Timing a Bouncy Ball: Physics Kinematics Lab

Purpose: To calculate the acceleration due to gravity between bounces of a bouncy ball.

Hypothesis: We hypothesize that the acceleration due to gravity will decrease between each bounce. 


1.     The first student will use a stop watch to time the number of seconds between bounces and the second student will be the observer of how high the ball bounces.

2.     When the designated student drops the ball, the student with the stop watch listens for the sound of the first bounce, starts the stop watch, and then listens for the sound of the second bounce, when he stops timing.

3.     The second student observes how high the ball bounces against the backdrop of the brick wall.

4.     The height and times are recorded in the data chart.

5.     Repeat steps 1-4 for 5 trials to ensure accuracy.

6.     Calculate the acceleration due to gravity by using the kinematics equation s = vot + ½at2 and the givens that isolate the second half of the golf ball's bounce.

·        S = height of bounce (meters)

·        T = ½ (the total time on your stopwatch)

7.     Find the average experimental value of all 5 trials.

8.     Calculate a percent error for your trials.