Investigation of the Rotational Motion of the Fidget Spinner by Means of Technical Informatics
The boundaries between science, engineering and computer sciences seem to have been blurred in the 21st century. Microcontroller programming plays a role in informatics education, while modern physics teaching integrates the potential of computer simulations and computer-controlled measurement experiments. In order to demonstrate the latter, we present an experiment to precisely identify the dynamic causes of a kinematic phenomenon solved by means of technical computer science. To investigate the role of air resistance, we developed a vacuum chamber in which the signals of sensors were detected by the NI myDAQ multifunctional device and the popular Arduino UNO. A wide range of ways are presented to control data acquisition and numerical analysis of a quadrangle signal produced by a photogate, as well as graphical representation and evaluation of derived time-dependent signals. Controlling the two devices due to their characteristics and hosting of measured data by a computer require different programming techniques from the user (LabVIEW, C/C++). The results and methods of the study can be applied in physics and computer science education at a secondary school level.