I am in the process of collecting material for a class in computational methods. It will include introductions into numerical methods for ordinary differential equations (Runge-Kutta methods, multi-step methods) and parabolic and hyperbolic partial differential equations (finite differences, spectral methods, finite volumes) and how to implement and use them.
As part of that class, I would very much like to show the students an example where they can compare results from a numerical simulation with a (very simple) real world experiment. Unfortunately, I did not really find a suitable candidate.
So I am asking if one of you can think of a very simple experiment that
- can be conducted in a normal class room (not a lab)
- needs only ingredients I can buy in a normal supermarket (or drugstore)
- can be modelled by a relatively simple mathematical equation - think diffusion equation or linear advection equation
- does not involve anything dangerous like fire (obviously) ;)
Thanks a lot in advance for your help!