** Using Excel Spreadsheets and WPTools**

Currently the most frequent use of the computer involves the entry of data directly
into a spreadsheet for further analysis. Spreadsheet calculations are used
for data analysis, graphing, and mathematical modeling. Analytic mathematical modeling
is introduced early in Workshop Physics courses as a way to match observational data
with appropriate analytic equations (linear, quadratic, inverse, etc). Modeling is useful
in exploring constant acceleration and other simple relationships. It is also used for the study
of more complex subjects, such as the study of simple, damped, and driven harmonic oscillations or the
behavior of the chaotic physical pendulum studied in Unit 15 of the Workshop Physics Activity Guide.
Dickinson College Workshop Physics students make substantial gains on the Mathematical Modeling
Conceptual Evaluation (MMCE) when compared to students who take more conventional physics courses.

Although we use Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets, other spreadsheets such as Claris Works or Vernier Software's
Logger Pro 3 (Graphical Analysis) will work as well and will perform better on computers with limited memory and speed.

WPTools is a set of Workshop Physics Excel tools that have been developed to allow students to
select icons placed on a custom toolbar for creating scatter plots from selected data and for
performing linear or polynomial fits on the data. These tools are distributed with the instructor
materials for Workshop Physics and are also available for
download on this site.

**Computer Assisted Data Collection & Analysis**

Vernier Software & Technology
distributes Logger Pro 3, which combines
the mathematical features of Graphical Analysis with the real-time graphing features of the previous
versions of Logger Pro. Logger Pro 3 is designed to work with Vernier's LabPro interface, which can support
the more than 40 Vernier auto-ID sensors and a number of other sensors.

Pasco Scientific distributes competing
data collection software called Data Studio.
Data Studio operates with Pasco's
Science Workshop 500,
Science Workshop 750, and
PasPort Interfaces.
This system is also designed to work with a large number of probes and sensors.

**Software for videocapture and Analysis**

Workshop Physics Students often acquire and analyze data from short Quicktime movies in class as well as
for homework and projects. Students can use either LoggerPro 3.3 or VideoPoint Software to perform their
video analyses.

LoggerPro 3.3

Suitable for most in-class and basic homework analyses where the Quicktime Movies are made with a fixed camera
with its axis perpendicular to the plane of motion.

VideoPoint 2.5

Needed for advanced homework assignments and student projects where the Quicktime Movie was filmed with a camera that was
zooming and/or panning. VideoPoint also has very flexible tools for finding the center of mass of a complex system of masses or the human body.

The VideoPoint Software was originally developed at Dickinson College to allow Workshop Physics Students to analyze motion. It is used for in-class activities, homework, and projects. VideoPoint is published by Lenox Software and distributed by PASCO Scientific. It is bundled with capture software to allow instructors and students to create their own QuickTime movies by digitizing images and video from video cameras, VCRs, DVD players, and VideoDisk Players.

You can visit the Lenox Software website to download a demonstration version of VideoPoint that is fully functional for the analysis of the 6 sample movies.

If you are interested in learning about the equipment you need to capture movies using VideoPoint Capture Software, you can visit Pat Cooney's Website at Millersville University.

If you are interested in learning more about using VideoPoint Capture and Analysis for student projects, see Teaching With VideoPoint or visit the NSF funded Live Photo Project Website

**Other Software**

Other Software developed for Workshop Physics includes physics-based games intended to
reinforce the concepts learned in class. These games help students to apply the
material in different situations than they see in class. For many students, they make it more
interesting. These games include:

Electric Field Hockey

Freebody

These titles are available from Physics Academic Software.