# Upper School - Physical Science Lab

These topics are chosen to co-ordinate with years two and three of the Timeline Curriculum, Classical Rome through the Industrial Revolution. Students will work in teams, with older students supporting the efforts of younger.

# ANCIENT GREECE AND ROME

## Simple Machines

- Lever: experiment with changing the distances to fulcrum and the weights
- First vs. Second class levers
- Pulley experiments using single and compound pulleys to lift weights
- Wheel and axle
- Gears; build machines and measure the gear ratios
- Use spring scales to measure force and calculate the efficiency of machines

## Archimedes' Principle

- Calculate the density of cubes made of different materials such as brass, copper, acrylic, oak, pine, polar, aluminum, and steel by measuring the volume and the weight
- Demonstratet hat a body submerged in water loses weight equal to its own weight in water
- Use overflow tanks to learn about specific gravity

# THE RENAISSANCE

## Light and Color

## The Nature of Light

- Use a ripple tank apparatus to study wave propagation
- Generate phase waves, freeze them with a stroboscope, and study wave interference

## Optics

- Reflect light using a laser beam and mirror; measure the angles of incidence and reflection with a protractor
- Measure the refraction (bending) of light in plastic and water
- Observe total internal reflection, found in fiber optics
- Lenses: double concave, double convex, plano-concave, and plano-convex
- Measure the focal points of lenses using an optical bench
- Build a Galilean telescope

## Galileo's Pendulum

- Use pendulum apparatus to investigate harmonic motion; vary weight, starting point, and length of string; measure the pendulum's period precisely using a light-timer.

# THE ENLIGHTENMENT: NEWTONIAN MECHANICS

## Free Fall

- Use Free Fall tube apparatus to drop objects of different weights
- Newton's Second Law of Motion: Propel one ball horizontally while at the same instant releasing another to fall vertically
- Discover the co-efficient of gravity

## Motion

- Measure the position and movement of objects; describe motion as a change in position over time; analyze motion in terms of vector components
- Velocity and acceleration: uniform linear motion and accelerated motion
- Newton's First Law — Inertia Apparatus: A fancy version of pulling a tablecloth out from under a dish, using balls and a spring apparatus

## Forces

- Forces that oppose motion: pushes and pulls
- Friction: test surfaces for friction resistance; correlate friction resistance with weight; reduce friction with wheels and rollers
- Use a force table to add forces using vectors
- Discover the difference between mass and weight
- Newton's Third Law: Measure conservation of momentum by studying collisions; use Hall's carriages (model cars)
- Elastic and Inelastic Collisions: Does it bounce back?

## Work and Energy

- Discover the relationships among force, work, and distance; measure the work done by moving a given mass a given distance
- Use a roller coaster apparatus to see the difference between potential and kinetic energy

Copyright 2011 Dr. Deborah Knapp. All rights reserved.