Real simple harmonic motion problem solving with high-speed videos


  • Peem Ubonsri Faculty of Education, Chiang Mai University Demonstration School (SCiUS CMU), Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
  • Theerawat Bunfong Faculty of Education, Chiang Mai University Demonstration School (SCiUS CMU), Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
  • Pornrat Wattanakasiwich Department of Physics and Materials Science, Faculty of Science, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand


High speed video analysis, Physics problem solving, Simple harmonic motion


We are presenting research that aims to construct real problems in simple harmonic motion (SHM) for students to enhance their understanding and apply their problem-solving skills. Participants were 59 Grade-10 students at Chiang Mai University Demonstration School. Teaching simple harmonic motion consists of eight 50-minute lectures and one 100-minute laboratory. In this study, we developed high-speed videos of SHM of mass hanging from a spring. Students spent one lecture performing high-speed video analysis of this system with varying masses, maximum displacement, and spring constant. A mass attached to two springs oscillating on the air track was used as a real problem for students to apply both the force approach and the energy approach to solve for position as a function of time.

A conceptual survey on simple harmonic motion concepts based on Somroob and Wattanaksiwich (2017) was used as pre-test and post-test to investigate student understanding. Student problem solving skills were examined from a quiz after instruction on this topic. Student responses from pre- and post-test were analyzed using the paired sample t-test, effect size, and average learning gain. Students’ quizzes were analyzed to identify their skills in setting up the equation of motion.


Somroob, S & Wattanaksiwich, P. (2017). Investigating student understanding of simple harmonic motion. Journal of Physics: Conference Series 901, 01212371.