Teaching a Mathematica-Based Introductory Physics Lab

Richard Gass
University of Cincinnati

Download talk material:

I will discuss a Mathematica-based introductory physics pilot lab that is being taught at the University of Cincinnati. This lab is taught to randomly selected sections of the calculus-based introductory physics course. After the students have been introduced to Mathematica, we use Mathematica as a tool to analyze experimental data. Experiments include measuring and using digital video, exploring diffraction with a CCD camera, and using digital audio to measure the Doppler shift. The pilot lab requires that the students do substantially more work than is required in the regular labs, but student surveys indicate a high level of student satisfaction with the lab.