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Distance and Time

Experiment Profile

1. Objective

To investigate the relationships between position, velocity, and acceleration against time.

2. Theory

When describing the motion of an object, knowing where it is relative to a reference point, how fast and in what direction it is moving, and how it is accelerating (changing its rate of motion) is essential. As the object moves, the change in its position is measured many times each second. The change in position from moment to moment is expressed as velocity (metres per second). The change in velocity from moment to moment is expressed as an acceleration (metres per second). The position of an object at a particular time can be plotted on a graph.

3. Equipment List

Datalogger interface
Base and support rod
Motion sensor

Procedure

For this activity, your hand will be the object in motion. The motion sensor will measure your hand position as you move in a straight line at different speeds. We will use the datalogger software to plot the motion on a graph of position and time.

Computer Set-up

1. Connect the datalogger interface to the computer.
2. Connect the motion sensor to the interface.
3. Open the datalogger software to create a new data file for this activity.
4.

Record the data of time (sec), position (m), velocity (v) and acceleration (a).

5. Prepare to plot graphs of position versus time, velocity versus time and acceleration versus time.

Experience Set-up

Set-up the motion sensor as shown in the following graph. Make sure you can move at least 2 metres away from the motion sensor. Position the computer monitor so that you can see it while you move away from the motion sensor.


Data Recording

Place your hand in front of the motion sensor. Use the datalogger software to start recording data. Watch the plot of your hand's motion on the graph and try to move so that the graph display is a straight line with different angles.

Data Table

Time (sec) Position (m)
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

Conclusion and Extensions

1. What is the relationship between the slope of the position versus time graph and the velocity graph?
2. Describe the line shown in the graph of acceleration versus time.
3. Try to move to get a different acceleration versus time graph and describe your motion.

 
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