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09-03-2010   #1 (permalink)
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Default Physics HW

Design an experiment that can measure the acceleration of gravity (ag). You will do this experiment on Tuesday. You will have a stopwatch, meter stick and a heavy ball. Write up your lab directions/procedures (thoroughly and detailed so that anyone can follow your plans).

anyone can help?
 
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09-03-2010   #2 (permalink)
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Um, so are you just seeing how fast the heavy ball falls down at various distances? -didn't take Physics-
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09-03-2010   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shnao
Um, so are you just seeing how fast the heavy ball falls down at various distances? -didn't take Physics-
something like that i think and being somewhere around 9.8
 
09-03-2010   #4 (permalink)
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What level is this anyway?

Ionno. Doesn't seem scientific enough/practical to just measure time taken via meter stick as it will be too short to be recordable on the stopwatch. Factor in the point that there is human reaction time, and yeah. @@

Do you know the Equations of Motion as well?
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09-03-2010   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah... This would be easier if you know how to use angles. The ball would drop slower at different angles depending on the sine of the angle respective to the horizontal plane (the floor).

My bet is to set the ball at different levels of the meter stick without altering the angle. This will allow you to see the differences in speeds much easier along with the constant acceleration by finding the inverse sine function of that angle. Though, the biggest problem is maintaining the ball on that ramp or meter stick.
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Last edited by k0n; 09-03-2010 at 09:54 PM.
 
09-03-2010   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k0n
Yeah... This would be easier if you know how to use angles. The ball would drop slower at different angles depending on the sine of the angle respective to the horizontal plane (the floor).

My bet is to set the ball at different levels of the meter stick without altering the angle. This will allow you to see the differences in speeds much easier by finding the inverse sine function of that angle. Though, the biggest problem is maintaining the ball on that ramp or meter stick.
Friction will be accounted into play, and it will be even less accurate, I think. Not to mention calculation will be a bish because the acceleration will be at an angle to g.

Need to know what grade is this experiment for. I think it should be a pretty easy experiment if the grade's low, but yeah.
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09-03-2010   #7 (permalink)
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Drop the heavy ball straight down from a fixed or known height. Use the meter stick to measure the distance that the ball will travel. Record the time that it takes the ball to drop from the fixed height to the floor.

Use kinematic equations to solve for acceleration

height = initial velocity*time + 0.5*acceleration*time^2 (neglecting air resistance)

since initial velocity is zero, that term can be eliminated
thus,

height = 0.5*acceleration*time^2
You know two of the variables, height and time, and then solve for acceleration due to gravity. The experiment should probably be conducted indoors since you're not accounting for wind and other factors.
 
09-03-2010   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilxshadow
something like that i think and being somewhere around 9.8
yeah, rate of gravity would be ~9.81 m/s. :v
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09-03-2010   #9 (permalink)
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im in 12th grade physics AP, and he gave hw over the summer that barely anyone understood and now he gave us this project

so i have no idea on how to write procedures and such for this experiment
 
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Follow JoyDivision's instructions then. Add the point that you should repeat the experiment 10 times, then take the average results, as to minimize errors of the experiment.

You should also state the possible sources of errors in your experiment, such as human reaction time, air resistance etc etc.
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09-04-2010   #11 (permalink)
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im confused at everything u guys said
 
09-04-2010   #12 (permalink)
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Just use the equation that JoyDivision wrote.

x = (1/2) * a * t^2

Spoiler!


Where 'x' is the distance traveled and 't^2' is the amount of time it took squared and 'a' is the acceleration of gravity that you're trying to solve for.

Solving that equation for 'a' gives

a = (2x) / (t^2)

Then insert your known values and voila, you have acceleration due to gravity.

For procedure, just write what you did. You set a height, you dropped the ball, you timed the fall, you used kinematics equations to solve things. Just use big words so it sounds smart.

zgm is suggesting that you repeat the recording of data around 10 times and average it for a more solid answer. Any random or systematic errors (ie. the air resistance creating a drag on the ball and slowing down it's travel time or human reaction time messing up your data because humans are slow and you can't time the fall accurately) should be mentioned in a conclusion.

Of course, your lab write up might be different so you should generally check with your teacher.
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Last edited by buta; 09-04-2010 at 06:17 PM.
 

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