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Smartphones are more than mobile phones with a few useful, entertaining and fun apps on the display. Modern iPhones and Android devices contain a large number of sensors that can be used to read and use data that is not only important for the system. Apps can also access and process the sensor data. The phyphox app for iOS and Android from RWTH Aachen University makes it possible to use it for interesting experiments. The software is free and can be used on Apple devices from iOS 9; the latest version of the Mac software, however, requires macOS from version 11 Big Sur and the M1 chip.
The Apple iPhone has built in various sensors for the position in the GPS network, for the earth's magnetic field, for the acceleration of the device, for the air pressure and more. Audio signals can also be fed in via the microphone for evaluation. The named and other sensors are used in the phyphox app of the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH) to carry out specified experiments or to enable your own test setups. An example: With the app you can measure the speed of an elevator in which you are. There are YouTube instructions and even school materials for further experiments.
On official website for the app you will find a list of the experiments and materials available so far. From the (in) elastic shock and the acoustic stopwatch to the measurement of acceleration and speed to sonar, air pressure and magnet examples, everything is included. In private life as well as at school or at university, the individual tools of the app as well as their recording and output options can help to develop a better understanding of physics and technology. For your own experiments and experiments, you can use the phyphox app to collect, save and output data in common formats for further processing.
The Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen has been offering the phyphox app free of charge in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store since 2016. It doesn't take up much space, it still gets regular updates and is available in several languages - including German, English, French, Russian, Turkish and Vietnamese. You can find the free download of the phyphox app with these links:
Do you already use the app? And if so, for what purposes? Feel free to leave a comment with your experiences :)
After graduating from high school, Johannes completed an apprenticeship as a business assistant specializing in foreign languages. But then he decided to research and write, which resulted in his independence. For several years he has been working for Sir Apfelot, among others. His articles include product introductions, news, manuals, video games, consoles, and more. He follows Apple keynotes live via stream.