I'm looking for a really solid rotational motion lab for a physics of sports class I'm teaching for younger students (HS Freshmen mainly).

It should be something that the students can gather data on and then be able to run some calculations (we use Excel) to find other physical quantities or verify a known value. It should also be big (on a length scale from 10 m to 100 m) and sporty if possible.

Any ideas?

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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps one of the Direct Measurement Videos will give you some ideas? serc.carleton.edu/dmvideos/videos.html $\endgroup$ – Farcher Jul 28 '17 at 19:10
  • $\begingroup$ You could roll various round things down a ramp—solid ball such as bowling ball, hollow ball such as basketball, cylinder such as hockey puck, hoop or ring such as aerobie, and relate their different accelerations to the rotational moments of inertia for each shape. $\endgroup$ – Ben51 Nov 27 '18 at 2:21
  • $\begingroup$ Best is to illustrate that on a inclined plane with some friction two hollow cylinders of different mass , radii , length still reach the bottom at the same time ( same can go with basketballs of different sizes) or you could explain the ice skating tricks by using angular momentum conservation ( why do skaters curl their arms inwards) at the same time Magnus effect could be introduced to the students $\endgroup$ – Aditya Garg Jun 10 at 13:31

Measure the curved path of a baseball's flight as a function of initial velocity and spin. This relates directly to what pitchers try to influence deliberately to make it difficult for batters to hit the ball.

Note that both initial velocity and spin are vector quantities, so there are quite a few degrees of freedom.

  • $\begingroup$ Are you thinking using a video recording of the activity and then an analysis of that video? $\endgroup$ – David Elm Jul 29 '17 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ @David: That would be one way. $\endgroup$ – Olin Lathrop Jul 29 '17 at 20:19

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