MECHANICS - MOTION IN ONE DIMENSION - MEASURING G NC State University Faculty Access

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Catch a Meter Stick
# 1C30.55


Description: This demo will quantitatively show the reaction time of the student volunteer. This demonstration makes use of the following equation: x = (1/2)g*t^2


Instructions: Hold a meter stick up and have a student hold their fingers beside the 50 cm point. At some random time drop the meter stick. Have the student grab the meter stick the instant they see you drop it. Measure the distance from the 50 cm mark to the point where they caught the meter stick. Convert distance to reaction time. t = square root of (2d/g)

Hazards: None.

Parts: One meter stick

Quant. in Demo Room: 1

Demo References
The Video Encyclopedia of Physics Demonstrations Disc 01-13 Have a student catch a falling meter stick and relate the distance dropped to the reaction time.
Meiners 6-2.6.2 Drop a meter stick and have a student catch it.
Freier and Anderson Mb-1b Drop a meter stick and have a student catch it. Distance can be converted to reaction time.
The Physics Teacher TPT 14(3),177 Have a student try to catch a dollar starting with the fingers at the midpoint.

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