‘A DIY Ultrasonic Signal Generator for Sound Experiments’ and a request for open hardware for physics education

jenny Open Science Hardware News, Publications 0 Comments

Ihab Riad from the Univversity of Khartoum in Sudan has a new paper on open hardware submitted to The Physics Teacher and posted as a pre-print on arXiv. As he says on the GOSH Forum:

Being from a developing country, Sudan I also feel that in addition to research oriented instruments there is also a strong need for experimental setup and lab equipment that are more focused to education and that can be used in undergraduate laboratories.

Usually good quality educational setups are expensive and usually are not affordable to many educational institutes in developing countries. To overcome this hardship I have initiated efforts to specifically build laboratory setups that are suited for use in the undergraduate physics laboratories. I am having as an ultimate goal that I can reproduce as many setups as are available from the following two leading brands https://www.ld-didactic.de/en.html and http://www.phywe-systeme.com/ .

I am putting this endeavor for the wide Open Labware community hoping that people can also start building some instruments that are more education oriented (hopefully in physics).

I think one way of doing this is if you guys can approach physics departments and ask them about useful home brewed setups they are using in their undergraduate laboratories and encourage them to make it open.

If you have contacts at a local Physics department, do consider advocating open sharing of equipment designs and contact Ihab!

A DIY Ultrasonic Signal Generator for Sound Experiments

Abstract

Many physics departments around the world have electronic and mechanical workshops attached to them. The job of these workshops is to design and build experimental setups and instruments for research and the training of undergraduate students.
However, in developing countries such as Sudan the lack of qualified technicians and adequately equipped workshops hampered efforts by these departments to supplement their laboratories with home built equipment. The only other option is to buy needed equipment and experimental setups from specialized manufactures. The latter option is not feasible the departments in developing countries where funding for education and research is scarce and very limited as equipments from these manufactures are typically too expensive.

In the past couple of years and with the advancement in prototyping tools like Arduino, and microcontroller development boards, more friendly programming languages, 3D printers, desktop CNC machines and easy to use CAD/CAM softwares the need for highly qualified technicians and expensive workshop equipment was then relaxed. The availability of such affordable, and relatively easy to use tools had the effect of increasing the number of teachers and researchers willing to develop their own experimental setups.

During the past year and motivated by the need to equip our laboratories with new setups we established a small workshop at the Department of Physics for developing experimental setups to be used in our undergraduate laboratories. The ultrasonic signal generator we are describing here is one such equipment.

Read the full paper here.

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