Physics Experiments with Piezo Elements

Martin Hagner, Daniel Schlich, Mario Simons

In physics, measuring forces is of major importance. Frequently, you do not only measure forces, e.g. between two bodies, but you try to infer other physical quantities from force measurements. As different experiments have different requirements regarding the measurement apparatus, specialist dynamometers are needed. These can differ in size or accuracy, depending on the experiment.

The dynamometer which is used most frequently at schools is the spring force meter. Unfortunately, the spring force meter has some serious disadvantages. As it stretches when applying a force, it is hardly possibly to measure the force that acts at a very specific location of a body. Furthermore, it has poor resolution and poor accuracy making measurements of small forces difficult or even impossible. Additionally, measurements of rapidly changing forces are difficult due to the natural vibration of the spring.

Considering students, teachers and limited school budgets, it would be ideal to have an affordable and easily usable dynamometer without these disadvantages. Here we look for a solution to this problem through experiments and theoretical considerations.

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