lab2a10 - Physics E-1a Expt 2a: Galileo & Naturally...

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1 Physics E-1a Expt 2a: Galileo & Naturally Accelerated Motion Fall 2010 Introduction Preparation: Read this lab write-up, answer the questions in the Pre-Lab Questionnaire and bring it to the lab (to be turned in at the beginning). Read the Lab Companion for further information and hints on preparing for an experiment. Also bring to lab: writing paper, graph paper, a ruler, a calculator and your copy of the Lab Companion . Post-Lab Questions: At the beginning of each lab section, you will be given an additional handout with a series of questions to be answered and handed in at the end of the experiment. Try to answer these questions with one or two concise sentences. For this experiment, you will also hand in the graph described below under Analysis . Historical Background: For nearly two thousand years until the seventeenth century, the teachings of Aristotle (4 th century BC) were the basis of scientific knowledge. According to his beliefs, all motion on earth is linear (bodies travel in straight lines) while all motion in space is curved, heavy bodies fall faster than light bodies, and a continuous force is necessary for motion to occur. Aristotle based his teachings on observation. After all, heavy objects DO fall faster than light ones (compare the fall of a stone with that of a feather). Motion in space IS curved (a baseball, either thrown or hit, does not travel in a straight line). And cars come to a stop when the ignition is turned off (but Aristotle didn't know that). Galileo was as aware of these facts, as was Aristotle. However, he also recognized the importance of friction. By carrying out experiments in which friction was reduced, he found that, in the limit of zero friction, Aristotle's laws did not hold. Heavy and light objects indeed fall at the same rate in vacuo . In the absence of gravity and friction, motion in space is rectilinear. And, in the absence of friction and all other forces, a body moving with velocity
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lab2a10 - Physics E-1a Expt 2a: Galileo & Naturally...

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