The QEGS Seismometer,
After a number of working problems including both hardware, software, and the school’s power supply (!), the seismometer has been rebuilt and is currently working but intermittently (for the moment at least).
The seismometer is capable of detecting magnitude 6.5 earthquakes ‘anywhere’ in the world (see details below). The principle of the seismometer, like all seismometers, is to suspend a heavy mass, such that when an earthquake occurs the mass remains still whilst the ground moves beneath. It uses a ‘garden gate system’ equivalent to having a pendulum 100m high!
As well as of geological significance, the seismometer is also of interest to physicists in that it uses the principles of electromagnetic induction to produce an output to the computer, oscillation by simple harmonic motion (SHM) to generate that output, and damping to reduce repeat oscillations.