Air Track - The Acceleration Of Gravity

Purpose

To experimentally determine the acceleration of gravity.

Equipment

Air track with glider and photocell gate timer.

Suggestions

Set timer gate above lower air track feet so you have space to catch the glider before it hits the end.

Setup Time

5 min.

Images

c4-31

Description

One end of the air track is elevated at an angle a so that the glider will accelerate down the slope with some component of the acceleration of gravity. This component is determined experimentally by measuring the velocity v of the glider after it has accelerated a fixed distance S down the track. The angle a is determined from the amount the track is raised and the distance between the two support feet. The acceleration of gravity is then: g =v**2 /2 S sin a. ◙

References

Information Sheet.