# Virtual Lab 03 - Free Fall Acceleration.pdf - Orange Coast...

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1 Orange Coast College Physics 185 Dr. Arnold Guerra III Free Fall Acceleration I. Introduction. A particle is in “ free fall ” when the only external force acting on the particle is the force of gravity . For a particle in free-fall near the surface of the earth, such that the height of the particle above the ground is much less than the radius of the earth, the theoretically predicted free fall acceleration ࠵? has a magnitude of 9.80 m/s 2 , and is directed downward toward the center of the earth. The purpose of this virtual experiment is for the student to measure the acceleration due to gravity ࠵? of a particle near the earth’s surface, and compare the measured value with the theoretically predicted value. Taking the positive direction for the height y to be upward , the height y (or y f ) as a function of time of an object in free fall near the earth’s surface is given by: ࠵? ! = ࠵? ! + ࠵? ! ࠵? + 1 2 ࠵? ࠵? ! where y 0 is the initial height (at t = 0) v 0 = y -component of the initial velocity vector (- ࠵? ) = y -component of the
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