Motion analysis of a light spot on inclined plane

Abstract Recent studies in engineering education have shown the importance of developing new approaches in experimental physics lab in the initial series of engineering courses. In this paper it was analyzed the motion of a light spot produced by an oscillating laser on a rigid rod pendulum over a inclined plane. The main parameter in this paper is the distance between the light spot and the pendulum rotating axis. The study of this parameter was made by the analysis of its behavior with respect to time, which was accomplished by comparison of data obtained by two different methods: the analysis of filming of the experiment and the theoretical prevision aligned with the curves fitting over the experimental data. The empirical data were obtained from the video analysis using the Tracker ®software and the graphics and fitting curves were obtained with use of the data analysis software GNU Octave®. This experiment is simple and interesting as well as can be done with accessible resources. Finally, a Python simulation of the whole experiment was constructed in order to assist in the process of visualization and understanding of the analyzed problem.