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Volume 52, Issue 5, May 2014
52(2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.4872422View Description Hide Description
During the last few years, the growing boom of smartphones has given rise to a considerable number of applications exploiting the functionality of the sensors incorporated in these devices. A sector that has unexpectedly taken advantage of the power of these tools is physics teaching, as reflected in several recent papers. 1–10 In effect, the use of smartphones has been proposed in several physics experiments spanning mechanics, electromagnetism, optics, oscillations, and waves, among other subjects. Although mechanical experiments have received considerable attention, most of them are based on the use of the accelerometer. 1–8 An aspect that has received less attention is the use of rotation sensors or gyroscopes . 9,10 An additional advance in the use of these devices is given by the possibility of obtaining data using the accelerometer and the gyroscope simultaneously. The aim of this paper is to consider the relation between the centripetal acceleration and the angular velocity. Instead of using a formal laboratory setup, in this experiment a smartphone is attached to the floor of a merry-go-round, found in many playgrounds. Several experiments were performed with the roundabout rotating in both directions and with the smart-phone at different distances from the center. The coherence of the measurements is shown.