Lab 5: Picket Fence Free Fall

  • I attached the pdf for the Experimental procedure for the Picket Fence Free Fall. (Please look through it)
  • I attached the Data/Graphs for the lab. (Please look through it)


  •  Physics students measure the acceleration due to gravity using a wide variety of timing methods. In this experiment, you will have the advantage of using a very precise timer and a Photogate. The Photogate has a beam of infrared light that travels from one side to the other. It can detect whenever this beam is blocked. You will drop a piece of clear plastic with evenly spaced black bars on it, called a Picket Fence. As the Picket Fence passes through the Photogate, the interface measures the time from the leading edge of one bar blocking the beam until the leading edge of the next bar blocks the beam. This timing continues as all eight bars pass through the Photogate. From these measured times, the software calculates and plots the velocities and accelerations for this motion 

Lab report should have following sections: 

  • Cover Page- Experiment name, your name, course and the section and the date of the experiment performed 
  • Objectives 
  • Procedure- Include a summary of the lab procedure in your words (don’t repeat the given lab procedure again
  • Data- you may include the given data and create your own graphs using the data. 
  • Data Analysis/Calculations/Graphs – Answer the preliminary questions. Answers to the Analysis section using the given graphs/data, Do the calculations (if there is any) 
  • Error Analysis- You may include the possible errors for the experiment 
  • Discussion and Conclusion

Procedure for online lab:  

  • Read the information in the experimental procedure carefully. 
  • Answer the Preliminary Questions. 
  • Work on the Analysis section using the given data. You have to complete the given table. 
  • Answer the questions (You don’t need to work on the Extension section for this lab). 
  • Write a lab report (you can use MS Word or any other word processing software). 
  • Save the lab report as a PDF file (PDF preferred). 
  • Upload it before the deadline.
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