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Experiment 3

# Experiment 3 - E xperiment 3 Free Fall Vanessa Peck Lab...

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Experiment 3 Free Fall Vanessa Peck TA: Ren-Jie Wang

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Introduction In the times of Ancient Greece, philosophers believed that a heavier object would fall much faster than a lighter object. However, Galileo proved this belief wrong with his free-fall experiments. He proved that in the absence of air resistance, a heavier object will fall just as fast as a lighter object. In this experiment, we will replicate Galileo’s experiment and prove that in the absence of air resistance, two objects will fall at the same speed regardless of their masses. Because we are on earth and we are ignoring air resistance, we can expect the acceleration of the free falling objects to be equal to gravity, which equals 9.8 m/s 2 . There are three investigations in our experiment. In the first, we will put objects of different weights on a book and drop the book straight to the floor. We will then observe the motion of the objects on top of the book. In the second investigation, we will attach a fishing weight to a strip of paper and thread the paper through two guide rails on tape timer that is securely on a support stand 1.2 meters above the floor. We will then drop the weight and observe the paper strip. The tape timer will leave a mark every .025 seconds and these marks are a record of the motion of weight. We will be able to use these dots to determine the velocity and acceleration of our weight. We will also plot a graph of velocity vs. time to help us determine the acceleration. In the third investigation, we will measure the free fall acceleration of three other masses using the same procedure as an Investigation 2. After calculating the velocity and acceleration for each mass, we will plot the three accelerations vs. the three masses and compare. If we measured correctly, all the accelerations we calculated in the 2 nd and 3 rd investigations should be equal, or near to, 980 cm/s 2 . Investigation 1
In the first investigation, we put three objects of different weights, a pencil, a weight, and a piece of paper, on a book and let the book drop straight to the floor. We observed that all the objects fell together, with the same acceleration. This is because the book acted to block the air resistance for the objects on top of them. Since there was no air resistance acting upon those objects, they fell at the same acceleration, even though they were all different masses. However, when we dropped the objects together without a book, they did not fall at the same time. We would expect this because without the book, air resistance can act on these objects and since they are of different masses, they will fall at different rates. We can conclude that negligent of air resistance, objects will fall at the same rate, independent of their masses. However, with air resistance, they will not fall at the same rate. Investigation 2

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Experiment 3 - E xperiment 3 Free Fall Vanessa Peck Lab...

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