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Author Topic: Today's session  (Read 6411 times)
Wheelo Schomer
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« on: April 10, 2007, 10:56:53 PM »

Physics session today was slightly strange...unclear whether it was supposed to be on 10th or 12th of April! (see http://schome.open.ac.uk/wikiworks/index.php/SNP_Physics_group_session_8)

We started the pendulum experiment, but I didn't finish (had to drop out early)
I noticed that the experiment was flawed:
  • The pendulum didn't oscillate in the same plane - it twisted towards the end
  • The timing was inaccurate
  • The movement of the pendulum was jerky, as the rings weren't very smooth

Maybe we could retry on the 12th with some improvements?
I can't come to that session, but maybe I could do my own experiment sometime and report back.
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Explo Schomer
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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2007, 10:06:41 AM »

I've got a (kind of) working pendulum at 100,40,100. The main problem with smaller pendulums seems tobe that they lose energy too quickly. At present the pendulum has a slight problem where it shifts towards one end (even if it isn't swinging). I should have sorted that pretty soon though. The next bit is to write a script so that it returns the period accurately.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2007, 10:20:44 AM by Explo Schomer » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2007, 10:21:46 AM »

Update: I've sorted a script that returns the time of a half rotation. Apparently pendulums are not entirely reliable as the time for each half period gets smaller the more time elapses. Results came out as:
4.636   4.193
4.29     4.145
4.237   4.142
4.238   4.102
4.233

This averages out to an average full period of 8.5285. Plugging this into the equation along with the length of 15 the resulting value of g is 8.14152 to 5 decimal places. Alternatively doubling the arguably more accurate 4.636 gives a period of 9.272 which gives a g value of around 6.888. With this in mind I'd be inclined to take the former value as the (more) accurate, though further tests by other people would be appreciated (I've sorted permissions on the pendulum). Incidentally, although the bulk of the experiment was done by me, Flio, XxDaisylouxX, and Trixxiee were all witnesses so it's kind of a group experiment.
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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2007, 10:02:32 PM »

Could you publish the script of your timer please or give me a copy inworld. I was speaking today to someone who is developing a workshop for Physics teachers - and he told me he couldn't find a good timer for this kind of experiment. So, with your permission, I could pass your script on to him, and then he will start teaching it to Physics teachers! 

He also wanted to develop a HUD that would plot a distance/time graph as someone drives a vehicle around a race track.

Davee
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2007, 12:42:39 PM »

Publishing scripts in the wiki is definitely the way to go - fame and fortune will come your way I have no doubt once folk discover all the cool things that folk in Schome Park have developed - check out the Script Libraries page (and if you do publish a script remember to list it on the script libraries page)
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mgaved
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2007, 01:43:32 PM »

Publishing scripts in the wiki is definitely the way to go

I'd like to back Peter up on this one - and I am sure Decimus would agree  ;) - please put up any cool scripts you've done or modified on the wiki.

This might seem a little crazy - you might be worried that somebody will 'steal' the code that you call 'your script' but what's more likely is that it will spread your script around to more people and you will get recognised as an expert. Which might end up with you getting a great reputation and even some cool work from it  :)

« Last Edit: April 21, 2007, 01:46:11 PM by mgaved » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2007, 02:00:28 PM »

you might be worried that somebody will 'steal' the code that you call 'your script'
And if you do, please read Free Software, Free Society; 'tis a collection of the more important GNU essays, which points out that the people who write a piece of software 'own' it (and hence put stupid copyright restrictions on it) stifles innovations, the opposite of the intended purpose of copyrights...
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mgaved
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2007, 02:04:22 PM »

cheers Decimus  :)

Full reference to the book? Author, publisher, date, ISBN, maybe a link to an online bookshop like Amazon, so  it's easy for people to chase it down?

thanks. Mark Cabaret
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Decimus Schomer
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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2007, 06:24:24 PM »

Full reference to the book? Author, publisher, date, ISBN, maybe a link to an online bookshop like Amazon, so  it's easy for people to chase it down?
All the essays were written by RMS, published by the GNU press, ISBN 1-882114-98-1 and link here

One of the great things about the GNU press is that you can download their books for no cost from their website...
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Marko Schomer
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« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2007, 04:04:11 PM »

One of the great things about the GNU press is that you can download their books for no cost from their website...

It would kind of spoil the point if they charged.  ;)
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Decimus Schomer
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« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2007, 04:17:53 PM »

One of the great things about the GNU press is that you can download their books for no cost from their website...
It would kind of spoil the point if they charged.  ;)
Not necessarilly - see this
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Marko Schomer
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« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2007, 07:35:52 PM »

Not necessarilly - see this

OK. One thing is: since the software is free and so freely distributable once owned, surely if anyone charges then people will just get the software from another person? (finding a free source or sharing the software) If this is done, then the point of charging (to recieve funds) would mostly disappear, as the seller would only recieve one initial payment (unless of course the cost is extremely high, in which case those who can't share the cost will be put at a huge disadvantage).
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mgaved
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« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2007, 10:13:10 PM »

since the software is free and so freely distributable once owned, surely if anyone charges then people will just get the software from another person? (finding a free source or sharing the software)

But this assumes that people will prefer to get their software for free rather than paying for it. The shareware model (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shareware) has been proven to work in at least some cases.

Some people may decide that while they could get a copy for free, they might prefer to give the creator(s) some money in order to support them in their development and maintenance of the software. You could argue this is either a generous gesture (being a nice person and thanking the creators) or pragmatic (by giving the creators money they are more likely to respond to help calls, more likely to maintain and develop the software).

ooh, where's Socratic Shepherd when you need her!


I've certainly been in companies where we pay for free/shareware software even though we don't have to, because that piece of software has been really useful and we want to support its continued development.

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« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2007, 04:50:19 PM »

But this assumes that people will prefer to get their software for free rather than paying for it.

I didn't really think of that. Thanks for clearing it up.
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