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Free Fall

Objective: The purpose of this experiment is to prove that acceleration is constant due to gravity, when a ball is dropped. As well, be able to calculate the resulting acceleration and velocity from dropping the ball. Background: The concept that needs to be understood before conducting such experiment is free fall. If an object is dropped anywhere, with the absence of air resistance, objects will fall under the same constant acceleration, which is g=9.8 m/s2 due to gravity. With this knowledge, velocity, distance and time can be calculated from a free falling object, with the use of this equation. y=y0+ v0t+12gt2 (eq. 1) In this equation, y is the vertical position, y0 is initial vertical position, v0 is initial velocity, t is time, and g is the acceleration due to gravity. The function of velocity is v=yt (eq. 2) In this equation y is the change of vertical position, and t is the change of time. The function of acceleration is a=vt (eq. 3) In this equation v is the change of velocity, and t is the change of time. Procedure: Using a basketball, we will observe free fall, using Data Studio and the motion sensor. First with meter sticks, create boundaries in which the basket ball cannot escape when it falls. With motion sensor in place, hold the ball a couple centimeters directly under the motion sensor, and then drop. Allow the ball to drop and bounce, in hope to record around ten bounces from the basketball, repeat until so achieved. This data will all be recorded by Data Studio when starting it. Use this information to calculate the resulting velocity and acceleration of the basketball, through the use of Excel. Data:
Time (s) Position(m ) 0.8555 0.645 0.875 0.598 0.8946 0.553 0.9141 0.513 0.9337 0.475 0.9533 0.443 0.973 0.415 0.9926 0.39 1.0123 0.367 1.032 0.35 1.0517 0.336 1.0715 0.327 1.0912 0.321 1.111 0.319 1.1308 0.321

1.1507 0.326 1.1705 0.336 1.1904 0.349 1.2103 0.368 1.2302 0.39 1.2502 0.413

(Table 1)
Graph

Analysis for Graph 1: The graph depicts the bounce of the basketball from the floor moving towards the sensor and its path towards the floor again, as analyzed, when the points are positive, the movement of the ball is upwards and vice versa. This graph is a semi parabola in relationship to the equation 1y= y0+ v0t+12gt2. This equation is a parametric equation with a power of two, explaining why the experimental position vs. time graph is a semiparabola. Theoretically the graph should be a full parabola, however to experimentally represent so, the data sets of the ball moving away from the sensor should be as well included.
Time Velocity 0.8555 -2.41026 0.875 -2.29592 0.8946 -2.05128 0.9141 -1.93878 0.9337 -1.63265 0.9533 -1.42132 0.973 -1.27551 0.9926 -1.16751 1.0123 -0.86294 1.032 -0.71066 1.0517 -0.45455 1.0715 -0.30457 1.0912 -0.10101 1.111 0.10101 1.1308 0.251256 1.1507 0.505051 1.1705 0.653266 1.1904 0.954774 1.2103 1.105528 1.2302 1.15

(Table 2) (Graph 2) Analysis of Graph 2To graph the data set for velocity vs. time, equation 2 v= yt was used. The experimental graph of velocity vs. time is not constant, however it is increasing velocity. The negative velocity displayed is the velocity of the ball when moving towards the sensor, and the positive velocity of the graph is the motion of the ball towards the floor again, almost completing a full bounce. The velocity in the experimental graph is increasing at a constant rate, meaning the acceleration would be constant, achieving free fall. The

linear regression of this graph gave us the coefficient value for the slope. The equation for slope is: y=mx+b, m being the slope, and b being the yintercept. These are the values for the linear regression:
Regression Statistics Multiple R 0.999074601 R Square 0.998150059 Adjusted R Square 0.998047284 Standard Error 0.051098735 Observations 20 ANOVA df SS Regression 1 25.3589142 9 Residual 18 0.04699945 3 Total 19 25.4059137 4 Coefficients Standard Error Intercept -10.9148072 0.10533527 1 X Variable 1 9.901463826 0.10047181

(Data 1) The coefficient for the xvariable (slope) is represented as 9.90. As mentioned earlier, the velocity increases at a constant rate indicating constant acceleration. The slope of the velocity is 9.90, which translates to the acceleration of the ball. The accepted value of acceleration is 9.8 m/s2, and the experimental value is 9.9 0.1 m/s2 , a value exact to the accepted meaning the ball is in fact under gravitational acceleration.
Time (s) Acceleration (m/s2) 0.8555 5.86348938 0.875 12.4814447 0.8946 5.76956621 0.9141 15.6184923 0.9337 10.7823094 0.9533 7.40150218 0.973 5.51007723 0.9926 15.4603314 1.0123 7.73016568 1.032 13.0007332 1.0517 7.57459225 1.0715 10.3329151 1.0912 10.2030405 1.111 7.58819093 1.1308 12.7534786 1.1507 7.48564781 1.1705 15.1511325

1.1904 7.57556627 1.2103 2.23479205 1.2302 1.2502

(Table 3) (Graph 3) Analysis of Graph 3Free fall is defined to be under constant gravitational acceleration. The theoretical graph of acceleration represents a horizontal constant line. In the experimental graph, it is observed to be somewhat constant, with a slight declining slope. It is also apparent in the graph that there are many anomalies, as the constant does not exactly match 9.8 m/s2. However the graph does represent acceleration. Due to errors in conducting the lab, would explain the close figure to gravitational acceleration. Overall the graph supports the theory that acceleration is constant, however in the lab, there was room for error. More data sets were collected for each 10 bounces, for every time the ball was in the air. This represents the velocity curve, as through Data Studio the slope and the uncertainty was discovered for the bounces. Number of Bounces Velocity curve (g) 1st bounce 12.9 2nd bounce 9.9 3rd bounce 10.1 4th bounce 8.31 5th bounce 9.46 6th bounce 9.87 7th bounce 7.73 8th bounce 9.66 9th bounce 7.01 10th bounce 9.86 Average 9.48 Standard Deviation 1.602733776 (Table 4) The average of the velocity curve represents the acceleration in the overall experiment. The experimental value is 9.48 m/s2 compared to the theoretical value 9.8 m/s2. This can yet again be explained by any errors that occurred in the lab. The experimental value of this lab was 2 from the accepted value, which accounts for a fairly large room of error. The variation of the velocity curve values show that there was no trend in the rebound height of each bounce, but in fact random. Conclusion: This experiment was conducted in order to prove whether free fall has a constant gravitational acceleration. From what was observed in lab, it can be truly stated that it does indeed constantly accelerate.

Although the calculated g deviated slightly from the accepted value, the trends of the experiment would prove that constant acceleration exists. The error that occurred in this lab could have been by the poor setup of the experiment, as there was much room for the basketball to escape with each bounce. Four rules were set up to keep it within sensor range; however those rulers could have impacted the bounces if it were to collide. Another error could be seen if the sensor was not accurately calibrated, thus not taking proper readings. Overall the experiment was fairly successfully, with room for error as it is hard to maintain a perfect environment for this experiment to completely occur.