The purpose of the linear motion lab experiment was to analyze the graphical relationship of position and velocity with respect to time. Therefore, in order to meet this purpose, this lab employs a motion detector or sensor which uses pulses to detect the position of an object relative to time and hence the relationship between the two variables gives the velocity graph on the Vernier Logger Pro software. The instantaneous velocity can further be varied against time to show an acceleration graph. This experiment therefore uses the students holding a reflector as the moving object and the linear motion analysis undertaken.
The experiment had four parts. In the first two parts, the change in position of the student was varied against time to get a velocity graph while in the final two parts, the change in velocity was varied against time to get an acceleration graph.
During the experiment, we had to depart from the group’s consensus in order to match the graphs. In order to match the given graphs properly, we had to walk steadily and most importantly at constant steps and holding the reflector without shaking.
The constant parts on the velocity-time graphs were very difficult to produce. The failure to match the graph was initially caused by the participants stopping on the constant parts instead of maintaining constant steps (constant velocity).
On the position-time slope, different slopes were produced by altering the motion. For the steeper slopes, the participants walked with a higher motion than in the less steep slopes.
In a position-time graph, walking towards the detector produced a negative slope while walking away from the slope gave a positive slope. In the velocity-time, walking towards the metal detector produced a graph on the negative side of the y-axis while away from the detector changed the graph to the positive side of the y-axis.
Speeding or slowing the motion in a position-time graph changes the steepness of the graph. A gradient of 1indicates a stop in motion.
In a velocity-time graph, the position where a participants stands does not really matter because only the motion is considered in a velocity-time graph and not the position.
Changing the direction of motion produced the change in velocity-time graph. Positive velocity was produced by moving away from the motion detector while negative velocity was produced by moving towards the motion detector.
The objective of the experiment was obtained as the graphical analysis of the velocity and acceleration was obtained. The errors in the motion throughout the experiment were minimized by repeating the motions over until the perfect curve was obtained. The position-time graph showed the velocity while the velocity-time graph showed the acceleration.
The answers to the two expansion questions are:
1. It is not possible to produce a vertical line in a position-time graph or velocity-time graph since it’s not possible to change the position or velocity instantaneously or in zero time.
2. From the graphs produced, the position can be defined as the distance between the participants and the motion detector. The velocity can also be defined as change in the distance between the motion detector and the participant in regards to time.