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Air Resistance In Free Fall

  • Date Submitted: 10/22/2012 03:26 PM
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The Effects of Air Resistance When Trying to Calculate a Value for ‘G’

Stefan Ruttimann

Lab Partner: Dylan Thompson
PC 131, Lab 5
Lab Instructor: Terry Sturtevant
Lab IA: Susan Shaw
October 25, 2011

Purpose: The purpose of this experiment is to recognize what effect air resistance has, if any,           on an object in free fall. By using various types of objects and dropping them at a height, we can see what effect air resistance has on the different objects by analysing the measured times and comparing them. Quantitatively, we will be able to calculate the acceleration of gravity using our times and height in accordance with our formula for g. As a qualitative goal, we can compare our calculation of g with the standard value for gravity and assess what effect wind resistance had on the object.

Method: Refer to Lab Manual, Chapter 14

Change in Method:   For one of our trials we had completely inaccurate times that were measured because of our timing approach so we redid the trial with a new approach and used the second trial for our numbers.

Experimental Results:
Instrument Used:
Measuring tape   Precision Measure is 0.0005m
Stop Watch Precision Measure is 0.01 s

Raw Data:  

Before we did any timing we had to measure the distance between the dropping height and the bottom of the bucket and we found it to be 5.39±0.02m. There are 5 different trials that we had to do to see the qualitative effects of air resistance. They are as follow:

  1. Person A drops the ball and person B times.
  2. Person A drops the ball and person A times.
  3. Person B drops the ball and person B times.
  4. Person B drops the ball and person A times.
  5. Person, either A or B drops ball two and person, either A or B times.( In our case person A dropped and person A timed)

The most important thing about doing these trials was beginning and ending the timers correctly. If the timing was off then when we go do our...


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