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Jaxon Hill
Jaxon Hill

Three Science Experiments You Can Do With Your Phone

It is free to download and is also cross-platform - so that's handy. They also have a big selection of DIY science experiments on their YouTube channel and we'll be selecting a few of those, and others, to describe below.

Three Science Experiments You Can Do With Your Phone

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With the acoustic stopwatch activated strike the ruler on the edge so that the object falls off the ruler and drops to the floor. The stopwatch should trigger when the ruler 'rings' from the impact (if metal) and stop when your phone's microphone detects the impact of the object on the floor.

Then open the Phyphox app (or alternative) and find the pendulum experiment from the menu. Before you start swinging your phone around like 'it's no-one's business' you'll need to make some preparations first.

Now for the fun bit. Attach some string to your phone, press start and set you phone pendulum "a-swinging". If the experiment went well the app should have determined the length of the string of the pendulum from a pivot point to the phone's center of mass.

Your choice of magnets will depend completely on the setup of your experiment and the length of the distance between the magnets and your phone. For instance, if you wanted to use a train set with height from magnet to phone being around 7 cm small rare earth metal ones should work fine.

But be warned very strong magnets can, and will, damage your phone especially its compass functions. If between 1 micro- to 1 milli- Tesla it should be fine (yes there is an app to measure that too).

The second device, whether it be a tablet, PC or another phone, will need its most up to date web browser but other than that it doesn't need to be anything too fancy. It will also need to be on the same network as your to-be smartphone rolling sensor.

You will be provided with a URL to enter into your second devices web browser. Now place your smartphone (with the activated app) inside the roller and use some padding to wedge it as close to the center as possible - obviously be careful not to turn off/close the app or change any settings - the display will remain open throughout.

Using a data collecting app, like Phyphox, you can actually turn your phone into a rudimentary SONAR device. With the example app provided, it uses your speaker to send out a series of 'chirps' and 'listens' for the reflection off a target using the phone's microphone.

To conduct controlled experiments you will need to insulate your phone from all other directions apart from the target direction to try to attenuate as much 'noise' as possible. After all, the phone will receive signals from all directions (walls, ceilings and pretty much everything around it) without some form of insulation.

Your phone will need to come equipped with a barometer. If you aren't sure if your phone has this built-in piece of kit the app will soon you let you know when you try to activate the "Elevator" experiment in the Phyphox app menu.

The application then records the changes in atmospheric pressure as the lift ascends or descends in the lift shaft. Using the barometric formula the app is able to determine the distance of travel, vertical velocity and can record the acceleration of the lift using your phone's accelerometer.

You will also need two phones with the same app installed, somewhere to conduct the experiment and a tape measure to set the two phones a set distance apart. As with other acoustic based experiments on the list, you'll need to fiddle with the threshold values to make sure ambient noise is canceled out.

Here is another simple, yet fun, experiment you can conduct using your phone (and app of course). If you have ever wondered about the rotation frequency of a fidget spinner now is your chance to find out.

All you need is a smartphone (iOS or Android) with a data collection app like Phyphox installed and a fidget spinner (of course). To do this experiment we will need to magnetize part of the fidget spinner so that your phone's magnetometer can detect its magnetic field.

Unlike other experiments on this list, you will need a fair amount of materials to perform this experiment. You might have a few of the necessary items lying around the house but it might be necessary to spend just a few bucks at your local hardware shop.

What materials you will need will depend on your final design of 'car' but in general you will need something like the following. Remember the design will need to be strong enough to actually 'take the weight' of your phone:-

Whatever design you go for you will want to quantify the performance of the final vehicle. This is where your smartphone and app comes into play so make sure you make allowance for the phones size and weight into your design.

And last, but by no means least, is an experiment that will test your civil engineering skills (if you have any). This experiment will once again utilize your phone's accelerometer to build the most efficient earthquake attenuation system you can think of.

Once you are happy with your earthquake-proof design its time to test it. Open your data collection app (e.g. Phyphox), place/affix it on top of your building and get 'earthquake-simulating' by moving the cardboard base from side to side.

Simple scientific method experiments should be easy and fun and include everyday supplies you can find in your own home! This experiment will help your child understand how various household liquids melt at different rates.

34 Experiments included! Make the Energy Stick come to life with the Electricity Science Kit. Learn about what shapes a bubble, even making your very own square bubble with the Bubblology Science Kit. Learn about cohesion, adhesion, surface tension and air pressure with Water Science Kit. Explore color mixing using non-toxic dyes in their own miniature laboratory with the the Color Mixing Science Kit. Learn how balance and energy play an important role in daily life with the Physics Science Kit.

GUEST POST: Jess Purcell is a Chemistry teacher turned stay-at-home Mom who is passionate about explaining the science behind sustainable living. She is the creator of #sustainabilitysciencesunday, a weekly series on Instagram that provides simple sustainability science experiments that can be done at home. Jess lives in central Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and two cats and can usually be found outside, either digging in her gardens, hiking with her family or attempting to read a book while being cajoled into a game of hide and seek. You can find her on Instagram @thoughtfullysustainable.

Just about everywhere you go, you can see someone using a cell phone. You can use a cell phone to call your mom to pick you up from the mall, text your best friends, check the Internet for movie times, and even play games. The cell phone is an important part of how we communicate with our friends and family.

But how does a cell phone do all of that? Cell phones are basically radios that depend on radio signals to receive and transmit information. When you talk into your cell phone, it converts your voice into a microwave frequency signal. Cell phones transmit and receive information at microwave frequencies, which are within the radio frequency (RF) spectrum. Radio waves and microwaves are all part of the electromagnetic spectrum. See Figure 1 to view the full electromagnetic spectrum.

Each cell phone carrier (like Verizon, AT&T, etc.) is given a set of frequencies, which they use to transmit and receive information in a typical city. Each cell phone carrier then breaks the city up into cells (each cell is a few square miles). Each cell has a base station. When you turn on your cell phone, it communicates with its closest base station and shares information about you and where you are located. When you make or receive a call from a friend, many operations have occurred that identify where and who you and your friend are, determining which microwave frequencies your phones should use so that you can both talk. Once the connection has been made, having a conversation on the phone is like talking on a two-way radio.

When you use your cell phone to talk or text, your body absorbs some amount of the microwave frequency signal, and there might be some health issues associated with this. The electromagnetic spectrum is classified into non-ionizing radiation and ionizing radiation. Non-ionizing radiation does not damage the genetic material in body's molecules, and might or might not cause illness (more on this in the next paragraph), but if the exposure to microwave radiation is sufficiently intense (which you can read more about in the Office of Engineering and Technology reference in the Bibliography, below), then it can cause biological damage, such as burns and cataracts. Ionizing radiation, on the other hand, is dangerous to our bodies, and in high doses can cause cancer and birth defects. Radio frequencies and microwave frequencies are classified as non-ionizing radiation, and x-rays and gamma rays are examples of ionizing radiation.

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You could get all retro and add it to your next load of laundry, but what fun is that? Today, we are going to share with you three science activities that use Borax - ones that you will want to do over and over again until the whole box is gone!


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