Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Accelerations in the Real World

Figure from experiment 21 from Physics with Vernier


The portability of the data-collection equipment makes it ideal for studying accelerations that occur outside the physics laboratory. Some interesting situations are the automobile and amusement park rides, as well as high-speed elevators, motorcycles, and go-carts.

An accelerometer measures the acceleration in a specific direction. You will need to choose an appropriate time scale and the direction in which to hold the Accelerometer to obtain meaningful information. Obtaining acceleration data from independent kinematics measurements can transform an informal study into an empirical evaluation of a mathematical model.

This lab highlights several situations where you can collect real-world acceleration data. A general procedure is given that you will modify depending on which study is performed. After the general procedure, you will find several suggestions for acceleration investigations. You will need to plan an experiment around the motion to be studied, adjusting data-collection parameters as needed.


  • Measure acceleration in a real-world setting.
  • Compare the acceleration measured to the value calculated from other data.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for Physics with Vernier »

Experiment 21 from Physics with Vernier Lab Book

<i>Physics with Vernier</i> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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