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# NAME: VICTORIANO BIEN CHRISTIAN T. SECTION: MT0836 GROUP NO.

: 3

## EXPERIMENT NO. 4 ACCELERATION OF A FREELY FALLING PICKET FENCE

I.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the acceleration due to gravity of a freely falling picket fence by measuring its drop time through the photogate and comparing its variation from the actual value.

II.

APPARATUS:

Computer, Data workshop software (Data Shop), Iron stand, Iron Clamp, Picket fence, Photogate.

III.

DRAWING

Picket fence

computer

photo gate

IV.

## PRINCIPLE: ACCELERATION DUE TO GRAVITY

Neglecting air resistance, an object falls a distance proportional to the square of the time. Galileo was the first to derive this mathematical relationship. He asserted that for a given

d t2
location on Earth, all objects fall with the same uniform acceleration. This acceleration is commonly referred to as the acceleration due to gravity, and it is given the symbol g. This value is approximately g = 9.8 m/s2.

V.

PROCEDURE:

1. Set up the computer. 2. Calibrate sensor and set up equipment. 3. Record data: a.) Open Data Shop. b.) Open new activity. c.) Choose exercise 5. d.) Clear previous data. e.) Change the y axis value in the distance time graph to velocity. f.) Press start while simultaneously dropping the picket fence from an adequate height (around an inch above the photogates sensor). g.) Press stop right after then fence hits the ground. h.) Choose to points from the line graph and highlight them. i.) Click linear fit. j.) Record the data acquired 4. Analyze data.

VI.

## DATA AND RESULTS

POSITION CH 1 RUN #3 TIME POSITION (S) (M) 0.5715 0.050 0.6021 0.100 0.6285 0.150 0.6516 0.200 0.6729 0.250 0.6922 0.300

VELOCITY CH 1 RUN #3 TIME VELOCITY (S) (M) 0.5522 1.30 0.5868 1.63 0.6153 1.89 0.6400 2.16 0.6623 2.35 0.6825 2.59

ACCELERATION CH 1 RUN #3 TIME ACCELERATION (S) (M/S/S) 0.5695 9.7 0.6011 9.1 0.6277 10.9 0.6511 8.2 0.6724 12.0

## Experimental value of g: 9.12 m/s2 Actual value of g: 9.81 m/s2 % Diff. = 7%

VII.

OBSERVATIONS:

Experimental values vary greatly from the standard value as the picket fence falls in different ways each time you drop it.

VIII. CONCLUSION: Objects in earth can only achieve acceleration equal to the standard value of g only if there is no disturbance as it falls. This being said, a perfect acceleration due to gravity of 9.81 m/s2 can only be achieved if the right conditions are met. From this, you could also conclude that two objects dropped from the same height, regardless of their weight or shape, will fall with the same acceleration and will drop at the same time in ideal conditions.

IX.

## QUESTIONS AND PROBLEMS:

What are the factors that influence the variations of the experimental value of g from the actual/standard value?

The two main causes of the variations is air resistance and the difference of gravitys intensity in different positions. WHY G VARIES FROM PLACE TO PLACE? The downward force of gravity is opposed by an outward centrifugal force due to the planet's rotation, which is greater at the equator than at a higher latitudes. (The centrifugal force is "fictitious" in the sense that the real force caused by rotation is the centripetal force; however, it is a convenient fiction for the sake of calculations.) By itself, this effect would result in a range of values of g from 9.789 m/s2 (32.116 ft/s2) at the equator to 9.823 m/s2 (32.228 ft/s2) at the poles. This discrepancy is further accentuated because of the Earth's equatorial bulge, which causes objects at lower latitudes to be further from the planet's center than objects nearer the poles and hence subject to a slightly weaker gravitational pull. Overall these two effects result in a variation of 0.052 m/s2 (0.171 ft/s2) in the value of g, which leads to a variation in the weight of an object by about 0.5% depending on whether it is weighed at the equator or at one of the poles. Taking an average over the whole surface of the Earth, physicists have arrived at a standard value for g of 9.80665 m/s2 (32.1740 ft/s2). On other planets and moons the values of the acceleration due to gravity may be very different, resulting in different weights for the same object on these various worlds.

## THE EFFECT OF AIR RESISTANCE

If the Earth had no atmosphere, an object dropped from a great height would keep accelerating at a rate of 9.8 m/s2 (32 ft/s2) until it hit the ground. For example, if a person fell from an aircraft at an altitude of 10,000 m (32,808 ft), they would be traveling at about 442 m/s

(1,450 ft/s) by the time they landed. In practice, this doesn't happen because of air resistance. The faster an object falls, the greater is the air resistance acting on it. At a certain velocity, known as the terminal velocity, the downward force of gravity is balanced out by the upward force of air resistance and there is no further acceleration. If there were no atmosphere, all objects would fall at the same rate. This happens, for example, on the Moon. In one of the most memorable moments of the space program, David Scott, commander of the Apollo 15 mission, standing on the Moon's surface, dropped two objects a geological hammer and a falcon's feather (the Apollo 15 lunar module was called Falcon) at the same time from the same height. The feather didn't drift down, meanderingly, as it would have done on Earth. Instead, in the airless vacuum of space, it fell straight, without a flutter, keeping pace with the hammer and reaching the lunar surface at the same instant.