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Help with investigation topics/ideas.

  1. Jul 12, 2010 #1
    This term in physics we are being assessed on designing an experiment of our choice (and topic), obtaining the data and analyzing/concluding upon it. At my school this is known as an extended experimental investigation. Basically I am looking for some ideas or even topics that will have enough weight behind it for the 10 weeks. Before you suggest anything out of my ability I'll let you know I'm a grade 12 high school student. I can get help from my teachers on harder topics but my resources will be limited and I do not wish to spend a huge amount of money for any unique equipment.

    For my EEI last year I investigated what characteristics of wine glasses give them their unique resonant frequency. After examining a large selection of wine glasses I developed an equation that will give an approximate resonate frequency based on certain characteristics (eg height, width, glass thickness). This was fairly boring and I'm hoping someone will suggest something that will give me some motivation to complete.

    Thanks in advance...
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 13, 2010 #2
    If you are looking for something fun, I suggest to investigate the Weber-Fechner law.

    It is mainly founded on experiments where persons were given two nearly identical stimuli (for example, two similar weights) and tested whether they could notice a difference between them. It was found that the was roughly proportional to the intensity of the stimulus. Ie, if a person could consistently feel that a 110 g weight was heavier than a 100 g weight, he could also feel that 1100 g was more than 1000 ghttp://www.neuro.uu.se/fysiologi/gu/nbb/lectures/WebFech.html" [Broken].

    You can also investigate this law according to sound, frequency, distance effect, vision etc. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weber%E2%80%93Fechner_law" [Broken]).

    To investigate weight effect you need bottle, dish and some weights. By filling bottle you can fix base stimuli and with weights you can measure smallest noticeable difference.

    [PLAIN]http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/3299/weberz.jpg [Broken]

    For all sound effects you need computer with speakers and a freeware program etc.

    You'll need a lot of friends to collect data. Fun guaranted.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  4. Jul 13, 2010 #3
    Thanks this sounds like it could be some fun. I did some research on the topic and I don't think I could formulate an question/aim/hypothesis for it. What would I be trying to find, would I be trying to prove his laws are true based on blind human trials? Even then there is not a whole lot of physics that could be linked into my analysis of the data.
  5. Jul 13, 2010 #4
    Well... you asked about inspiration, not solution :smile:.

    Weber-Fechner law is well known law. You can just ask: "is this law correct?".

    Or you can investigate question: "What is the smallest noticeable stimulus difference? Is it independence or depend from stimulus level?"... and develop this law again :rolleyes:

    Then you have to collect data with many friends and many levels for some different type of stimulus. Investigate dependency from age, sex, type of stimulus...

    Weber-Fechner law is an experimental law, we don't know why and how it works. But we (for instance) should make volume potentiometers in TV set according to this law...

    There is no much complicated physics in this experiments, but statistics and error calculations are complicated enough.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
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