Computation in the Introductory Physics Lab: An example
Faculty Commons material developed by Jennifer Birriel
- Published July 17, 2020
We present an example in which a traditional pen and paper lab can be done using MS Excel as a computational tool to perform data reduction and analysis. We have provided the traditional lab and the new "student template" in Excel along with a "instructor solution". This serves only as an example for other instructors to consider implementing in their first year physics labs (both algebra- and calculus-based courses).
1. Controling input and output number format to reflect appropriate significant figures and numerical output (e.g. scientific, number with specified decimals).
2. Performing repetitve calculations with Excel as a calculator.
3. Using built in trigonometric functions (here RAD() and SIN())
3. Controlling the numerical output of a trendline fit to data.
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