# Lab Assignment: Free-Fall Acceleration Laboratory

Introduction

This lab will demonstrate the principles behind free-fall acceleration. Any object that is thrown or dropped in the presence of gravity experiences constant acceleration. This acceleration is called free-fall acceleration or acceleration due to gravity.

Design an experiment you could construct that might measure free-fall acceleration, and then carry out the virtual lab, beginning on the next screen.

• What materials would you use? What would you measure?
• What results would you expect?
• What if the results were different than expected; what would that indicate?

Developing Hypothesis:

In this lab, you will investigate free-fall acceleration on Earth, the Moon, and Mars. You will measure object displacement in free-fall and then calculate its acceleration.

Hypothesize what you think the results of this experiment will be. Will the acceleration you measure be the same in all three environments? How will your measurements compare to accepted values of free-fall acceleration?

Objectives:

1. Analyze motion in terms of the change in distance during a given period of time.
2. Summarize the relationships between distance and time for moving objects.
3. Interpret graphs relating distance and time for moving objects.

To view the items that need to be included in your lab write-up, along with a grading rubric, please refer to the Guidelines for the Laboratory section of the orientation.

 Lab Assignment: Free-Fall Acceleration Laboratory: Analysis Organizing Data: For each of the environments, calculate the average velocity. Divide the distance between two time points by the change in time. You might want to create new rows in your spreadsheet with these values. Notice that you will only have five values of average velocity in each location. Organizing Data: Using the results from item 1, calculate the average acceleration. Find the change in speed between the first and second time points and the second and third time points, and divide this by the change in time. You may want to add another row to your data tables for these calculations. Notice that you will only have four values of average acceleration. Constructing Graphs: Use your data to plot the following graphs for each environment. On each graph, label the axes and indicate the trial number. Position versus time Velocity versus time Acceleration versus time Organizing Data: Use the values for the average acceleration for all four trials to find the average value. Evaluating Results: Use the accepted value for the free-fall acceleration on Earth given in the text and the average of your results from item 4. Determine the absolute error of your results using the equation:absolute error = |experimental – accepted| Determine the relative error of your results using the following equation:relative error = (experimental – accepted) / accepted

Lab Assignment: Free-Fall Acceleration Laboratory: Conclusions

1. Making Predictions: Based on your results, how do the average accelerations on Earth, the Moon, and Mars relate to each other? How did this result compare to your hypothesis?
2. Analyzing Graphs: Calculate the slope of each velocity-time graph you made.
3. Evaluating Results: Find the average value of the slope of the velocity-time graphs. What is the relationship between this value and the values you found for the average acceleration in each location?
4. Analyzing Error: You used a virtual simulation that was programmed with the gravity value on Earth. Why would you still expect to find absolute error and relative error in your measurements of acceleration? How might you do the experiment so that your value of acceleration on Earth would be closer to the accepted value?How did this outcome compare to your hypothesis?

Reminder: Be sure to submit your assignment at this time. Refer to the Guidelines for the Laboratory section for directions on how to submit your assignment to your instructor.

• ### Finding How Far the Object Fell on the Simulator

Attached Files:

• FindingYvalueFreeFall.png (86.03 KB)

(picture attached below)

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