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Measurement of “g” Lab Report
Physics 11411, Hlab 1
September 17, 2010
Patrick Mooney
Lab Partner: Steven Bischoff
Purpose:
We are asked to measure
g
, the acceleration due to Earth’s gravity, to a precision of 5%.
Background:
The measurement of the acceleration due to Earth’s gravity can simply be found by formula 1,
which is
g
=
∆v∆t
, where g is the acceleration due to Earth’s gravity in m/
s2
, and
∆
v is the
change in the object’s velocity in m/s over a change in time
∆
t in seconds. In order to hopefully
increase the precision of our results in solving for g, we did four separate experiments. Two of
them, the measuring of the acceleration of a freely falling object using a motion sensor and a
photogate, only required the use of formula 1. However, the measuring of a freely falling object
using a spark apparatus running at approximately 60 Hz only gives the change in position over a
set period of time. Because of this, one must know formula 2, which is v=
∆x∆t
, where v is the
magnitude of the velocity in m/s, and
∆
x is the change in position in meters over a change in
time
∆t
in seconds. Also, we measured the period of a pendulum in order to solve for g. A period
is simply the time the pendulum takes to complete one oscillation. The period of a pendulum can
be solved using formula 3, which is T=2
πLg
, where T is the period of the pendulum in seconds,
L is the length of the pendulum in meters, and g is the acceleration due to gravity in m/
s2
.
Procedure:
To find a precise measurement of g, we first found the period of a pendulum. We first set up the
pendulum using some string and a wooden block, and we measured the length of the makeshift
pendulum by using a meter stick. After that, we measured the time the pendulum took to
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This note was uploaded on 10/05/2010 for the course PHYS PHYS201 taught by Professor Smith during the Spring '10 term at Mott Community College.
 Spring '10
 Smith
 Physics, Acceleration, Gravity

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