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Analog-To-Digital Science: Modeling Binary Coding and the CD Read System Documents

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Main Document

Analog-To-Digital Science: Modeling Binary Coding and the CD Read System 

written by Alice Flarend
edited by Caroline Hall

This five-day lesson module for high school physics uses modeling and hands-on investigation to explore how digital signals are created from analog information. Students will use art as an analogy to differentiate analog and digital media, choose sampling rates and apply mathematics, and encode/decode words in binary. In the culminating activity, learners build a working model of a CD player that uses laser light to read a word coded as a binary message. The lesson can be adapted for learners with little or no background in binary number systems. Materials include laser pointer, smartphone light meter, motorized toy car (to rotate the CD), blank compact discs, and converging lenses.

Released under a ©AAPT, 2018

Published April 12, 2018
Last Modified April 12, 2018

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Primary Documents (2)

Teacher's Guide: Analog-To-Digital 

by Alice Flarend

Word Version: Print and customize your lesson.

Released under a ©AAPT, 2018

Published April 12, 2018
Last Modified April 12, 2018

Student Guide: Analog-To-Digital 

by Alice Flarend

Printable student version for classroom distribution.

Released under a ©AAPT, 2018

Published April 12, 2018
Last Modified April 12, 2018