Advancing Physics Course

Institute of Physics, Advancing Physics course

This is a brand-new course for AS/A2 level, starting in September 2000. This new web page provides specific support for the course. Over the next few weeks we will be listing activities and experiments from the course suitable for use with our products.

Pico oscilloscope and data logging products are ideal for the course, in fact PicoScope is described in the recommended apparatus list (SFT12) as 'A software / hardware combination that transforms your PC into a very effective storage oscilloscope. Available in a range of configurations; increasing speed being matched by increasing cost.'

Recommended Equipment (Oscilloscope Products)

Our recommended oscilloscope product is the ADC200/50. This is a dual channel PC based oscilloscope / spectrum analyser that easily meets the requirements for EMT 5 (oscilloscope) in the apparatus list which states that 'A PC based oscilloscope is to be preferred for new purchases.'

If you are on a very limited budget, consider also the ADC200/20, however this is not really fast enough for Activity 220P (Measuring the speed of light). Activity 70D (Speed of a Pulse on a Coaxial Cable) can be done with the ADC200/20 but works better with the ADC200/50. The higher speed ADC200/100 is also suitable, but does not offer significant advantages for this course.

The numbers of oscilloscopes required will depend on class size, budget and availability of PC's. The course guidelines recommend 1 oscilloscope as a minimum, 4 to undertake the course with few compromises and 8 as ideal.

For a list of the activities / experiments that the ADC200/50 is suitable for in the course, click here

Recommended Equipment (Data Logging Products)

Our recommended data logging product is the DrDAQ. This is a low cost PC based data logger with built in sensors for light, temperature, sound level and sound waveform. It also has connectors for voltage, resistance and pH electrodes.

DrDAQ meets the requirements for MPU 2 (data capture device) and due to its built in sensors, it also meets most of the requirements of MPU 3 (range of sensors).

The course recommends a minimum of 1 data logger and 8 as ideal. Due to the low cost (Under 60) it may make sense to buy as many DrDAQ data loggers as you have PCs available.

For a list of the activities / experiments that the DrDAQ data logger is suitable for in the course, click here

Light Gates

Some of the experiments in Chapters 8 & 9 require the use of light gates. Most commercially available light gates can be interfaced to the ADC200/50. The course requires that time can be resolved to 0.001 sec, the ADC200/50 can resolve to 20ns so easily meets this.

Light gates can also be used with the DrDAQ which can resolve to better than 0.001 sec. Suitable light gates can be purchased from Technology Supplies (Tel 01630 637300, part no 970-128). When using a pair of light gates, plug one into the voltage input and the other into the resistance input (which when driven from a low impedance will measure voltage). Using PicoScopes rulers (or automated measurements) time measurements can easily be made.

Our version of activity 110E Predicting the motion of a falling card shows the use of light gates with DrDAQ. The science experiment Measuring the speed of a model car shows how to make your own light gates.

Free Equipment!

Prior to the start of the course in September 2000, we are hoping to add written up examples of the activities in the course that can be performed using our oscilloscopes and data loggers. These activities will be added to our library of science experiments. If you are interested in performing and writing up one or more of these activities, please e-mail in return for writing up a suitable experiment we will donate a FREE DrDAQ data logger to your school / college.

Useful Links

Advancing Physics Web Site

Library of Science Experiments

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