Under the principles, the distance covered by an object in motion bears a proportional relationship with the square of time taken by the object to cover that distance. The constant of proportionality is the gravitational acceleration with the value 9.8 ms-2 under assumption of negligible resistance to the motion. This means that any freely falling object should move with an acceleration of 9.8 meters per second regardless of the nature of the falling object (Serway and Jewett, p. 56, 57). The concept of acceleration on free falling objects corresponds to Newton’s equation of motion with the acceleration as the force that acts on the falling object to determine its velocity at a given time. Two Newton’s equations of motion can then be used to relate initial velocity, final velocity, distance covered, time, and acceleration. The equations are
This paper seeks to investigate free fall. Its core objective is to determine the accelerating force that acts on a freely dropped object from a height, using experimental set up to determine time and corresponding distance covered by a freely falling object.
The experimental procedure involved releasing an object at a height and allowing it to freely fall. The object was clamped at a height and then allowed to fall to the clamp’s base. Measurements were then taken for time and corresponding distance covered along the object’s vertical path. The obtained data was then used to calculate corresponding velocities and the object’s acceleration to the clamp’s base.
The corresponding values of distance and time are used to determine the object’s velocity and acceleration at the different times. The following excel output summarizes the computed values for velocity and acceleration along the object’s free fall.
The calculated acceleration, 10.31 m/s², is slightly above the theoretical value of 9.8 m/s². The