About the project

The goal of the project is to analyze something from your daily lives using the tools of physics.

The form will be a short paper to be turned in by the due date. Somewhere between 2 and 5 pages will suffice.

It will be assessed (out of 10) using the following criteria:

  • 5 points: Correct physics!
  • 3 points: Plots/figures
  • 2 points: Writing

Proposal: In the spirit of academic pursuits, first you have to submit a proposal. This will be a very short, 3-4 sentence description of what you intent to do. This will be due by April 15th. (submission instructions to come...)

Final Project Due Date: May 17, 5:00 pm, submitted electronically via blackboard (instructions to come). Late submissions will be reduced by 20% per day of lateness. (i.e. submitting at 5:05 on the 17th will reduce your total score by 20%, submitting at 5:15 on the 18th will be 40%, etc. )

Basically, find something out there that relates to what we've done in here. Analyze it as best you can with the mathematical physics we've learned. If you reference previous work, make sure it is properly cited. You must actually measure something. The height of a building, the speed of a train, the temperature of the air, etc. (And just to make it very clear, you have to do the measurement yourself.)

Your project write up must include:

  • A measurement of something in the world
  • A plot relating two physical quantities relevant to your project
  • Explanation of the physics you are discussing (equations are great to include)
  • Citations for any references you need
  • Error-free, typed, University level writing.

Here is an example project that I would probably give an 7/10. It was clearly written in a hurry, and could use some more careful attention to the mathematical details. Example project


Phone Sensors

Your phone can do a lot more than you might think. This free app can record all sorts of physical data: Arduino Science Journal

Example Acceleration to Velocity from Science Journal

If you import a table of acceleration data from Science Journal, it will take some work to get something usable out of it. This Sample Data and Plots Spreadsheet shows an example.

If you need help exporting your recording to a format excel can read, please read these instructions: Science Journal Support

Video Analyis

Feel free to explore this software: Tracker. It will let you analyze a video for motion and kinematics.

Regular things

And most households have more phyiscs equipment than Newton had access to. You've got bathroom scales, accurate watches, etc. There is plenty of things to do using regular household 'instrumentation'. Just don't be the Nuclear BoyScout.

Other Examples

Submission Details

You can find the submission area on Blackboard, under the content page:

All submissions must be received via this method by 5 pm on May 17th.


  1. Please uplad a pdf of your written report
  2. If there are other entities that can't be included in a pdf, such as a video, or dynamic simulation, then please include links to them. (And check that they work)
  3. Please use standard formatting for your report (i.e. Times font at 12 pt, normal margins, single space.) At a glance, it should look like a University level piece of writing, and not a 5th grade science project.
  4. Equations and plots must be typed and prepared using a computer - No hand drawn graphs or math.
  5. Include your name on the document.

And lastly, due to the remote nature of this work, you need to convince me that you actually did this, and not some retired engineer in Florida making a side hustle on Chegg. If there is any doubt based on the submitted work, then it might be rejected.