The Independence of Motion Accessory is for use with the Go Direct® Projectile Launcher (GDX-PL) or the Vernier Projectile Launcher (VPL). It cannot be used alone or with any other device. These instructions assume that you are familiar with the operation of our projectile launchers.
The Independence of Motion Accessory enables a projectile launcher to perform the classic experiment where one ball is dropped as another is projected horizontally to determine if the balls strike the floor simultaneously.
Note: Vernier products are designed for educational use. Our products are not designed nor recommended for any industrial, medical, or commercial process such as life support, patient diagnosis, control of a manufacturing process, or industrial testing of any kind.
Care and Maintenance
Do not store the launcher (with or without the Independence of Motion Accessory attached) while the launcher is pressurized.
The steel balls are not stainless steel and can corrode over time when exposed to warm, humid environments. To reduce the likelihood of corrosion, keep the balls sealed in an airtight container such as a zipper-closure bag. In very humid environments, consider including a desiccant packet in with the balls.
If the steel balls do corrode, they will need to be replaced. Do not use any kind of oil on the balls in an attempt to remove the corrosion, as oil can damage the launcher.
There are several factors you can vary to determine their effect on the independence of motion.
Horizontal Velocity Variation
Do the two balls strike the floor simultaneously, even for different horizontal velocities, or for differing horizontal distances traveled? Change the horizontal velocity by changing the launcher air pressure.
Different Mass Variation
Does the simultaneity depend on the mass of the balls? Try the experiment with the plastic balls.
Vertical Fall Variation
Do the two balls strike the floor simultaneously, even if the drop height is much larger? Place the launcher at different heights.
Vertical Velocity Variation
Do the two balls now strike the floor simultaneously if the Independence of Motion Accessory is not horizontal? Why or why not? Set the launch angle to some other angle and explore.