy & Work and was tagged with heat transer, specific heat, thermodynamics, thermal equilibrium, Cv

  • Stable Mates Inquiry

    Posted on January 1, 2011 by Dr. Russell Harkay

    We might ask why Nature chooses to arrange things according to certain patterns. In this exercise, you will be messing about with some special marbles. Let’s call them “concentrically constructed dipolar spheroids” for now. Your task is to determine how they “work”, how to test for stability of assembled structures, and to determine which structures are the most stable. You will also take a look at the forces between the marbles and groups of marbles when they interact.

    This post was posted in Labs, Energy & Work and was tagged with dipoles, stable mates, magnetic marbles

  • Conservation of Energy: Racing Marbles

    Posted on January 1, 2011 by Arbor Scientific

    A marble will roll on different paths, starting and ending at the same height. Students will predict and then measure the final velocities of the marble. Ramp A is the nearly horizontal ramp, and Ramp B dips down in the middle. Because the ramps start and end at the same elevation, a marble rolled on Ramp A will end with the same velocity as one rolled on Ramp B, even though they take different times to complete the trip.

    This post was posted in Labs, Energy & Work and was tagged with racing marbles, conservation of energy, velocity

  • Heat Transfer Radiation

    Posted on January 1, 2011 by Arbor Scientific

    Radiant heat travels in the form of waves. No physical contact between objects is needed to transfer heat by radiation. Students will fill black, white, and silver cans with water, and observe the temperature change in the water when the cans are placed under a bright lamp. The cans are being heated by radiation, and the color of the outer finish of the cans determines the efficiency with which they absorb the heat energy. The white and silver cans reflect most of the rays that strike them (visible and non-visible), so they will heat much more slowly than the black can.

    This post was posted in Labs, Energy & Work and was tagged with heat transfer, radiation, radiation cans

  • Heat Transfer

    Posted on January 1, 2011 by Arbor Scientific

    Ice Melting Blocks! Heat can be transferred by conduction, convection, or radiation. In this experiment, students will discover the different rates at which materials can conduct heat. Aluminum is a better conductor of heat than high-density foam.

    This post was posted in Labs, Energy & Work and was tagged with heat transfer, ice melting blocks, conductor

  • Popper Energy

    Posted on January 1, 2011 by Arbor Scientific

    Students will calculate the potential and kinetic energy of a popper toy using simple formulas. Potential energy is found by observing the maximum height. Kinetic energy is found by using a dynamics formula to find the popper’s starting velocity. Students will find that the popper reaches a greater height than it should, given the amount [...]

    This post was posted in Labs, Energy & Work and was tagged with conservation of energy, potential, kinetic, popper

  • Pendulum: Conservation of Energy

    Posted on January 1, 2011 by Arbor Scientific

    Students first measure the vertical displacement of a pendulum bob and calculate its potential energy compared to equilibrium. The predict the pendulum bob's maximum velocity and then measure the actual velocity at the bottom of the swing.

    This post was posted in Labs, Energy & Work and was tagged with conservation of energy, pendulum, potential energy, equilibrium

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