Laboratory Experiment on Acceleration
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Laboratory Experiment on Acceleration

An object in motion is said to be accelerated when it's velocity increases in magnitude or direction or in both. Examples of accelerated motion are falling objects and ball rolling down an incline plane. The velocity of a body may be changed by changing the speed, the direction, or both speed and direction. If the direction of the acceleration is parallel to the direction of motion, only the speed changes; if the acceleration is at right angles to the direction of motion, only the direction changes.
Objects seldom move with constant velocity. In almost all cases the velocity of an object is continually changing in magnitude, direction or both. Motion in which the velocity is changing is called accelerated motion. The time rate at which the velocity changes is called the acceleration. An object rolling down the inclined plane will be accelerated due to the influence of gravity. In this case, the force of gravity may be resolved into two components. One component acting parallel to the plane pulls the ball down down the plane. The other component perpendicular to the plane cause the ball to exert pressure upon the plane. As the plane gets steeper, the component that pulls the ball down the plane becomes greater, resulting in a higher acceleration. In this experiment, you are going to measure the acceleration of a metal ball rolling down the inclined plane. Knowing acceleration will enable you to compute for the velocity of the ball at the end of each second from the equation. OBJECTIVE: To measure the acceleration of a metal ball rolling down an inclined plane. MATERIALS: Wooden plane, meter stick, small metal ball or marble, digital watch or stop watch, iron stand and iron clamp. PROCEDURE: (1) Set up the incline plane at an angle just enough to let the ball roll down in a 4 seconds. (2) Place the metal ball at the top of the plane and let it roll down freely. Watch its motion carefully. Watch it's motion carefully. (3) Repeat Step 2 and determine the location of the ball at the end of 1.0 second, 2.0 seconds and 3.0 seconds. Mark these points. See the figure provided by your professor. (4) Make several trials until you are sure the position of the ball is marked correctly at the end of each time interval; (5) Measure the total displacement(d) of the ball after 1s, 2s and 3s. Compute the acceleration using the equation provided by your professor.(6) Determine the velocity of a ball at the end of each second using the equation provided. QUESTIONS AND APPLICATIONS: 1) Is there an increase in the metal ball's velocity as it goes down the plane? 2) Can an object's speed increase as it's acceleration decreases? Explain in your own words. 3)Can an object have a constant velocity and still have a varying speed? Support your answer. ANSWERS/EXPLANATION:

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