Physics 141, Fall 2016.

Department of Physics and Astronomy | University of Rochester
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Laboratory 1: Measuring g

Before you start please take note of the following recommendations/warnings:

  • After you open the setup file you download from the Physics 141 website, please use the "Save As" option from the file menu to save it with a filename that identifies the user (that is you) and the date of the experiment. For example, I would name the file that I save for the first part of this lab FreeFallWolfs091409.
  • It is highly recommended that you email the data you collect today to your u.rochester.edu email account to give you the opportunity to fine-tune the analysis of the data collected. Please make sure that both partners have access to the data outside the classroom. You can also copy the data to a USB keychain (connection available on the back of the key board).

In this laboratory we will conduct two experiments to measure the gravitational acceleration g. For each experiment you are expected to obtain your best estimate for g, including an error estimate, and compare the value you measure with the accepted value. Do they agree, or do they disagree?

In the first experiment, we will use the free fall of a picket fence to determine the gravitational acceleration. The manual for this experiment can be downloaded in pdf format by clicking here.

In the second experiment, we will use the motion of a cart on an inclined plane to determine the gravitational acceleration. In addition, we will compare the theoretical dependence of its acceleration on mass and angle with the measured dependence. The manual for this experiment can be downloaded in pdf format by clicking here.

Both experiments measure the same paramters, and you must make a comparison between both results. Do both results agree with each other? Do the results agree with the accepted value of g? Note: you will need to to a carefull error analysis in order to be able to draw any conclusions.

The laboratory report for this laboratory will be due on Wednesday September 21, 2016 at 12 pm (to be dropped off in the 141 Laboratory Locker, opposite of B&L 106). The laboratory report should describe the results of both measurements of g. Use the guidelines in "How to write a lab report" as a starting point for your report. Make sure you include whatever graphs are needed to support your conclusions, and provide a detailed error analysis of your results.

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Last updated on Wednesday, August 31, 2016 10:34

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