Gravitational Acceleration Lab

# Gravitational Acceleration Lab - Gravitational Acceleration...

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Gravitational Acceleration from Instantaneous Velocity Calculus Based Physics Lab Joshua Williams September 23, 2010 On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this lab. ______________________________________________________________

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Abstract In this lab, a glider on an air track was used to simulate an object in motion on a frictionless surface. The air track was placed at an incline, and the glider was placed at a certain distance from the photogate timer, which was used to calculate the amount of time it took for the flag on top of the glider to completely pass a certain point. The gravitational acceleration of the glider was calculated by obtaining its instantaneous velocity (found by dividing the diameter of the flag by the time observed) at different distances, averaging them, squaring the values, and then graphing those calculated values on a v 2 vs. distance graph. It was found that the experimental gravitational acceleration of the glider was much higher than the expected gravitational acceleration. Introduction The goal of this lab was to calculate the gravitational acceleration of an object moving along a frictionless surface. Gravitational acceleration can be defined as the acceleration of an object caused by gravity. Galileo first proposed the theory of acceleration due to gravity almost 400 years ago. On earth in an area where there is no air resistance, it is assumed that one’s gravitational acceleration is equal to 9.8m/s 2 . The general equation used to calculate an object’s gravitational acceleration is g= a/sin θ , where “a” is the acceleration of the object and “ θ ” is the angle of the surface’s incline. This concept was observed by using a photogate timer in “gate” mode to calculate the amount of time it took for the flag on the glider to pass through the timer. The normal acceleration was calculated through graphical means. A graph of the average velocity squared versus the distance at which the glider was placed from the photogate timer was
created. The slope of the quadratic regression equation was equal to twice the

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## This note was uploaded on 09/19/2011 for the course 1 101 taught by Professor Larrydavid during the Spring '11 term at South Carolina.

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Gravitational Acceleration Lab - Gravitational Acceleration...

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