Using Video and Animation in Physics Instruction

Loren Winters, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, 1219 Broad St, Durham, NC 27715

The use and analysis of digital video in physics labs has become commonplace. I’ll present some of the tools and applications using both standard NTSC and high-speed video. I’ll also show how I use video and video analysis in the AP Physics course that I teach online.

My first attempts at using video in my physics teaching were actually animations. They were collections of sequential still images assembled into digital video format. This approach was necessitated by the lack of a budget for a high-speed video camera. The attempts are reminiscent of the way 19th century optical devices produced the illusion of motion. I’ll show some of the animations that I use, and I’ll demonstrate some original optical toys from the Ralph E. Wileman Collection.