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ERIC Number: EJ1142537
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Feb
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Kitchen Physics: Lessons in Fluid Pressure and Error Analysis
Vieyra, Rebecca Elizabeth; Vieyra, Chrystian; Macchia, Stefano
Physics Teacher, v55 n2 p87-90 Feb 2017
Although the advent and popularization of the "flipped classroom" tends to center around at-home video lectures, teachers are increasingly turning to at-home labs for enhanced student engagement. This paper describes two simple at-home experiments that can be accomplished in the kitchen. The first experiment analyzes the density of four liquids using a waterproof case and a smartphone barometer in a container, sink, or tub. The second experiment determines the relationship between pressure and temperature of an ideal gas in a constant volume container placed momentarily in a refrigerator freezer. These experiences provide a ripe opportunity both for learning fundamental physics concepts as well as to investigate a variety of error analysis techniques that are frequently overlooked in introductory physics courses. Smartphones and tablets have developed rapidly in recent years, and they will only increase their impact on schools and educational contexts in general. In recent literature, many articles have been published describing the use of mobile device sensors to study mechanics, sound, light, and electromagnetism. However, almost all smartphone models also have barometers, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 both have external thermometers and hygrometers built into their hardware. The barometer is typically used by a smartphone to determine altitude and relative elevation changes without the need of GPS assistance. Most smartphones record pressure to the nearest 0.01 hPa, with a relative error of up to 0.03 hPa and an absolute error of no more than 2.5 hPa. Here, we present two activities that use some of these capabilities. For the purpose of these activities, we used the multi-record function of our free app that we have developed, Physics Toolbox Suite for Android.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A