How to Measure Acceleration with Google’s Science Journal App

How to Measure Acceleration with Google’s Science Journal App


You can use Google Science Journal to measure
acceleration using your phone’s built-in accelerometer. Enter observe mode by selecting the menu icon
in the upper left, and select observe. You can select the X, Y, or Z icons to measure
acceleration from side to side, front to back, or up and down with respect to the phone. Meter mode displays the instantaneous acceleration
in meters per second squared. You can switch to graph mode to see how the
reading changes over time. Try using the accelerometer to do some simple
experiments. Watch the graph as you wave the phone around
with your hand, or put the phone in your pocket as you walk. You can also use the accelerometer to detect
vibrations. You might wonder why the screen sometimes
says nine point eight even when the phone is not moving. The simplified explanation is that the accelerometer
also detects gravity, which always points down. Depending on your phone’s orientation, part
of the gravity vector will line up with the X, Y, or Z directions of the phone, resulting
in a nonzero reading even if the phone is holding still. This ability allows you, for example, to steer
in a racing game just by tilting your phone. To learn more about Google’s Science Journal
app, including the other sensors that are available, see the rest of the videos in this
playlist. To view written directions for science projects
and lesson plans you can do with the app, visit us online at www.sciencebuddies.org.

3 thoughts on “How to Measure Acceleration with Google’s Science Journal App

  1. but it’s not actually measuring gravity right? What if I want to measure the acceleration DUE to gravity, like if I throw the phone up in the air, it should show massive acceleration until I let go then 9.8 less air resistance until I catch it. At the apogee of the throw when it’s speed is zero it should be exactly 1g

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *