Oscillating
Systems Modeling

Cross
Curricular Connections:

From
Physics to Pre-Calc and Back Again

In a physics class, data
collection during several experiments involving oscillating systems will lead
to the development of models through the Stella software package.

These
oscillating systems should produce ** periodic** data.

The physics class will provide various data sets produced by their models for mathematical analysis.

- The data should
encompass at least one full cycle
- The precision of the
data should be five to six decimal places
- 40 to 50 data points
per cycle is recommended.

The physics students will
also submit detailed lab reports to the math students describing the physical
parameters of each model.

Students
will import this data into a specially prepared Excel spreadsheet that will
allow them to determine the specific sine functions that fit the models
developed by the physics students. They
will investigate how the various coefficients of the sine function affect the
mathematical model, and understand how to look at a graph and calculate the
coefficients.

The
mathematics students will then communicate to the physics students the
mathematical models of the data they provided and how the physical parameters
of the experiment relate to the mathematical model.

This unit involves
computational modeling from a systems AND mathematical perspective. Communication between these perspectives
will involve interaction between both physics and math students and require a
deep understanding of the concepts involved.
Students will demonstrate this understanding through both ongoing and
summative assessments requiring both technical understanding and an ability to
communicate information clearly.