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AIM: To determine the acceleration due to gravity on Earth using the drop ball technique.

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Candidate Name: Session: May 2015 Page | International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) Session: May 2015 Physics HL Lab Report Lab Report Title: Determining acceleration due to gravity. Criteria Assessed: * Data Collection and Processing (DCP) * Conclusion and Evaluation (CE) Candidate Name: Candidate Number: International School, Singapore AIM: To determine the acceleration due to gravity on Earth using the ?drop ball? technique. INTRODUCTION: Gravity is one of the four fundamental forces and on Earth, it pulls everything towards the center of the Earth. According to Newton?s second law, since gravity is a force, it will cause any mass to accelerate. The objective of this experiment is to find the acceleration of any mass due to gravity on Earth. Since the Earth has an atmosphere, free fall of a mass is technically not possible due to the constant upward drag caused by wind. However, when the mass itself is many times denser than air, the effect of air resistance on its movement can be neglected. Hence, to find the acceleration due to gravity (g) in this experiment; all the students were given metal bob pendulum. Since a metal bob?s density is many times higher than air and its spherical shape is aerodynamic, the effect of air resistance on its downward descent could be ignored. ...read more.


0.2610 0.2604 5 41.0 0.2910 0.2906 0.2912 0.2900 Table 1: Raw Data: Time taken for metal bob to drop from each height Uncertainties: * Uncertainty in the Height (H) = = ±0.1cm. * Uncertainty in the Time taken = Uncertainty in instrument = ±0.0001s. Using a spreadsheet, the average time taken was calculated and are displayed in the table below: Serial No. Height / H (cm) ±0.1cm Time Taken (s) Average 1 9.0 0.1352 ± 0.0002 2 17.0 0.1861 ± 0.0005 3 25.0 0.2260 ± 0.0001 4 33.0 0.2604 ± 0.0007 5 41.0 0.2907 ± 0.0006 Table 2: Processed Data: Average time taken for metal bob to drop from each height. Uncertainties: * Uncertainty in Time TakenAverage = Random error = Sample calculation for 1st set of data (H = 9.0cm): ±0.0002s. Note: The higher of the random error and the instrumental error is taken. In case of the 3rd set of data, random error = instrumental error. Thus, uncertainty can be any. To find the value of g, the value of t2 is calculated using a spreadsheet and is displayed in the table below: Serial No. Height / H (cm) ...read more.


The uncertainty, however small cannot be ignored and it must be explored so that if possible, it can be avoided in the future. Firstly, the recording of the height was not done with a very precise ruler. A lot of time and effort was spent to ensure its accuracy in the readings and not let its faults hinder the experimental results. This is could be avoided if a more precise ruler or instrument to measure height could be present. Secondly, although the voltage spike generator (CRO) was undeniably accurate, no information about any time delays in the microphone was known. The possibility of microphone causing a significant lag, in spite of the ball falling close to it is very improbable but nonetheless, it exists. The effects of air resistance were ignored because of their very ignorable influence on the readings. The mild influence on the readings in this experiment might partially be owed to the effect of air resistance. Perhaps, a more aerodynamic object could be used but investing in those are not worth unless the major sources of systematic error such as the imprecise ruler and the doubtful microphone are replaced with reliable, accurate and precise instrument. Ultimately, this experiment serves to remind us of the experimental nature of Physics and in the course of this experiment, many doubts were cleared with regard to instruments and techniques. ...read more.

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