Measurement Project

PHY180 Module 9 - PHY180 Student Guide Oct. 31, 2018, 12:05 p.m.

Table of contents

    Activity 1

    This week's activity is a measurement project. Your TA will task you with measuring something. A list of sample tasks is presented at the end of this document. Your job, as a group, is to figure out how to make the measurements so as to minimize the uncertainty. You then must go out and take the measurements, including your estimation of your final uncertainty.

    The primary constraint is that you have to finish everything, including planning, executing and documenting, within the 2 hours of class time. You must submit your results at the end of class.

    The entire focus of this project is on documenting what you did to reduce the uncertainty. You should probably discuss your project for 10-15 minutes as a group, then tell your TA your plan. This is optional, but your TA might have some ideas about a source of uncertainty your group overlooked. As an example: car speed is likely affected by the presence of nearby red lights, so you should probably implement a protocol to control for red lights skewing your data.

    You should also ask your TA about any equipment you might need. We have some basic devices which could help, such as stopwatches, protractors, and measuring tapes.

    Sample Projects

    • The height of a building on campus (Robart's Library, Convocation Hall)
    • The average car speed on a stretch of road (College St., St. George St.)
    • The average pedestrian speed on a stretch of sidewalk (College St., St. George St.)
    • The average bicycle speed on a stretch of road (Harbord St., St. George St.)
    • The total mass of trees in an area (not including roots, just the wood above-ground) (King's College Circle, the north side of Robart's Library)
    • The total number of blades of grass in an area (King's College Circle, the north side of Robart's Library)
    • The average wind speed at some specified location (Robart's library is usually pretty windy)
    • What affect pushing the pedestrian button has at a traffic light location (Huron & College, Spadina & Sussex)
    last modified: Oct. 31, 2018, 12:05 p.m.

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