Saturday, October 14, 2006

MiAAPT - Fall 2006/07

For the full details of my presentation check out my online handout at

Title: Probeware on a budget - sneaky uses for free software.

You can actually outfit a computer with probeware capable of doing a dozen different labs or demos for under $10. If you can attach a solar cell to a cheap set of dollar store headphones you have all the technical skills you need. All you need to make it works is a sound card with a microphone jack and you can find g, determine the relationship between the period and length of pendulum, or create your own inertial balance.

I'll be presenting a more detailed version of this talk at next week's meeting (10/21/06) of the MetroDetroit Science Teachers Asociation meeting being held at Lawrence Tech. For that presentation I'll wlak participants through the actual process of creating the probeware and then show several labs that can be done using the probe. Today I only have time for one or two.

The Software:
  • Audacity: An open source program for audio recording and editing. It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
  • Visual Analyser: A free oscilloscope program for Windows. I've seen $50 programs that don't do as much as this free one.
  • MacScope: A sharware oscilloscope program for Mac or Windows. You can download a fully functional version for free and if you like it you only have to pay $10 to buy it.

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