Spectacular physical experiments with microcontroller based hardware

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Nagy Ákos
Department of Automation and Applied Informatics

The physics has a great value in education nowadays. Without physics, we could not understand and explain even the main phenomena that surround us. Experimentation has always been an important part of it. Alongside the technical development of our age more and more devices are created that support experimenting, giving an opportunity to adjust the circumstances of experiments in a way that was not possible before. Furthermore, the use of such devices allows these experiments to be visually monumental, and the use of wireless communication and remote control makes them safer.

In the field of the physics of granular materials, new experiments and inventions have frequently been presented due to their complicated behaviour, which is interesting, considering how people think of the speed of physics’ development today. The study is about the design and application of such an experiment supporting device. The experiment is as follows:

There is a closed hollow cylinder, which bases are made of glass. The cylinder contains two type of granular materials with different particle size, with a roughly equal ratio. The result of the experiment is important from an aesthetic aspect, therefore, the use of materials with two, very different colours is advised. Our task is to rotate the cylinder at a low, but steady speed around 4-5 rate per minutes, meanwhile keeping the rotation axis horizontal. This will result in the outline of a regular shape on the bases of the cylinder.

The thesis presents the steps of engineering the circuit, which is designed to control the motor, as well as the low-level software written for the microcontroller.


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