The internal sensors in smartphones for their advanced add-in functions have also paved the way for these gadgets becoming multifunctional tools in elementary experimental physics. For instance, the acceleration sensor has been used to analyze free-falling motion and to study the oscillations of a spring-mass system. The ambient light sensor on the other hand has been proven to be a capable tool in studying an astronomical phenomenon as well as in measuring speed and acceleration. In this paper we present an accurate, convenient, and engaging use of the smartphone magnetic field sensor to measure the acceleration due to gravity via measurement of the period of oscillations (simply called “period” in what follows) of a simple pendulum. Measurement of the gravitational acceleration via the simple pendulum is a standard elementary physics laboratory activity, but the employment of the magnetic field sensor of a smartphone device in measuring the period is quite new and the use of it is seen as fascinating among students. The setup and procedure are rather simple and can easily be replicated as a classroom demonstration or as a regular laboratory activity.
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IPHYSICSLABS| April 01 2018
Measurement of g using a magnetic pendulum and a smartphone magnetometer
Phys. Teach. 56, 258–259 (2018)
Unofre Pili, Renante Violanda, Claude Ceniza; Measurement of g using a magnetic pendulum and a smartphone magnetometer. Phys. Teach. 1 April 2018; 56 (4): 258–259. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.5028247
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