Educational Physics Demonstrations: Outreach Project Proposal, Slinky Wilberforce Oscillator, and Wi

LT Kevin Garlington, USN, LT Michael Martinez, USN

Abstract: Demonstrations offer an excellent means of conveying physics concepts. This thesis consists of three topics in educational physics research of demonstrations: (i) a proposal for an outreach project of traveling demonstration shows and workshops, as well as a website with videos, (ii) a Wilberforce oscillator that is constructed from a Slinky rather than a conventional spring, and (iii) initial efforts to construct a one-dimensional lattice of coupled pendulums supporting both longitudinal and torsional waves that are linearly coupled. The project in (i) is for elementary, middle, and high school students and science teachers throughout Monterey County. Funding will be sought from the Office of Naval Research. In (ii), the flat rectangular cross section of the wire of a Slinky causes a Wilberforce oscillator to have dramatically different behavior compared to one with a conventional spring made of wire with a circular cross section. We refer to the system in (iii) as the Wilberforce pendulum lattice, which is related to (ii) only in regard to the resonance between longitudinal and torsional oscillations. Many physical systems support different types of waves that are linearly coupled, and the Wilberforce pendulum lattice allows for a physical understanding of the behavior.

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Jan 07, 2018

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