The objective of this experiment is to measure the constant acceleration of a freely falling object and to show that its acceleration is roughly the acceleration due to gravity, which was found in the laboratory prior to this experiment. The formula used to obtain this calculation is:.
V(t) = vi + gt.
Where v(t) is the instantaneous downward velocity of the body, which is measured in units of centimeters per second, vi is the initial downward velocity, g is the downward acceleration due to gravity and this is measured in centimeters per second. This is the equation is the equation of a straight line in respect of the slope which is g, and the y intercept is vi .
For this experiment two instruments were used, one was the Ealing Free-Fall Apparatus and the second one was the dial type caliper. We began by using the Ealing Free-Fall Apparatus which recorded the position of the steel ball at certain time intervals. The frequency of the apparatus was set to 25 Hz or 25/s. .
When the ball falls between the pillars of the apparatus, a high voltage spark is produced, and a spark will jump from the wire through the ball, and then go to the pillar. When this mechims takes place, a mark is left on the waxed tape ( which is located in between the pillars) and indicates the location where the ball is located when the spark jumps. Therefore the spark will jump 25 times in a second, since the frequency of the apparatus is set to 25 Hz. So therefore the ball's position will be recorded 1/25th of a second of 0.0400 seconds. Once the position is recorded, we took the wax paper of the apparatus and began to measure the distance each of the marked positions with the dial-type caliper. With these measurements we were able to calculate acceleration due to gravity as well as the initial velocity of the ball in the apparatus.
We were not given any instrumental uncertainty by the professor or the lab manual and therefore concluded that the instrumental uncertainty was not needed to perform any of the calculations for this lab experiment.