Mobile Phone Physics Laboratory

Mobile Phone Physics Laboratory

P. Granholm (2016).  Mobile Phone Physics Laboratory. 6.

Changes in the university funding drives the development of the education towards larger student groups as an attempt to cut costs. This makes it more and more difficult to give all students enough time for practical laboratory exercises. In an attempt to increase the the part of practical work in the basic physics course for the first year students at the Faculty of Business ICT and Chemical Engineering we have introduced mobile phone laboratories.

Mobile phones have a large number of sensors to measure changes in the orientation of the device, acceleration, light conditions, sound levels etc. These sensors can also be used to read and used for measuring physical phenomena. During the first year class in Engineering physics we have tried to do open ended experiments to get a hands on experience of experimental design and data analysis at the same time as the students gets familiar with the actual physical phenomena.

The tasks for the students were formed in such a way that they should be ale to do the experiments with their own phones and material that they could find at home. To perform the experiments the students worked in groups of about five persons. They got about two week time to design and do the experiment. Instead of a traditional written report they should return a video of the experiment and theoretical calculation predicting the result.

In this paper we report the results from this teaching experiment done with both Information Technology students from our international class and domestic Chemical Engineering students.

Proceedings of the 12th International CDIO Conference, Turku, Finland, June 12-16 2016

Authors (New): 
Patric Granholm
Turku University of Applied Sciences, Turku, Finland
Physics Education
Active learning
CDIO Standard 5
CDIO Standard 7
CDIO Standard 8
CDIO Standard 11
Kuhn, J., & Vogt, P. (2013). Applications and Examples of Experiments with Mobile Phones and Smartphones in Physics Lessons. Frontiers in Sensors, 1(4), 67 – 73.: 
Physics Toolbox (October 2015), Physics Toolbox application (Android and IOS). Retrieved February 5, 2016, from 
Sensor Emitter (2012), Sensor Emitter application (Windows phones). Retrieved February 5, 2016, from 
Turku University of Applied Sciences (2014), Study guide for the Degree Programme in Information Technology. Retrieved February 5, 2016, from 
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