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Drip and Drop (It’s a Free Fall Thing)

Ryvaley, Hanson, Jason Armadeus /11 IBC 1

Research question

Is the acceleration due to gravity near the surface of the Earth constant (9.81 m s -2 ), by using the equation s=1/2at 2 ?

Variables

Independent : Height from the top of the pie pan to the tip of burette, because it is what we change to find the dependent variable.

Dependent : Time it takes for 10 drops of water to hit the pie pan, because it is what we measure.

Controlled : Burette is filled three fourths full of water on every trial and same materials are used during the experiment (burette, pie pan, stopwatch, etc.). These are the variable we kept constant during the experiment for fair result.

Hypothesis

Acceleration of gravity is constant if we are ignoring air resistance ( 9.81 m s -2 ) and we can predict that the time is directly proportional to the distance from the formula S = 1/2 at 2 . Therefore if the distance increases, the time would also increase. The time would depend on the distance on this experiment since the distance is the independent variable, meanwhile the time is the independent variable, and the acceleration will remain constant.

Background information

Free fall is defined as the motion of a certain object where the only force acting on the object is gravity. Within this experiment, we use water droplets as the object which is acted upon gravity. The falling of water is also due to the force gravity which results in free fall.

According to the physics textbook, as an object is released close to the earth surface, it will accelerate downwards, meaning it is pulled down towards the center of the earth. The acceleration going downwards is commonly known as gravity and has the symbol g. If we ignore air resistance, acceleration will always be uniform as gravity will remain the same at any point. Technically, when an object is moving upwards or instantaneously at rest at the top of its motion, we can consider them experiencing free fall. If gravity is the only acting force, then acceleration is always downward and it has same magnitude for all bodies.

Apparatus/materials

Ring stand

Pie pan

Stopwatch

Meter stick

Burette

Beakers (filled with water)

Method

First, set the burette on a ring stand with a clamp which helps us hold our burette. Then, fill the burette about three fourths full of water within each trial. It is controlled and kept constant because it can affect the result which is the time taken for 10 drops to fall. Place the pie pan on the floor beneath the burette. The pie pan should be at least 1 m below the base of the burette. Next, adjust the drip rate so that one drop just leaves the burette when the previous drop hits the pie pan. Start the timer as soon as the water drops from the burette and stop the timer when 10 drops of water hits the pie pan. Take five trials then increase the height after. This is done because the measurement could include uncertainties. Last, repeat steps 1 to 6 every time the height is increased (at least 8 different heights). Make sure the height is measured from the top of the pie pan to the tip of the burette.

Data collection and analysis

Height (m)

 

Time (s) ±0.001

 

Average time (s)

Δtime

a = (2s)/t 2 ms -2

±0.05

Trial 1

Trial 2

Trial 3

Trial 4

Trial 5

1

28.47

29.22

29.72

30.19

30.78

29.68

1.16

2.27

× 10 -3

1.02

28.63

29.81

29.78

30.81

30.59

29.92

1.09

2.28

× 10 -3

1.05

28.72

29.78

30.75

31.28

31.90

30.49

1.59

2.26

× 10 -3

1.10

30.65

31.18

31.60

32.00

32.57

31.60

0.96

2.20

× 10 -3

1.15

31.00

31.82

32.63

33.25

34.09

32.56

1.54

2.16

× 10 -3

1.20

32.53

32.87

33.29

34.32

34.38

33.48

0.93

2.14

× 10 -3

1.25

35.87

36.22

36.60

37.37

38.15

36.84

1.14

1.84

× 10 -3

1.30

34.55

36.59

37.12

38.60

39.22

37.22

2.33

1.88

× 10 -3

1.14 1.84 × 10 - 3 1.30 34.55 36.59 37.12 38.60 39.22 37.22 2.33 1.88 ×

Conclusion

From the experiment, we can say that this experiment is not really accurate. Based on the data that we gathered and the graph we made, we can conclude that the height is directly proportional to the average time taken. We can see from the graph that the average time increases as the distance increase. One of the objective of this experiment is to find whether the acceleration due to gravity is constant, using the formula s = 1/2 at 2 . We stated in our hypothesis that the acceleration is constant and we did as well predicted in our hypothesis that the distance is directly proportional to the time. It is correctly shown on the graph. However, the acceleration is not uniform and it is far from the expected value which is 9.81 m s -2 . The intercept of the y axis is not 0 which may be caused by different rates at which the water drops from the burette.

Evaluation

The burette used doesn’t function well, causing different drip rate of the water droplets. Therefore, it lowers the accuracy of the data taken. We should have checked the equipment before using them in our experiment. We also can’t judge accurately the amount of water placed on the burette, because eye is not in a proper position relative to the burette (not perpendicular to the burette). For some of the trials, we did not empty the pie pan after it is filled with water, before proceeding to another trial. It made us estimate the time the water hits the pie pan without hearing the sound. Therefore, it gave us less precise and accurate value as the result.

Works Cited

Homer, David. Physics Course Companion 2014 edition. United Kingdom : Oxford University Press, 2014. Print.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_fall