In this experiment designed for use with PASCO Capstone software, a ball is dropped from rest and its height and speed are recorded using a Motion Sensor. The ball’s potential energy and kinetic energy are calculated at various points during the ball’s fall.
The total energy of the ball is examined throughout the fall to determine if there is any change. Balls of different sizes are used to vary the amount of air friction so that students can see that energy is not conserved when friction is appreciable.
The height and speed of the ball at various points during the fall are used to calculate the potential energy and the kinetic energy, Note decrease in total energy for hollow ball near the end of the fall.