When an object falls on the ground because of gravitational force, it covers a certain distance and takes a certain time. Although it was previously believed that different objects fall down with the same speed, but it has now been established that the force of gravity is not the only thing that effects speed on which an object fall down at. For many things, air resistance faced while falling down creates a force that pushes the it upwards and slows the descent speed. However, if you want to calculate the time an object takes while falling down; it can be done with the help of a simple experiment if you know the distance that the object covers. This experiment can prove to be handy for students in search of ideas for Science projects. Just make sure you have the following available while performing the experiment.
- A meter rule
- Table and chair
- Helper or assistant
- Notepad for readings and calculations
Sit on a chair and place your forearms on the top of a table. Raise your writing hand above the surface of the table in a way that it makes an angle of (no more than) 30-degree with the horizontal.
The Helper holds the yardstick
Now ask an assistant to hold the meter rule in a way that the zero at the bottom end of the meter stick is just above your thumb and index finger.
Position your thumb and index finger around both sides of the meter rule, making sure that your fingers do not touch the ruler. Tell your helper to release the ruler from your fingers suddenly, without your informing you.
The Ruler released
Once the ruler is released, try to catch it at the earliest possible by grabbing it between your index finger and thumb.
Grabbing the ruler
After holding the ruler, note the measurement on the ruler that are right above your thumb. Note this number and calculate the time taken through the distance formula; d = ½ gt2. Remember the value of g is 9.8 m/sec2 and the distance will be your measurement.