Comparative Modeling of Free Fall and Drag-Enhanced Motion in the Classical Physics Drop Experiment
European Journal of Physics
A new series of introductory physics experiments for teaching the kinematics and dynamics of falling bodies is presented. These learning activities are enabled by newly available position-tracking technology that allows for the direct acquisition of coordinate data from moving objects. Students are led through an iterative inquiry process that explores both free fall and drag-enhanced physical models, for different velocity regimes, emphasizing a comparative modeling approach to science. Learners discover how the experimental design, including the properties of the dropped objects, the dropping distance, and the uncertainty of the measuring device, impacts the ability to explore the validity of physical models with or without drag.
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Cora Siebert et al 2019 Eur. J. Phys. 40 045004