Graph That Motion

Materials: Computer and School Network

Time Allotment: 3 Class Days


The purpose of this lab is to observe 12 different simulations and to match the motion depicted by the simulation with the appropriate graphical representation.


To begin this lab:

  1. Log on to the student server in the usual manner
  2. Open the Multimedia folder; then open the Hypercard application.
  3. Once the Hypercard is opened, chose Open... from the File menu.
  4. A directory dialogue box should appear. Navigate through the Physics Stacks directory and find the file titled Graph That Motion; open this stack by double-clicking on its icon.
  5. Click anywhere on the first card in order to navigate to the simulation card.

Running the Simulations:

At the bottom of the monitor are twelve buttons which correspond to the twelve simulations that you will observe. Clicking on one of these buttons will cause the car to move. As the simulation runs, the car will leave a trail of dots to mark its position at regular time intervals - say, every second. An analysis of these dots will be essential in matching the motion of the object with the appropriate graphical description. Your task involves running the simulation, observing the motion of the car, analyzing the trace of dots left by the car, and matching the motion with a graph given on the Data Sheet below. Note that a few of the simulations request that you construct a second graph for that simulation. Once you have matched the motion in simulation #1 with one of the graphical representations, click on the #2 button. Repeat this procedure for all 12 simulations.


A reference frame will be assumed in which the rightward direction is a positive direction and the leftward direction is the negative direction. Thus, a rightward moving object has a positive velocity and a leftward moving object has a negative velocity.


Data Sheet:

Graphical Description

Simulation #


























Use several well-written and complete sentences to summarize what needs to be known in order to match the observed motion (or merely the trail of dots left by the moving object) with the appropriate graphical description. Do a bang-up job!








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This page created by Tom Henderson and last updated on 11/16/98.