This activity is done by motion detectors and the program "MacMotion" supplied from Vernier Software. It can be done using computers or calculators and a CBL with motion probe, also from Vernier. A more structure activity can be found in Tools for Scientific Thinking, also from Vernier.

  1. Explore the distance / time graphs using your body as the object of the motion detector.
    1. Describe how you move to create a straight diagonal line.
    2. Describe how you move to increase and descrease the slope of this line.
    3. Describe how you must move to create a negative vs positve slope.
    4. Describe how you move to create a curve on your graph.
    5. Describe how you must move to create a horizontal line above the axis.
    6. Describe how you must move to create a horizontal line below the axis.
    7. Describe how you move to mimic the distance match graph you can open in the program.
  2. Predict, by sketching the velocity / time graphs for each of the above cases a-g. In a different color draw what the velocity time graph looks like on the same axis as your original prediction.
  3. Using the two graph display, crate the a-g graphs described above as velocity / time graphs instead of distance time graphs.
    1. How do you move to create these velocity graphs a-g?
    2. How does the corresponding distance graph appear, you may wish to sketch this.
    3. Explain how you must move to match the velocity match which you can open.
  4. Using the three graph display, explain the following cases.
    1. What happens when a mass attached to a cart to pull it, fall off the table?
    2. What happens when the mass has hit the floor?
    3. How friction affects the above results?
    4. What happens when a cart is pushed to go gently up an inclined ramp and roll back down again. DO NOT HIT THE DETECTOR WITH THE CART
    5. It the velocity change the same magnitude in both direction, why or why not?
    6. What forces are acting in a-d and in what direction?
    7. What is the significance of the signs in d for each graph?
  5. Use the analyze function, creat a means of going from one type of graph to another, support this with specific data.

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Last modified: June 1.1998