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Experiment Picket Fence Free Fall 5 We say an object is in free fall when the only force acting on it is the earth’s gravitational force. No other forces can be acting; in particular, air resistance must be either absent or so small as to be ignored. When the object in free fall is near the surface of the earth, the gravitational force on it is nearly constant. As a result, an object in free fall accelerates downward at a constant rate. This acceleration is usually represented with the symbol g. Physics students measure the acceleration due to gravity using a wide variety of timing methods. In this experiment, you will have the advantage of using a very precise timer connected to the calculator and a Photogate. The…show more content…
If the acceleration of your Picket Fence appears constant, fit a straight line to your data. a. b. c. d. e. 5-2 Press ENTER , and select RETURN TO MAIN SCREEN from the SELECT GRAPH screen. Select ANALYZE from the main screen. Select CURVE FIT from the ANALYZE screen. Select LINEAR (VELOCITY VS TIME) from the SELECT CURVE FIT screen. Record the slope of the fitted line in the Data Table. Modified from and reported with permission of the publisher Copyright (2000), Vernier Software & Technology Physics with Calculators Picket Fence Free Fall f. Press ENTER to see the fitted line with your data. g. To return to the main screen, press ENTER , and then select RETURN TO ANALYZE SCREEN, finally selecting RETURN TO MAIN SCREEN. 9. To establish the reliability of your slope measurement, repeat Steps 6 through 9 five more times. Do not use drops in which the Picket Fence hits or misses the Photogate. Record the slope values in the Data Table. DATA TABLE Trial 1 2 3 4 5 6 2 Slope (m/s ) Minimum Maximum Average 2 Acceleration (m/s ) Acceleration due to gravity, g Precision ± m/s2 % ANALYSIS 1. From your six trials, determine the minimum, maximum, and average values for the acceleration of the Picket Fence. Record them in the Data Table. 2. Describe in words the shape of the distance vs. time graph for the free

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