Recommendations of experiments to a high school student.

  • #1
Hello! First of all, thank you taking the time to read this. I'm a high school student currently about to begin my last year (I'm from Argentina so here we start in March) and would like to study physics in 2020. Because of that, I contacted a university here and they told me that if I wanted to, I could go there and perform some physics related experiments or conduct research for, I don't know, more or less 3 months (with a supervisor). So, I'd like to know if you have any suggestions as to which experiments I could make there to use my time well. I'm interested in making experiments that are somehow original, so if you can think of something like that it'd be nice. The reason behind all this is that I'll be applying to some American universities, and I read somewhere that this is a good way of showing that I'm interested in the subject. If you have any ideas as to what kind of research I could conduct, please leave me a comment. Again, thanks a lot!
 

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  • #2
Dr. Courtney
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Design of good high school experiments often depends on available equipment and expertise, especially in physics when something original is desired. But the skills and disposition of both the faculty mentor and the student are also very important.

We've had some success lately using video cameras and Tracker for a number of student physics experiments. Tracker is a motion analysis program that (with some care) makes it relatively straightforward to determine x(t) and y(t) for an object in motion. Still, for most experiments, it will be the video analysis bit that is original rather than the experiment itself.
 
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  • #3
DaveE
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Can you get some suggestions from the supervisor at the University? It may be best to find an experiment that you are interested in that also takes advantage of what they already have available. Then you can avoid some of the less interesting set up work. This may also allow you to learn to use more sophisticated equipment than you might otherwise have access to.
 
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  • #4
Can you get some suggestions from the supervisor at the University? It may be best to find an experiment that you are interested in that also takes advantage of what they already have available. Then you can avoid some of the less interesting set up work. This may also allow you to learn to use more sophisticated equipment than you might otherwise have access to.
Hi! I'm sorry for the late reply, but thank you a lot for the suggestion! I wanted to do the research myself and come up with something on my own to show personal interest in the subject to the professor who will be helping me, but as you say, even if I come up with something interesting I might not be able to do it because I don't exactly know what kind of equipment is available. Thanks, again!
 
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  • #5
Design of good high school experiments often depends on available equipment and expertise, especially in physics when something original is desired. But the skills and disposition of both the faculty mentor and the student are also very important.

We've had some success lately using video cameras and Tracker for a number of student physics experiments. Tracker is a motion analysis program that (with some care) makes it relatively straightforward to determine x(t) and y(t) for an object in motion. Still, for most experiments, it will be the video analysis bit that is original rather than the experiment itself.
Hello! I will bring that suggestion to the professor I'll be working with, maybe we can work something out with the equipment available. Regarding the disposition, I believe I'll be good there, because no one else in my city ever went to the professor I am going to be working with to suggest doing experiments (at list that's my understanding) so he was very willing to work with me, I guess mainly because it doesn't happen often, for some reason in my country it's odd that a high school student wants to do research in a university. Also, I'm really excited to begin working with him. Thank you for answering, and again, sorry for the delay!
 
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