Smartphones get a workout in a two-semester accelerated introduction to physics for potential University of Wisconsin–Madison physics, astronomy, and applied math, engineering and physics majors.
Phones get dropped, says Duncan Carlsmith, a professor of physics. They get thrown like a football. They get strapped to a pendulum or lashed to a bicycle.
Later, the phones spew out the data gathered by a surprisingly broad array of sensors: accelerometers, gyroscopes, audio and light sensors, magnetometers, and a precise timer.