Materials: Computer and School Network
Time Allotment: 3 Class Days
The purpose of this activity is to analyze the motion of an object which travels in a vertical direction. The motion represented in the simulation is the motion of a ball thrown vertically upward with an initial velocity of 80 m/s (up). After 10 seconds, a bird eats the ball.
To begin this lab:
Upon completing the above procedure, the Physics Explorer application will open up and three separate windows will be displayed on the monitor. The window on the top left (titled Control Panel) will allow the user to control certain aspects of the simulation. The bottom left window (titled Graphical Display) will depict the motion of the ball in graphical form. The right window (titled The Bird & The Ball) will model/simulate the motion of the object.
Running the Simulations:
On the left side of the model/simulation window, there is a panel of tools which are important to the operation of this lab. The top three tools in the panel are Control tools which are used to control the simulation. The top tool is the GO Tool. Clicking once on the GO Tool will run the simulation from the beginning. The second tool in the panel is the STOP Tool. Clicking on the STOP Tool pauses the simulation. Double-clicking on the STOP Tool will reset the simulation to its initial state. The third tool in the panel is the CONTINUE Tool. Clicking on the CONTINUE Tool (which works only if the STOP Tool has been clicked) will allow the simulation to continue from where it left off before being stopped. Try experimenting with these three tools, observing how they are useful in controlling the simulation.
Run the simulation and observe the three graphs in the Graphical Display window. Observe the Single Step button in the Control Panel window. Clicking on this button as the simulation is running will step the simulation through its motion one step at a time. Using this feature may slow the motion down and make for better observation. Study the simulation and graphs in order to answer the following questions.
1. A ball undergoes vertical motion and is acted upon only by the force of gravity. Prior to reaching its peak, the ball's
2. A ball undergoes vertical motion and is acted upon only by the force of gravity. At the instant that the ball reaches its peak, the ball's
3. A ball undergoes vertical motion and is acted upon only by the force of gravity. As the ball falls from its peak, the ball's
4. In the Control Panel window, there is a pop-up menu titled Vector Display. Currently the No Vector option is selected from this pop-up menu. Depress the mouse on the No Vector option to see other options in this pop-up menu. Move the mouse vertically down until the Velocity (V) option is selected. See the diagram at the right. Then let up on the mouse. Run the simulation and observe the size and direction of the velocity vector during the simulation.
5. Use the Vector Display pop-up menu in the Control Panel window to select the Acceleration (A) option. Repeat the directions in step 4 if unsure of how to do this. Run the simulation and observe the size and direction of the acceleration vector during the simulation.
6. The graphical description of this simulation is shown at the right.
v = __________ m/s
a = __________ m/s2
1. Consider a ball thrown vertically upward with a velocity of 50 m/sec.
2. Luke Autbeloe throws a ball downward with a speed of 20 m/s from the top of a very tall bridge. The ball strikes the river below three seconds later.
Use several well-written and complete sentences to explain how the different features (slope and shape) of postion-time and velocity-time graphs are revealing of the qualities of an object's motion. Be specific and provide an exhaustive explanation. Do a bang-up job!
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This page created by Tom Henderson and last updated on 11/16/98.