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Free Fall and Acceleration Due to Gravity

By mix811 Oct 17, 2010 252 Words
Free fall and the acceleration due to gravity

Problem/Question: How do you measure the acceleration of a falling object?

Hypothesis: by measuring velocities of a falling ball then applying the data into equations numerous times, the results should approach to the acceleration.

Variables: A: Independent Velocity
B:Dependant Acceleration
C:Constant Distance (photo gates)

Materials: Photo gates, Clay ball, Photo gates machine.

Experimental Setup:

1) Set second photo gate 50 cm. from the first photo gate which will be 10cm. (second hole) from the bottom of the tower. 2) Connect the photo gate that is on top to number 1 and the photo gate that is on the bottom to number 2. 3) Place clay ball directly above first photo gate and drop. 4) Record results and repeat five times.


1) The ball changes every time that is dropped
2) The ball is dropped in a different manner every time.
3) The time the ball takes to drop changes every time.

How do you measure the acceleration due to gravity? The data showed that the times are never the same, but they are close enough. My hypothesis was correct because this method can be used to measure free fall and the acceleration due to gravity. The problem I had with this lab was that the balls where dropped in a different way every time which would yield varying results. The next time I perform this lab I would try to drop the ball the same way.

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