Determining g on an Incline
Theory: During the early part of the seventeenth century, Galileo experimentally examined the concept of acceleration. One of his goals was to measure the acceleration due to gravity, or the acceleration of freely falling objects. Unfortunately, his timing devices were not precise enough to measure the free fall time directly. He decided to “dilute” gravity by using fluids, inclined planes, and pendulums. Galileo’s idea of diluting gravity using inclined planes worked like this: the acceleration of a rolling cart on an inclined plane is small, therefore is easy to measure; when the angle of the incline gets bigger, the acceleration will get bigger; by measuring the dependence of the acceleration on the angle, we can predict the acceleration when the angle is 90° − that is the acceleration of free fall
OBJECTIVE: The objectives of this experiment was to measure the speed and acceleration of a cart rolling down an incline, in addition to determining the mathematical relationship between the angle of an incline and the acceleration of a cart rolling down a ramp. Also, determining the value of free fall acceleration, g, by extrapolating the acceleration vs. sine of track angle graph, n addition, to determining if an extrapolation of the acceleration vs. sine of track angle valid.
Vernier computer interface
Vernier Motion Detector
Ramp Hard Ball, approximately 8cm diameter
1 rubber ball, similar in size
Procedure: The motion detector was connected to the DIG/SONIC 1 channel of the interface and switched to Track. Then a single book was placed under one end of a 1-2m long track so that it formed a small angle with the horizontal. The two end points of the incline where adjusted, so that the distance, x, is between 1and 2cm. A motion detector was placed on top of the incline so that it was not closer than 0.15 m. In the Physics with...
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