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Physics Science Projects



Physics science projects may focus on acoustics, astronomy, electromagnetism, mechanics, meteorology, and optics. This article has information and ideas for physics science projects in these areas, plus ideas for presentation and extensions.

This group of  projects is a combination of classroom ideas and projects that might be developed into a science fair presentation. They can be adapted in terms of how much time is devoted to them, the medium of presentation, the depth in which the subject is treated, and the extensions that are drawn out from the basic premise. Some extensions are given, but you can add others.

Acoustics

• Design a new acoustic musical instrument.

            • Explain its relationship to other, similar instruments.

            • Record a duet for your instrument and another instrument.

            • Explain the acoustics of your instrument.

•  Many instruments have modifications, either devices such as mutes, or techniques, such as pizzicato to change the sound. Make up some modifications for your instrument.

• Create a design for a whispering chamber.

            • Create a context in which the whispering chamber makes sense.

• Create a presentation that puts your design in the context of other whispering chambers

• Explain the design differences between a whispering chamber and an echo chamber.

• Analyze the echo location system used by people who are sight-impaired.

            • Determine parameters that change the effectiveness of the system.

            • Compare the system to echo location used by other creatures.

            • Compare the system to SONAR and SODAR.

Astronomy

• Present an argument for why the change in the status of Pluto is or is not appropriate.

            • Explain the implications of your argument for other celestial objects

• Discuss the theoretical issues involved in changing the name/categorization of something.

• Make a plan to contact any possible life in the solar system outside of planet Earth using some lasting medium of communication.

            • Figure out a methodology for sending or transmitting into space.

            • Plan what you would send and tell why.

            • Explain how you would collect and store what you intended to send.

            • Detail what kind of response you might expect and when. What system would you create to receive an possible response?

            • What mechanism would you use to determine the success or failure of the attempt?

• Compare and contrast different systems of star categorization.

            • Compare astronomical classification with constellation approaches.

            • Compare constellation myths of different cultures.

            • Explain the circumstances in which various systems may be valuable.

Electromagnetism

• Create a demonstration that shows the most important factors that determine the level of functionality of an electromagnet, for example, temperature, the medium through which it flows, the number of coils, the power source voltage, the wire gauge, etc.)

            • Create a parallel demonstration that shows the most important effects caused by electromagnets.

            • Create a series of models to demonstrate the usefulness of electromagnets.

• See article Telegraph Science Project.

Mechanics

• Design an experiment to determine at what angle should you throw a ball to make it travel the farthest? Write up your results as a strategy that someone could put into effect on the spot.

            • Enumerate situations - whether with a ball or not - in which this information would prove useful?

            • What parameters change the effectiveness of your discovered strategy?

• Research advertisements that make claims about the strength of various paper towels. Conduct a test of the claims and compare the results to the ads.

            • Conduct interviews to determine what features of paper towels (e.g., price, absorbency, sheets per roll, materials, size, etc.) are most important to consumers.

            • Use your own tests and analysis to determine which paper towel(s) best meet the criteria revealed by your interviews.

Meteorology

• Build your own weather station, including barometer, anemometer, precipitation gauge, and wind vane. Track the weather for a month.

            • Compare your findings to the closest official weather station. Explain or account  for any differences in findings.

            • Analyze the usefulness of relying on one’s own, personal weather data as opposed to using other sources.

            • Determine how many sources of weather information are available to you. Devise a test to determine which is most reliable in forecasting for one or more particular periods (e.g., the afternoon of the day in question; two days on from the day in question, etc.)

Optics

• Design an experiment to determine the qualities of liquid that affect how it refracts light (IOR) and what effects they have (e.g., density, color, chemical make-up, opacity).

            • Postulate some uses to which knowledge of IOR could be put in various investigative settings, including crime scene investigation, ecological studies ofcoastal areas, etc.

            • Analyze how the ability to correct vision is dependent on understanding of refraction. How does the refraction of liquids enter into the picture?

• Determine the factors needed to create an inferior mirage.

            • Contrast the creation of an inferior and a superior mirage.

            • Explain the occurrence of what is known as a Fata Morgana mirage.