European Journal of Physics , 2013, Volume 34 Number 3, Page 737.
Juan Carlos Castro-Palacio, Luisberis Velázquez-Abad, Fernando Giménez and Juan A Monsoriu.
Departamento de Física, Universidad de Pinar del Río, Martí 270, 20100, Pinar del Río, Cuba and
Departamento de Física, Universidad Católica del Norte, Av Angamos 0610, Antofagasta, Chile and
I U Matemática Pura y Aplicada, Universitat Politècnica de València, Camí de Vera s/n, E-46022, València, Spain and
Centro de Tecnologías Físicas, Universitat Politècnica de València, Camí de Vera s/n, E-46022, València, Spain and
Present address for Dr. Castro-Palacio: Department of Chemistry, University of Basel, Klingelbergstraße 80, CH-4056, Basel, Switzerland .
In this paper, smartphone acceleration sensors were used to perform a quantitative analysis of mechanical coupled oscillations. Symmetric and asymmetric normal modes were studied separately in the first two experiments. In the third, a coupled oscillation was studied as a combination of the normal modes. Results indicate that acceleration sensors of smartphones, which are very familiar to students, represent valuable measurement instruments for introductory and first-year physics courses.
The use of everyday portable devices in all the teaching levels of Physics has increased very fast in the past decade. For instance, the use of digital cameras, webcams, optical mice of computers, wiimote, and other game console controllers, have been reported. More recently, smartphone sensors have been incorporated to this variety of portable devices.
There is a number of works which demonstrate the feasibility of using the smartphone sensors in Physics teaching experiments. The acceleration sensor can be used to determine the instant acceleration in linear, oscillatory and circular motions. As for the study acoustic phenomena, a smartphone microphone can be used to capture the sound waves which can be analyzed in real time with a mobile software application. Other sensors such as the light ambient sensor and the magnetic field sensor can also find nice applications in Physics teaching experiments.
In the article here featured, we study linear coupled oscillations by using a smartphone acceleration sensor. In the figure below, the experimental setup for the experiments is shown. More information on the study of free and damped oscillations with this sensor can be found in the following
J.C. Castro-Palacio, L. Velázquez-Abad, M.H. Giménez, J.A. Monsoriu, “Using the mobile phone acceleration sensor in Physics experiments: free and damped harmonic oscillations,” Am. J. Phys. 81 (2013) 472-475.