Physics 131 Lab, QL
Sept. 21, 2014
This experiment measures the study of motion by observing the force of gravity acting solely upon an object, and also measures reaction time. If an object is in free fall, the only force acting upon it is gravity. The object used in this experiment was a golf ball that provided some acceleration when dropped. A sensor positioned underneath a table recorded the golf ball’s pattern of motion, when dropped. The main objective of performing this experiment is to measure the velocity and position of the ball to eventually find the acceleration of free fall. A computer program called, DataStudio, was used to create a graph of position vs. time and a graph of velocity vs. time. The second part of the experiment involved randomly dropping a ruler and having your partner catch it to determine reaction time. Questions
1. The parabolic curves open upward instead of downward because of the golf balls movement over time: where it is dropped from, to where it ends up. The ball begins close to the sensor, then drops to the ground, then bounces back up closer to sensor again, therefore the bounces correspond with the bottom curves of the parabola. If the data were collected from the floor then the curve would open downward. But because the sensor graphs the position from the sensor, the curve was upwards. 2.
The slope of the velocity versus time graph physically shows the golf ball’s rate of velocity changing over the period of time that it is falling, and its acceleration against the force of gravity that is acting upon the ball. The straight line that is formed by the data point signifies the acceleration of the ball, which remains constant, because straight lines show a constant rate. 3. When the ball bounces off the floor and is moving upward, gravity is still the only force acting upon it, so it still is in free fall. No other forces interfere with the ball from the...
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