Duncan Carlsmith’s innovative smart phone dropping physics course

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.

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