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# Calculating a value for g by a free fall method.

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1. Can someone please tell me a method, I'm very confused as I still have chemistry whirling around in my head thanx
2. Objective

To measure the acceleration due to gravity by a free fall method.

Theory

An object falling freely under gravity, assuming that air resistance effects can be neglected, obeys the following equation:

s = ut + ½at²(1)

Apparatus

A ball bearing is held vertically above a mechanical plate by means of a small electromagnet. When the current through the magnet is switched off, the ball bearing falls from rest until it hits the plate. An electric stop-clock records the time of fall, since the start signal to the clock is synchronised with the release of the ball-bearing and the stop signal with the closing of a switch actuated by the plate.

Experimental Procedure

1. For a particular value of s, record the fall time t. Take several readings of t for each value of s in order to estimate the error in measuring t.
2. Measure the fall times for 8 values of s. Try to cover as large a range of distances as possible. Consider carefully the value of s (Is there a systematic error possible here?)

Method of Analysis

1. Present your results graphically by plotting against s. From the error D[delta]t on t, evaluate the error 2t[delta]t on and draw this on each plotted point.
2. Since the ball bearing falls from rest, u = 0. Hence s=½at² or t²=(2/a)s. The gradient of the graph (with s being plotted along the horizontal axis) is therefore 2/a.
4. Calculate g and the error in g.
3. (Original post by OldakQuill)
Objective

To measure the acceleration due to gravity by a free fall method.

Theory

An object falling freely under gravity, assuming that air resistance effects can be neglected, obeys the following equation:

s = ut + ½at²(1)

Apparatus

A ball bearing is held vertically above a mechanical plate by means of a small electromagnet. When the current through the magnet is switched off, the ball bearing falls from rest until it hits the plate. An electric stop-clock records the time of fall, since the start signal to the clock is synchronised with the release of the ball-bearing and the stop signal with the closing of a switch actuated by the plate.

Experimental Procedure

1. For a particular value of s, record the fall time t. Take several readings of t for each value of s in order to estimate the error in measuring t.
2. Measure the fall times for 8 values of s. Try to cover as large a range of distances as possible. Consider carefully the value of s (Is there a systematic error possible here?)

Method of Analysis

1. Present your results graphically by plotting against s. From the error D[delta]t on t, evaluate the error 2t[delta]t on and draw this on each plotted point.
2. Since the ball bearing falls from rest, u = 0. Hence s=½at² or t²=(2/a)s. The gradient of the graph (with s being plotted along the horizontal axis) is therefore 2/a.
4. Calculate g and the error in g.
Thanx very much! Appreciated I've just had a thought can I also use the pendulum method? I.e using T= 2pi root l/g ? and do it that way
4. well u can use that, or : that's the method used.
but ur question is : how to find g using FREE FALL
5. Thanks, that was really useful , one small question though, how do you calculate g at the end?
6. (Original post by emfish)
Thanks, that was really useful , one small question though, how do you calculate g at the end?
gradient is 2/a where a is the accelration due to gravity ie g. hence g= 2/ gradient
Updated: June 11, 2005
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