The iPad as a virtual oscilloscope for measuring time constants in RC and LR circuits
– Roberto Ramos and Christopher Devers
In a university introductory physics laboratory, the measurement of time constants in RC and LR circuits usually employ a conventional oscilloscope.
The standard oscilloscope with its many knobs and switches often intimidate first-time users and can cause anxiety especially among non-physics and non-engineering majors.
On the other hand, an iPad has a more familiar, less intimidating and friendlier touch-pad interface. We report our experience in using the iPad as a virtual oscilloscope in an introductory algebra-based physics laboratory course.
We used a commercial electronic accessory called Oscium iMSO that turns the iPad into a virtual oscilloscope. Using blind surveys and direct observation, we report student responses to this pedagogical tool.