The purpose of the Uniformly Accelerated Motion lab was to test Newton’s theory of gravitation, predicting that objects near the earth’s surface will experience constant acceleration. In this experiment, a glider was placed on an inclined air track and was then allowed to accelerate down the track under the force of gravity. With the aid of two photogates and an electronic timer, the times it took the glider to take the glider to pass through each photogate (∆t) as well as the times it took for it to pass from the first photogate to the second photogate (T). From these measurements the length of the flag card and the velocity of the glider at various points along the ramp were calculated. Conclusion:
In theory, the acceleration experienced by the glider can be calculated with the equation a=gsinƟ. Using this equation, the theoretical acceleration of the glider is equal to 126.291 m/s. We can obtain the actual acceleration by graphically analyzing the data. The equation relating the variables v and T is v2 = v1 + aT. This equation is simply a line with the equation y = mx + b. Thus, with velocity on the y-axis and time between the two photogates on the x-axis, acceleration is equal to the slope of the line. According to the slope of the best fit line, the acceleration of the glider is equal to 109.62 mm/s, with an error of 4.4076 mm/s. By taking the average to the maximum and minimum slopes within the error bars, the acceleration of the glider is calculated to be 115 mm/s.
The discrepancies among the three calculated values of accelerations suggest sources of error in the lab. There may have been error in calculated the distance between the legs of the air track. Also, error resulted from the slight differences of initial velocities of the glider. Ideally, the glider should have consistently been released with zero velocity, but that level of precision was very...