R. Ben-Av1, M. Barchilon Ben-Av2

1Azrieli Jerusalem College of Engineering (ISRAEL)
2Achva Academic College (ISRAEL)
In the last years there is an explosive growth of smartphone availability [1]. Some educational authorities drew attention to the disturbance it creates to the learning process [2]. We wish to view also possible positive contribution of this wave on high school education learning. In this work we show how smartphones can contribute to enhance the quality of learning of physics.
Modern smartphones contain many sensors creating an environment where physical experiments can be performed and analyzed using standard PCs. It is important to note that this can be achieved using commonly available smartphones and easy “of the shelf” products. It does not necessitate any additional or specially designed software or hardware, unlike standard high school physics labs. Recent suggestion using these capabilities was reported in [3]. We wish to extend this study suggesting more experiments using the accelerometer and high speed camera embedded in the smartphone.

We suggest the following additional experiments:
• Capture on high speed camera of an object motion in a constant force. The video stream rate can be 30 frames per second (and higher on some more advanced smartphones). Using the frames in the video one can measure and plot the object’s trajectory as a function of time for free fall and for ballistic motion. One can find e.g. the fall time dependence on hight.
• Capture the accelerometer Log data for a pendulum. The smartphone itself will be both the pendulum and the measuring device. One can find e.g. the period dependence on the pendulum length.
• Capture the accelerometer Log data for a conical pendulum. Again the smartphone itself will be both the rotating mass and the measuring device. One can find e.g. the total force as a function of the angular velocity.
We believe that using gadgets loved by the students will enhance their motivation, curiosity and active participation in the class, thus improving the understanding of the learned subject [4].

[1] Business Insider; 9/12/2012
[3] J. Kuhn and P. Vogt (2013), Smartphones as Experimental Tools: Different Methods to Determine the Gravitational Acceleration in Classroom Physics by Using Everyday Devices, European J of Physics Education Vol.4 Issue 1
[4] G. W Hill, R. A. Smith, & M. Horn (2004), Using Technology to Increase Student Interest, Motivation, and (Perhaps) Learning,