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Physics Lab Essay

In the Tumble Buggy Lab, my partners and I used several different methods to calculate the velocity of a Tumble Buggy. The methods we used were a meter stick and a timer, a Spark Timer, a Photogate, and a Motion Sensor. Each method was different but overall, our velocities were very similar. Using the meter stick and timer, our velocity was 0. 22 m/s. With the spark timer, our velocity was 0. 26 m/s. Next, the velocity found with the Photogate was 0. 325 m/s. Finally, when we used the motion sensor, we found our velocity to be 0. 34 m/s. This lab is prone to some mechanical and human error.

First, the meter stick and timer method. This method is the least accurate because it is the most subject to human error. While doing this method, one person must time the car as it moves a distance of one meter. This can be very inaccurate because the timer could start the timer to early or to late and could stop the timer to early or to late. Next we have the Spark Timer. This method uses special tapes and burns small holes into the tape every tenth of a second. The Spark Timer is very accurate and the timing is very precise. Our third trial was the Photogate.

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I believe that this device is the most accurate because it measures the speed at which a flag placed on top of the buggy passes through a infrared beam, breaking the beam. The final trial was the motion sensor. Although this device is accurate it is subject to human error. This error comes into play when the person is starting and stopping the buggy in the motion sensor. The error is that you cannot be sure if the motion sensor is hitting the buggy at all times, effecting the data. Overall, I believe that this lab went well but if I were to redo the lab, I would definitely have more than one trial using each device.

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