Lab 3 - Freely Falling Object PHYS 2125 102 Abstract The...

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Freely Falling Object PHYS 2125 – 102 Abstract: The purpose of this experiment is to determine the acceleration of gravity by timing the motion of a freely falling object. We will determine this through different methods of measurement. The first method is to measure the acceleration by dropping a “picket fence” through a photogate. A “picket fence” is a piece of clear plastic with black bars evenly spaced painted on it. When dropped through the photogate, the black bars interrupt the light beam. By the measurement of the distance and time between bars, the acceleration can be found. The second method was dropping a ball over certain distances and timing it. Theory: The acceleration of any falling object, is equal to the acceleration of gravity. The acceleration of gravity used in this experiment was 9.76 m/s 2 . As stated before, the theory behind part one of this experiment is to find the acceleration through measuring the distance between the black bars and timing them as it falls. For this part of the experiment the computer and the photogate does all the measurements
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and calculations for us. In part two, we picked distances to drop a ball from and then timed it to get to the bottom. This is the part of the experiment were we used our own calculations to find the acceleration and compare our findings to the theoretical acceleration. The equation to find the acceleration with our measurements is = + ∆x Vot 12at2 . In this equation ∆x is the change in distance, or the distance an object traveled. The variable vo is the initial velocity, which in this situation is equal to 0, t is the time and a is the acceleration. Another equation used is mean, which is the average. In this case we use mean to find the average time so the equation is . = + + + avg time t1 t2 t3 t44 . In other words the average is found by adding the
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