Physics 4AL
Lab for Science and Engineering Mechanics
Experiment 2:
Measurement of g
Lab Section:
LAB 5
Name:
SunYi Lim
UID:
503576474
Date:
7/8/10
TA:
Chris Tyndall
Partner:
Jaimie Yep
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Introduction & Purpose
In this experiment, we will measure gravitational acceleration of a falling plastic marble. We will use
photogates and an impact pad to measure the time at specific point and a ruler to measure the falling distance. A
mass moving linearly in one dimension with constant acceleration will follow the formula:
=
+
y
v0t at22
Where, ‘a’ in this experiment is the gravitational acceleration (9.81 m/s^2).
With slight modification to cater to this experiment, we will be able to calculate the gravitational acceleration for
each drop. There are two distances that can be varied in this experiment. However, to minimize the complications,
only the distance between the second photogate and the impact pad is varied in each set of trials. If the data collected
show approximately same value of acceleration for different distances, this implies that the acceleration is constant.
Theory & Equations
As mentioned above, Equations of motion for uniformly accelerated linear motion states that,
=
+
y
v0t at22
Where
y
is displacement distance,
v0
is initial velocity,
t
being time, and
a
as acceleration.
Since the plastic marble is highly symmetric, a single coordinate is assumed to simplify our calculations. The marble
is at y = 0 when its lowest surface is detected with the upper photogate (gate 1). At this point the distance equation
becomes following:
=
+
( )
d
v0t1 gt122
1
Where,
d
is the distance between the gate 1 and gate 2,
t1
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 Summer '10
 SLATER
 Science and Engineering Mechanics, Jaimie Yep, impact pad, Chris Tyndall

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