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projectilemotionlabreport - Projectile Motion Meredith...

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Projectile Motion Meredith Thomas and Theron Barron Section001 (Monday 12:20-2:20) Physics 211 Lab February 23, 2008 Abstract In this experiment we determined the initial velocity of a projectile. We found these results by comparing the velocity measured by timing the ball crossing a known distance to the measurement of its range. These results allowed us to explore the dependence of the range on the firing angle.
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Introduction: By definition, a projectile has only one force acting upon it - the force of gravity. If there was any other force acting upon an object, then that object would not be a projectile. When an object is fired at any angle above the horizontal in a gravitational field, it follows a curved path. This path is a parabola if there is little to no air resistance present. This is true because the object acts without acceleration in the horizontal direction while an object is affected by acceleration due to gravity in the vertical direction. The technique we used in this experiment allows us to test this theory that only one force is present. Using the equation: R=(v 2 /g)*sin(2 θ ) , we were able to test this theory accurately with R representing the horizontal distance the projectile travels, v as the magnitude of the initial velocity, g as the acceleration due to gravity and θ as the firing angle. Procedure: The first part of this experiment is the set up. The apparatus must be set in a place with enough room to not cause any problems with the speeding ball. In order to be able to time the ball accurately the timing gate must be set at a right angle to the path of the ball. After the ball is pushed back on the trigger we began our practice rounds. We found that the practice gave us a way to set up the apparatus correctly and found where to put the paper to measure its distance. If we did not set up practice shots, it would hurt the accuracy of our experiment because we would not be able to measure the distance when the ball did not strike where we laid the paper. This distance is the amount of space between the gun and the location of the hit spot. The paper is taped to the floor to ensure an accurate measurement and covered with carbon paper to see where the hit is located. When firing the ball, it was important to depress the trigger with a swift even pressure. By reproducing this motion we found more accurate results because if the pressure is not the same throughout the ball will be released in a different way, causing wrong results. In
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