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Experiment To Calculate Acceleration Of Mass And Velocity Of Free Falling Object

1384 words - 6 pages

Experiment 4: Free Fall
Lab Performed: February 18, 2014

Shelanita R. Stokes Llopis
Professor Stephen Baker
Tuesday, 9:30-12:30
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Experiment 4: Free Fall

Objective: To calculate the acceleration of a mass as it falls toward earth’s surface and calculate the average velocity when measuring the total distance that the mass moved during some period of time. We had to determine the acceleration due to gravity and compare it to the standard value of 980 cm/s2. Then plot the velocity versus time, find the slope which in turn will provide the experimental value of g. (Air resistance wasn’t considered for the mass in free fall).
Theory: According to Newton’s second law acceleration is produce when a force acts on a mass. The greater the mass the greater amount of force needed. This law gives us an exact relationship between force, mass and acceleration. Which can be expressed as:
For free falling objects, the net external force is just the weight of the object:
Substituting into the 2nd law equation gives:
a = W / m = (m*g)/m=g
The average, or standard, value of g is 9.8 m/s2 or 980 cm/s2
Galileo Galilei first proposed that all free falling objects fall with the same acceleration nearly 400 years ago. He used a ball on an inclined plane to determine the relationship between the time and distance traveled. When measuring total distance that an object moves during some period of time, you can calculate the average velocity:
where ∆d is the total distance (final distance minus initial, or ) and ∆t is the total time (final time minus initial, or - ) For the case of a falling object, = = since di =0 and t1=0 ∴ =
If an object moves in constant acceleration you can find the average velocity by adding te initial and final velocity and dividing by 2,
= (change minus to plus sign)

Since the initial velocity of a dropped object is zero, the vi is zero and we can solve for the final velocity of vf and
= ∴
Procedure: The following materials were needed to perform the experiment: pencil, apparatus, meter stick, spark timer, spark paper and a mass. First the spark timer was secured with enough space to be able to drop the mass for a significant distance to be able to collect data. Next we had to attach the weight to the spark paper. Then place spark paper in position on timer so that it will mark the paper tape at equal time intervals. We had to use the beginning mark as a reference line to measure in cm the total distance (df) in Table 4.1 Then we drop the mass and time it until it hit the floor. The timer was set to operate on 60Hz, making a spark every 1/60 second. Finally we use a meter stick to draw a perpendicular...

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