Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in analyzing the motion of objects in video data as a way for students to connect the concepts of physics to something tangible like a video recording of an experiment.1,2 Inexpensive devices can now record videos at 120 or 240 frames/s, and, among instructors, there is an appetite for substantially rethinking the objectives of introductory labs (e.g., Refs. 3–5).

Generally, the goal of a student activity involving analysis of video data is to obtain the (x, y) position of a particular object in as many frames of the video as possible. Once obtained, this data can be used to infer velocities, acceleration, and any number of other quantities like momentum or energy. A variety of software exists for students to look at individual frames and click on the object to infer the (x,...

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