Physics Professor publishes paper on iPad as a Virtual Oscilloscope
Published on January 31, 2020
Roberto Ramos, PhD, associate professor of physics, published a Frontline physics article entitled "The iPad as a virtual oscilloscope for measuring time constants in RC and LR circuits" in the peer-reviewed journal Physics Education.
The paper showed how tablets like the iPad can serve as a virtual oscilloscope in physics and engineering experiments. The conventional oscilloscope - a lab instrument for measuring voltages and currents, has many knobs and switches that often intimidate first-time users and can cause anxiety especially among non-physics and non-engineering majors.
Using a commercial electronic device called Oscium iMSO-104, Dr. Ramos turned the iPad into a virtual oscilloscope to replace the conventional oscilloscope but with a familiar, less intimidating touch-pad interface. The paper reported the positive impact of this pedagogical innovation on student engagement in a college physics class.
Insights from this work were used by Oscium to develop their new two-channel Oscium device (iMSO-204x).