Investigation 2.5: Acceleration Due to Gravity of Different Masses

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Investigation 2.5: Acceleration Due to Gravity of Different Masses SPH 4CI-01
Al Einstein, James Maxwell, Isaac Newton, James Watt
Mrs. Joldwcks
Due Date: July 19, 2008 Cut-Off Date: July 21, 2008

Purpose:To determine if the mass of a falling object affects its acceleration rate.

Hypothesis:The greater the mass of an object, the greater its rate of acceleration because more massive objects have more gravitational force exerted on them by the Earth.

Materials:- 3 spheres of different mass
- spark timer
- spark timer tape
- measuring tape
- recycle bin

Safety: Ensure that the masses fall directly into the recycle bin to avoid them landing on toes and/or injuring team members.

Procedure:Refer to Nelson Physics 11, pp. 561-562.
Notes: 3 spheres were used instead of 3 hooked masses.
A recycle bin was used instead of a safety net.

Observations & Analysis:

Table 1: Experimental Accelerations Due to Gravity for Different Masses Sphere Mass
(kg)Trial #Number of Time IntervalsTotal Time
(s)Displacement
(m [D])Acceleration
(m/s/s [D])Average Acceleration
(m/s/s [D])
0.371250.4170.8609.919.9
2240.4000.7929.90
3260.4330.9239.83
0.554250.4170.8559.859.9
5260.4330.9259.87
6250.4170.8609.91
0.897250.4170.8589.889.9
8260.4330.9269.86
9260.4330.9249.84

Sample Calculations:

Given:
V1 = 0
∆d = 0.860 m [D]
∆t = 0.417 s
a = ?
∆d= V1 (∆t) + ½ a (∆t)2
a= 2(∆d) / (∆t)2
= 2(0.860 m [D]) / (0.417 s)2
= 9.91 m/s/s [D]

Given:
a1 = 9.91 m/s/s [D]
a2 = 9.90 m/s/s [D]
a3 = 9.83 m/s/s [D]
aaverage = ?
aaverage = (a1 + a2 + a3 ) / 3
= (9.91 m/s/s [D] + 9.90 m/s/s [D] + 9.83 m/s/s [D]) / 3
= 9.88 m/s/s [D]
= 9.9 m/s/s [D]

Sources of Error:

The results of this laboratory investigation may have been misleading due to:

the spark timer skipping a mark causing a need to estimate the displacement for...
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