When a juggler tosses a bean ball straight upward, the ball slows down until it reaches the top of
its path and then speeds up on its way back down. In terms of energy, when the ball is released it
has kinetic energy, KE. As it rises during its free-fall phase it slows down, loses kinetic energy,
and gains gravitational potential energy, PE. As it starts down, still in free fall, the stored
gravitational potential energy is converted back into kinetic energy as the object falls.
If there is no work done by frictional forces, the total energy will remain constant. In this
experiment, we will see if this works out for the toss of a ball.
In this experiment, we will study these energy changes using a Motion Detector.
Measure the change in the kinetic and potential energies as a ball moves in free fall.
See how the total energy of the ball changes during free fall.
Sample Movie - Ball Toss file
1. Open the file "Ball Toss" from the Sample Video folder.
2. The mass of the ball is 0.540 kg. Record the mass in the chart below.
3. Press START on the REPLAY Window. A position-time and velocity-time graph will
display as the ball is tossed up.