Spark image

Possible open ended experimental investigations

Energy in a balloon Drag on small boats in a piece of water filled guttering
Energy emitted by a light bulb - LDR Most efficient immersion heater
Cars and carpet - friction and braking Defects of lenses - astigmatism
Volume change after mixing water and methanol Heat effects in stretching a rubber band
Expansion of a heated rubber band The propellor and drag
Strength of plants - bending in the wind Resonance in buildings - earthquake simulations
Mechanical resonance Bilfilar suspension
Absorption of light by glass Waves on a stretched spring
Paper levitation by a Van der Graaff generator Difraction and resolution
Oscillation of tapes in an airflow Falling magnet in a copper tube
Singing tube Attractive forces in electromagnets
Fatigue in aluminium strips Bilfilar suspension
Craters Bouncing balls
Friction in curtain rails How bubbles arise in liquids
Effect of polish on friction The strength of adhesives
Vibrations in a soap film Viscosity of liquids
Optical properties of syrup Objects in an air stream
Standing waves on a vibrating wire hoop Bouncing balls
The jumping ring Penetration of nails into wood
Photochromic sunglasses Bending of a wooden beam
Electromagnetic clutch Continuously variable transmission
Strength of wet and dry tissues Capillarity in sugar cubes
Thrust of model aircraft propellors Bouncing balls
Transformer efficiency Transmission of light through glass and water
Conductivity of salt solution The silt meter - light transmission
The properties of a small water pump Strength of a polythene bag
Photoelasticity Forces in athletics
The physics of musical instruments Damping and resonance
Reflection of microwaves from different sized mesh The efficiency of a small solar cell
Electromagnetic induction - separated coils Air damping with a propellor

Some further comments on "open ended" experiments

In these experiments you cannot be sure what you will find - you won't find them written up in any book so it is especially necessary that you plan them carefully.
Before starting ask yourself these questions and be able to answer them!

Open ended experiments - questions
What am I going to investigate? Do I need a control experiment?
What apparatus will I need and is it available? Are my aims realistic?
How much time will I need for the investigation? What is my overall plan of action?
Will the readings be taken manually or automatically? How will I present my results?
Are there safety considerations that I should think about? How reliable will my answer be?

© Keith Gibbs