Ball on a Ramp Experiment

Ball on a Ramp Experiment
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This is a handout which describes how to use a slow motion video of a ball released from rest on a ramp. (The video is provided for free as a link in the document.)

In this video you will see a ball released at the top of a ramp. here is a position scale marked in centimeters (every 0.01 m) attached to the ramp, but it is a little difficult to read. To make it easier to read the position of the ball, there are blue triangles every 0.10 m (10cm). The real time will flash on the screen at 0.50 second intervals. (Remember that this video was shot in slow motion.)

● Now rewind the video until you see the time 0.50 s, and record the position of the ball.

● Repeat this to record the positions at the times of 1.00s, 1.50s, 2.00s, and 2.50s.

You now have data for time and position for a ball released from rest on a ramp that you can graph and analyze.

Log in to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Analyze data to support the claim that Newton’s second law of motion describes the mathematical relationship among the net force on a macroscopic object, its mass, and its acceleration. Assessment is limited to one-dimensional motion and to macroscopic objects moving at non-relativistic speeds. Examples of data could include tables or graphs of position or velocity as a function of time for objects subject to a net unbalanced force, such as a falling object, an object sliding down a ramp, or a moving object being pulled by a constant force.
Construct linear and exponential functions, including arithmetic and geometric sequences, given a graph, a description of a relationship, or two input-output pairs (include reading these from a table).
Prove that linear functions grow by equal differences over equal intervals, and that exponential functions grow by equal factors over equal intervals.
Distinguish between situations that can be modeled with linear functions and with exponential functions.
Total Pages
1 page
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
40 minutes
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