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The Tracker video analysis program allows users to overlay simple dynamic particle models on a video clip. In a typical video modeling experiment students capture and open a digital video file, calibrate the scale, and define appropriate coordinate axes just as for traditional video analysis. But instead of tracking objects with the mouse, students define theoretical force expressions and initial conditions for a dynamic model simulation that synchronizes with and draws itself on the video. The behavior of the model is thus compared directly with that of the real-world motion. Tracker uses the Open Source Physics code library so sophisticated models are possible. Video modeling offers advantages over both traditional video analysis and simulation-only modeling. This paper includes video modeling experiments produced by students in an Introductory Mechanics course.
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