Accelerometer - Ball In Water

Purpose

To demonstrate the direction of acceleration for both linear and circular cases.

Equipment

Water-filled plastic tubes with pingpong balls, as photographed.

Images

c4-11

Description

When the accelerometer is accelerated linearly, the pingpong ball, being less dense than the water, moves toward the direction of the acceleration. When the jars are rotated the pingpong ball moves toward the center of rotation.

References

Richard M. Sutton, Some Dynamic Applications of Liquid Manometers, AJP 3, 77-81 (1935). J. Harris and A. Ahlgren, Apparatus: Lecture Demonstration and Laboratory. Classroom Techniques: Some Simple Experiments and Demonstrations, TPT 4, 314-322 (1966). H. R. Crane, Problems for Introductory Physics, TPT 7, 371-378 (1969). Meiners, Physics Demonstration Experiments, Volume 1, Section 8-3.8, page 146. Earl Coombs, Demonstrating the Difference between Velocity and Acceleration, TPT 28, 546-547 (1990). D. Easton, Fletcher's trolley - Alive and well, TPT 21, 184 (1983).