Sloane Schneider
Displacement & Velocity
September 2, 2008
Lab Partners:
Taylor Whipple,
Cory Wilkinson,
Amy Kalal
Goal:
The purpose of this lab is to learn about displacement and velocity through multiple minor
experiments.
It shows how velocity and displacement are connected and how they are represented on
positionversustime and velocityversustime graphs.
Another aspect is studying the difference between
average and instantaneous velocity.
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Theory:
In this lab there are two types of graphs in use, position versus time graphs and velocity versus time
graphs for particles moving in a straight line.
In a position versus time graph the instantaneous location
of an object can be found at each time
t
.
To find the displacement from the graph one much take the
change in position divided by the change in time, (
∆x∆t
).
To find the instantaneous velocity of the same
object in the same position either the derivative of the position versus time graph can be taken, or the
slope of the tangent line can be found.
When the particle is in front of its starting position the
x
value will
be positive, and if it is behind its starting position it will be negative.
The same is true when examining
the slope.
If there is a positive slope there is a positive velocity and if there is a negative slope there is a
negative velocity.
By taking the derivative of the position versus time graph, the velocity versus time graph can be found.
This graph will show the velocity of an object at a given time
t
.
The displacement of this graph can be
found by finding the area under the curve.
The acceleration can be found by taking the change in velocity
divided by the change in time,
(
)
∆v∆t
.
The instantaneous acceleration can be found by determining the
slope of the tangent line, or derivative, of the function at a specific point.
The object has a positive
acceleration when the slope is positive and a negative acceleration when the slope is negative.
If both the
velocity and slope are positive the object is increasing in speed in the positive direction.
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 Spring '08
 SOWELL
 Physics, Derivative, Slope, Velocity, Negative Slope, Sloane Schneider Displacement

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