Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite

Edward F. Redish

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TA on a Skateboard

In this problem, you will use the program Logger ProTM to analyze motion. The instructions for using this program (and where to find it on the Maryland campus) are given in the instructions document. We strongly recommend that you download and print this document for reference while doing this problem.

You will need to download two files to your desktop:

Download these files by right-clicking on them in the bulleted list, selecting "Save link as...", and saving them to your desktop. (The movie file is fairly large -- 8 MB. You might want to check if the file "Skateboard Movie 2.avi" is already on your desktop.)

The movie shows one of our TAs rolling across the front of the lecture hall on a skateboard. While he is doing so, he throws a tennis ball up in the air. Note there is a meter stick lying on the desk.

a. By taking data from the movie using Logger ProTM construct graphs describing the ball's flight while it is in the air. Create the following five graphs:

b. Fit each of the graphs with either a straight line "y=mx+b" or a parabola "y=ax2+bx+c" (where of course here "x" and "y" mean "whatever is on the horizontal axis" and "whatever is on the vertical axis" -- not "x" and "y" coordinates).

Arrange your results on the screen so they are readable and print one page that has all 5 graphs and the data table on it.

For each of the time graphs list the parameters you found for your best fit and, if they have a physical meaning, explain what they mean.

c. In order to construct your graphs you had to make a series of choices. Explain the choices you made and why you made them.

SAVE this CMBL file and keep it (you can email it to yourself), because you'll need it for next week's homework.

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Page last modified September 21, 2008: K21