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Determination of g by freefall

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Name: Sarah Barendswaard Abubakr                                                Date: 9/02/09

Teacher:  Mr. Briffa                                                                   Subject: Physics

Year: Y12                                                                             Task: Lab report

Determination of gravity by free fall


In class we were given an instruction sheet where the aim, apparatus and method where given, from that we had to obtain results and process them.


To determine the value of acceleration due to gravity



Is the variable which we are changing to analyse how it changes the dependant variable; the distance of free fall


The variable that we obtain from the results and is changed by the independent; the time taken for the ball to reach the ground


...read more.


The steel ball was stuck on the magnetic part of the release and capture mechanism for the ball as the power was switched onThe power button of the millisecond timer was switched on and as it stopped flashing its light, the release and capture machine was turned off and the amount of time for the ball to reach the capture box was recorded by the millisecond timer.

This was repeated 3 times for each reading.

(x) = 12cm, 24cm, 36cm, 48cm, 60cm, 72cm.

...read more.


There may have been a systematic error resulting from the machines used to measure the time, we cannot see this from the graph, however this systematic error could affect the position of the line by a very small amount. Even though this value is small it does affect the graphs gradient.

Improvements that we can deal with in the school lab

Obviously in the school we can not perform an experiment that is at sea level, so the position of the experiment can not really be improved however there are other improvements:

  • The experiment could have been done in a vacuum to prevent air resistance ( drag ) from effecting the balls motion.
  • The experiment could have been repeated with various other machines to prevent systematic error from occurring.

...read more.

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