Piloting i-Newton for the Experiential Learning of Dynamics in University of Michigan Physics and Engineering

The vision of this project is to introduce a novel platform technology, referred to as interactive-Newton or i-Newton, to promote the experiential learning of Newtonian dynamics, and potentially, on a massive scale.

i-Newton refers to an inexpensive and highly portable device for measuring and analyzing motion, essentially a dynamics laboratory at your finger-tips. The technology underlying i-Newton is a tiny inertial measurement unit (IMU) that wirelessly transmits motion data to a host such as a smart phone, tablet, or laptop. The motion data, which includes (3-D) acceleration and (3-D) angular velocity, defines the dynamics of any object to which the IMU is mounted. The transmitted data is immediately viewable on the host which can then display detailed motion analysis. Importantly, i-Newton enables the free exploration of dynamics outside the confines (and without the expense) of the traditional laboratory by allowing students to perform experiments wherever convenient, whether in a dorm room, a hallway, a coffee shop, on an athletic field, or even live in the classroom.

Project Team:

Noel Perkins, Professor College of Engineering
Cynthia Finelli, Director, CRLT in Engineering
Bradford Orr, Chair, Physics, College of LSA