Comprehensive Physics System Lab Manual - CA-6787



Looking for Comprehensive Labs using PASCO Capstone and the new 850 Comprehensive Physics System? See the UI-5813 Comprehensive System Manual.

PASCO’s Comprehensive Physics Systems Lab Manual includes 80 experiments in mechanics, thermodynamics, waves, optics, electricity and magnetism.

The CD that comes with the manual contains the following:

  • Adobe® PDF files for each activity (including Teacher Notes)
  • Microsoft Word® files for each activity (including Teacher Notes)
  • DataStudio® configuration files and sample data files for each activity that uses DataStudio

Teachers are encouraged to edit the files as needed for their classes.

The CD has installer files that put the DataStudio configuration files in the “eLabs” directory for the DataStudio program. Copy the other files from the CD to your computer's hard drive and then use the CD as a backup in case any of the files need to be re-installed


  • You can copy the pages from the manual “as they are,” or edit the included Word files and then print your own version of the activity. Add or delete, change format, trim the activity, or include extensions -- the choices are yours.

The activities in the manual are written for the ScienceWorkshop 750 Interface and ScienceWorkshop ("CI-") sensors that are included in the Comprehensive Physics Systems.

However, for almost all of the activities, a PASPORT Interface can be substituted for the ScienceWorkshop Interface, and a PASPORT sensor can be used instead of the ScienceWorkshop sensor. In addition, PASCO now offers an Analog Adapter that allows you to connect analog ScienceWorkshop sensors (such as the Economy Force Sensor) to a PASPORT Interface. The Digital Adapter allows you to connect a digital ScienceWorkshop sensor (such as the Motion Sensor) to a PASPORT Interface. (NOTE: PASPORT sensors cannot be connected to ScienceWorkshop interfaces.)

Because editable files are included for each activity, you can change the activity so it matches the family of interfaces and sensors you want to use.


Lab Activities

Experiments for the Starter Comprehensive Physics System bundle

  • Period of a Pendulum
  • Circumference versus Diameter
  • Relative Motion: Frame of Reference
  • Position and Time--Match Graph
  • Velocity and Time--Match Graph
  • Instantaneous Speed versus Average Speed
  • Velocity of a Motorized Cart
  • Constant Velocity and Constant Acceleration
  • Constant Acceleration: Graph P, V A for a Fan Cart
  • Constant Acceleration: Graph P, V, A for a Cart Up and Down an Incline
  • Does Acceleration = g sin θ ?
  • Acceleration of a Freely Falling Ball
  • Acceleration of a Freely Falling Picket Fence
  • Projectile Motion--Change Initial Speed
  • Newton's First Law--No Net Force
  • Newton's Second Law--Constant Mass, Changing Force
  • Newton's Second Law--Changing Mass, Constant Force
  • Newton's Second Law--Push-Pull a Cart
  • Newton's Second Law--Atwood's Machine
  • Newton's Third Law--Tug-of-War
  • Archimedes' Principle--Buoyant Force
  • Coefficients of Static and Sliding Friction
  • Factors that Determine Sliding (Kinetic) Friction
  • Terminal Velocity for Different Surface Area/Same Mass
  • Conservation of Momentum in an Inelastic Collision
  • Conservation of Momentum in an Elastic Collision
  • Impulse and Change in Momentum
  • Conservation of Energy for a Falling Ball
  • Discover Gravitational Potential Energy
  • Hooke's Law--Stretch a Spring
  • Measure the Elastic Potential Energy of a Spring
  • Transform Gravitational Potential to Kinetic Energy
  • Transform Gravitational Potential to Electric Energy
  • Conservation of Energy for a Simple Pendulum
  • Work-Energy Theorem: Compare W to ∆E
  • Conservation of Momentum and KE in Collisions
  • Simple Harmonic Motion--Mass on a Spring
  • Driven Harmonic Motion--Mass on a Spring
  • Simple Harmonic Oscillation
  • Period of a Large Amplitude Pendulum
  • Centripetal Force on a Pendulum
  • Rotational Motion: Plot θ and ω
  • Rotational Inertia of Different Objects
  • Heat and Temperature
  • Transfer of Energy by Radiation
  • Specific Heat
  • Electrical Equivalent of Heat
  • Boyle's Law: P and V of a Gas at Constant T
  • Pressure and Temperature of a Gas
  • Behavior and Characteristics of Sound Waves
  • Demonstration of Transverse and Longitudinal Waves
  • General Properties of Waves

Experiments for the Thermodynamics/Waves Option bundle

  • Standing Waves on a String
  • Resonant Modes of Sound in a Tube
  • Speed of Sound in Air
  • Superposition of Sound Waves
  • Interference of Sound Waves
  • Shadow and Color in LIght
  • Object and Image Distances for a Thin Lens
  • Reflection and Refraction
  • Focal Length of a Concave Mirror
  • Optical Instruments: Telescope and Microscope
  • Variation of LIght Intensity
  • LIght Intensity versus Distance
  • Polarization: Verify Malus' Law
  • Diffraction of LIght

Experiments for the Electricity/Magnetism Option bundle

  • Electrostatic Charging
  • Electrostatic Charge Distribution
  • Electric Field Around a Conductor
  • Ohm's Law
  • Voltage and Current in Simple Circuits
  • Resistors in Series and Parallel Circuits
  • Kirchhoff's Laws: Voltage and Current in Circuits
  • Charging and Discharging the RC Circuit
  • Resonant Frequencies of the LRC Circuit
  • General Properties of Diodes
  • Build a Rectifier
  • Transistor 1--The NPN Transistor as a Digital Switch
  • Transistor 2--Measure the Current Gain
  • Earth's Magnetic Field
  • Magnetic Field of a Permanent Magnet
  • Induction--Magnet Through a Coil
  • Magnetic Field in a Current-Carrying Coil