A useful demonstration of calculus in a physics high school laboratory

IOP Publishing
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Physics Education, 2018, 53 (1), pp. 015006 - 015006 (6)
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The real power of calculus is revealed when it is applied to actual physical problems. In this paper, we present a calculus inspired physics experiment suitable for high school and undergraduate programs. A model for the theory of the terminal velocity of a falling body subject to a resistive force is developed and its validity tested in an experiment of a falling magnet in a column of self-induced eddy currents. The presented method combines multiple physics concepts such as 1D kinematics, classical mechanics, electromagnetism and non-trivial mathematics. It offers the opportunity for lateral as well as project-based learning.
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