Galileo tried to prove that all falling objects accelerate downward at the same rate. Falling objects do accelerate downward at the same rate in a vacuum. Air resistance, however, can cause objects to fall at different rates in air. Air resistance enables a skydiver’s parachute to slow his or her fall. Because of air resistance, falling objects can reach a maximum velocity or terminal velocity. In this experiment, you will study the velocities of two different falling objects.
In this experiment, you will
Use a Motion Detector to measure position and velocity.
Produce position vs. time and velocity vs. time graphs.
Analyze and explain the results.
Sensors and Equipment
This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.