• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The purpose of this experiment is to observe the acceleration of an object caused by the Earth's gravity.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Aim: The purpose of this experiment is to observe the acceleration of an object caused by the Earth's gravity.

Introduction:

Gravitational acceleration, the acceleration caused by the gravitational attraction of massive bodies in general.

Gravity of Earth, the acceleration caused by the gravitational attraction of the Earth.

Standard gravity, or g, the standard value of gravitational acceleration at sea level on Earth (9.80665 m/s2)

Hypothesis:

The acceleration of gravity is 9.8 m/s2 near the Earth's surface and when air resistance is negligible.

Materials:

  • small, dense weight (200 g) - a dense weight will experience the least air resistance for its mass
  • electric buzzer - vibrates at the same rate as the alternating current (AC) which is 60 Hz
  • ticker tape
  • carbon paper disk
  • retort stand
  • duct tape
  • school bag (for soft landing)
  • ruler

Method:

  1. Use duct tape to attach the buzzer to the retort stand so that the part where the ticker tape goes through is sticking out over the edge of the lab bench.
...read more.

Middle

33.8 cm

77.2 cm

338 cm/s

0.4 s
0.5 s

0.45 s

0.1 s

41.7 cm

118.9 cm

417 cm/s

Analysis:

Acceleration = (change in speed)/(change in time)

From our observations, we can calculate four or five (assuming initial speed of 0 cm/s) values of acceleration. For example:

Acceleration = (145 cm/s - 51 cm/s)/(0.15 s - 0.05 s) = 940 cm/s2

The first interval is smaller than the others:

Acceleration = (51 cm/s - 0 cm/s)/(0.05 s - 0.00 s) = 1020 cm/s2

The following table shows the acceleration calculated for each interval:

Interval

Acceleration

0.0 s
0.05 s

1020 cm/s2

0.05 s
0.15 s

940 cm/s2

0.15 s
0.25 s

930 cm/s2

0.25 s
0.35 s

1000 cm/s2

0.35 s
0.45 s

790 cm/s2

Average

936 cm/s2

The following graphs show the position of the weight and the speed of the weight during the 0.5 s that the weight was falling. The acceleration of the weight is represented by the slope of the speed-time graph.

Position-Time Graph:

image00.png

Speed-Time Graph:

image01.png

The speed-time graph shows that the line of best fit through most of the points has a slope of approximately

(430 cm/s)/(0.45 s) = 956 cm/s2

...read more.

Conclusion

It is usually better to take a lot of measurements than just a few. In this lab, you could have exchanged results with other members of your team (since each member of the team should have had their own ticker tape to measure). In this way you could have had 15 or 20 acceleration values instead of just 5. For example:

Person 1

Person 2

Person 3

Interval

Acceleration

Acceleration

Acceleration

0.0 s
0.05 s

1020 cm/s2

1020 cm/s2

760 cm/s2

0.05 s
0.15 s

940 cm/s2

940 cm/s2

850 cm/s2

0.15 s
0.25 s

930 cm/s2

900 cm/s2

890 cm/s2

0.25 s
0.35 s

1000 cm/s2

1030 cm/s2

930 cm/s2

0.35 s
0.45 s

790 cm/s2

790 cm/s2

830 cm/s2

Average

936 cm/s2

936 cm/s2

852 cm/s2

From this table we can calculate an overall average acceleration of 908 cm/s2. this is actually LESS accurate than the first set of results, because the third member of the team had the poorest accuracy. However, it does indicate a systematic error: all the results are giving an acceleration less than our hypothesis. To reduce this error, we should look for factors in our experiment that were slowing the weight - for example, friction.

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Physics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Physics essays

  1. Angle Acceleration

    The steps I took to do this are written bellow: 1. Gather all necessary equipment (see Equipment section on following page) and locate a large flat surface, preferably above the group, like a large table 2. Stack several books on one end of the table, not too many.

  2. Investigate the Size of Craters in Sand Due to Dropped Object.

    r �d = (22/7) x (1.9) � x 0.9 = 10.21 cm � 10.00 1.00 = ? r �d = (22/7) x (1.9) � x 1.0 = 11.34 cm � 12.00 1.10 = ? r �d = (22/7) x (1.9) � x 1.1 = 12.48 cm � * Fourth Reading Calculation Diameter of slotted mass =

  1. This lab will test the effects of the surface area factor on acceleration due ...

    The folded pieces of paper will be dropped from a constant height, in order to minimize the human reaction error when timing the time of descent, the height in which the paper will be released will be relatively high(520.0cms).

  2. Suspension Bridges. this extended essay is an investigation to study the variation in tension ...

    The tension starts decreasing with increasing length. However, the decrease in the tension values is not at all linear or equal. Rather, the area between the curve of 140 cm and 144 cm is larger compared to that between 144 cm and 148 cm.

  1. The purpose of this lab is to examine impact craters. Impact craters occur when ...

    Level off the sand with the Popsicle stick. 6. Take the clamp on the table clamp to 50 cm and prepare to hold the golf ball in the clamp. Tighten the clamp to hold the golf ball in place. 7. Release the golf ball onto the sand box. 8.

  2. The Affect of Mass on the Time It Takes an Object To Fall

    After the five trials for data point two were complete, two more paper clips were added to the bottom of the helicopter making the total mass for data point three consist of five paperclips, plus the mass of the paper helicopter.

  1. Pendulum work out the value of acceleration due to gravity (g), by using ...

    * Calculator- For processing and calculation a calculator is used to avoid errors. > Procedure- 1. Tie the string to the mass bob of unknown weight and suspend it from the table stand as shown in the diagram. Make sure that the two small blocks of wood are in such

  2. HL Physics Revision Notes

    The condition for observing a bright fringe is therefore: dsin? = n? Outline the use of a diffraction grating to measure wavelengths All elements have their own characteristic spectrum. An element can be made to emit light either by heating it until it is incandescent or by causing an electric

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work