Physical measurements are never exact, and it is important to assess the uncertainty in measurements. One way to do this is to repeat measurements and average the results. The maximum deviation from the average is one way to assess uncertainty (although not the best way). In the following measurements, measure each case at least three times and take an average. Then record the number like the following example.
Experimental time: 5.9 ± 0.3 sec since the maximum deviation
from the average is 0.3 sec.
1. Start and stop the stopwatch as quickly as you can. This will give you a measure of your reaction time.
Experimental reaction time ___________ ± ___________ sec.
2. Drop the ball provided from a height of one meter and measure the
time required to hit the floor. Find an experimental fall time by the above
3. Assemble the track so that the bottom of the ball in its starting
position may be positioned 2 cm above the flat surface (basically, this
will mean just sitting the end of the track on top of the supporting block).
Let the ball roll down the incline and measure the time when it leaves
the track at the bottom end. Measure the length
of the track so that you may calculate the average speed.
4. Will doubling the height of the upper end of the incline cut the time in half? Measure
it and find out.
5. What height will cut the roll time in half? Experiment and find out.
Record the height and the times for your closest approach to half the time
in part 3.
6. Referring to your data in part 3:
What is the average velocity for part 3? __________
Equipment: Motion Measurement
Hands-on Exercise List
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