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Free Fall Motion, Lab Report Example

Pages: 2

Words: 436

Lab Report

Introduction

Objects free fall due to the influence of gravity. While all objects are known to accelerate downwards at 9.8 m/s/s, the shape of the object has the ability to impact the average velocity of the fall due to the effect of air resistance. Therefore, large, flat objects are likely to exhibit the greatest extent of air resistance while dense, compact objects are less likely to experience this effect. Despite this, mass is not expected to contribute to the overall acceleration of the object because the acceleration due to gravity will act on the objects equally.

The purpose of this experiment is to determine the amount of time that it will take for balls of different sizes to reach the ground when they are released from the same height. I hypothesize that each test ball will reach the ground at the same time because the acceleration due to gravity will act on the objects equally.

Experimental Method

 The weight and diameter of each ball used in the experiment was recorded. A total of seven balls were used. Each ball was dropped from a height of five feet and the amount of time it took to reach the floor was measured using a stopwatch. Each trial was conducted at least three times. Results were collected in an Excel file for further analysis.

Data Analysis and Discussion

The results demonstrate that while the mass of the ball does not impact the amount of time it takes for the ball to reach the ground, the diameter of the ball has a small impact on this process. Ultimately, the ball with a greater diameter contributed to a greater degree of friction, which slowed it down compared to the balls with a smaller diameter. The larger the diameter of the ball, the longer it would take for the ball to fall, while the ball with the smallest diameter fell the quickest. This effect is demonstrated in figure 1. It is important to consider that despite the size of the ball, it fell at an acceleration of 9.8 m/s/s due to the effects of gravity. Balls with a larger diameter fell more slowly due to a small amount of air resistance that was created during the free fall.

Conclusion

All objects fall to the ground at the same acceleration, 9.8 m/s/s. However, there are several factors that can impact this occurrence, including air resistance. Therefore, objects of either same or different masses will reach the ground at the same time. However, if objects are physically larger or take on a flat shape, they will take a longer time to reach the ground due to the effects of air resistance.

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