2018 BFY III Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Targeting Student Design and Modeling Skills Using Coupled Oscillators
Abstract: As part of a lab re-design project, we are developing a new second year experiment that targets the following learning outcomes: design a procedure, devise a model, use a computer for data analysis and curve fitting by allowing students to investigate the physical behavior of coupled oscillators. In the Spring of 2018 a trial was run in which the students were asked to investigate how the symmetric and anti-symmetric eigen-frequencies of coupled oscillators depend upon the magnitude of the coupling force. The coupled oscillators were made from Geomag magnetic bars and a Hall probe was used to measure the amplitude. However due to non-linearities in this system, frequencies other than the expected symmetric and anti-symmetric modes were present in the power spectrum of the oscillator responses.

In this poster, we will describe a complete re-design of the experiment that was undertaken to eliminate non-linearities and we will present sample results. The coupled oscillators now comprise two cantilevers made of spring steel. The amplitude detection is performed with an OPTEK optical sensor and the coupling force is mechanical. The analysis of the experiment is performed in a Jupyter Notebook with Python. The experiment is structured as a design lab where students are given the opportunity to design their own procedure and develop their own model of the system. Furthermore, modern manufacturing techniques, such as 3D printing, are employed resulting in apparatus which is low-cost and readily scalable so that the entire class can perform the experiment concurrently if so required.
Abstract Type: Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Alastair McLean
Queen's University at Kingston
Stirling Hall,
Bader Crescent,
Kingston, Non U.S. K7L3N6
Phone: 6135452709
and Co-Presenter(s)
William Kim (Queen's), Matt Frosst (Queen's) and Bei Cai (Queen's).

Presentation Documents

Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster