The angular velocity of a spinning object is, by standard, measured using a device called a tachometer. However, by directly using it in a classroom setting, the activity is likely to appear as less instructive and less engaging. Indeed, some alternative classroom-suitable methods for measuring angular velocity have been presented. In this paper, we present a further alternative that is smartphone-based, making use of the real-time magnetic field (simply called B-field in what follows) data gathering capability of the B-field sensor of the smartphone device as the timer for measuring average rotational period and average angular velocity. The in-built B-field sensor in smartphones has already found a number of uses in undergraduate experimental physics. For instance, in elementary electrodynamics, it has been used to explore the well-known Bio-Savart law and in a measurement of the permeability of air.
Knowing the fact that the magnet travels 2π rad in a time interval equal to the period together with the given sampling rate of the device of 0.10 s, we obtained the angular positions at every specific sampling time.
Division of angular positions by corresponding specific sampling times generates the uniform values of angular velocity, thus the average velocity.