ABSTRACT

Free fall is defined as the ideal falling motion of an object that is subject only to the earth’s gravitational field. To prove the law of conservation of energy, the free fall motion of an object can be represented through 3 different analyses; position of the object vs. time, velocity of the object vs. time, and acceleration of the object vs. time. It is observed in this ball toss experiment, at any point during the free fall period, the system contains the same total amount of mechanical energy. This amount is the sum of kinetic and gravitational potential energy.

FREE FALL AND THE CONSERVATION OF ENERGY

The law of conservation of energy states that the total amount of

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Overall Comparison of ‘g’ with position, velocity and acceleration | Values found for ‘g’(m/s2) | Actual value of ‘g’(m/s2) | Percentage | Position | -4.752(2)= -9.504m/s2 | -9.8m/s2 | 3.0% | Velocity | -9.435m/s2 | -9.8m/s2 | 3.7% | Acceleration | -9.456m/s2 | -9.8m/s2 | 3.5% |

***There is a minimal % of error through comparing these values.

***Experimental error could result from the way the ball was thrown, interference from hands moving in and out of range of the motion detector, the angle at which the ball was thrown, and air resistance.

Potential Energy (PE) = mgh m= mass of ball h= position/height of ball at that point g= +/-9.8m/s2

Potential Energy (PE) = mgh m= mass of ball h= position/height of ball at that point g= +/-9.8m/s2

Total Mechanical Energy (TE) = KE+PE

KE= Kinetic Energy

PE= Potential Energy

Total Mechanical Energy (TE) = KE+PE

KE= Kinetic Energy

PE= Potential Energy

Kinetic Energy (KE) = ½ mv2 m= mass of ball v= velocity of ball at that point

Kinetic Energy (KE) = ½ mv2 m= mass of ball v= velocity of ball at that point

OBSERVATIONS – Conservation of Energy Analysis

Mass of Ball: 0.283 kg Trial | KEA (J) | PEA (J) | TEA (J) | KEB (J) | PEB(J) | TEB (J) | KEC (J) | PEC (J) | TEC (J) | 1 |