When comparing the average speed results from part two of the lab and the definition of acceleration, you find similarities between the two. First, average speed is distance divided by time, and we use it to describe the motion of an object moving at changing speeds. We can see this from our lab results from the average speed of the marble traveling down the ramp, because it picks up speed. When the marble is released at the top of the ramp, the ball doesn’t have the same momentum as it does towards the end of the ramp.

Gravity and friction also affect the speed of the marble going down the ramp. Gravity affects it because it forces the marble down the ramp, which causes the marble to gain speed as it travels. When the tester first releases the marble to roll down the ramp, friction causes it to delay the pickup of speed right away. As we can see from the results of the marble’s average speed, it was slower when it was at the top of the ramp rather than towards the middle or the end. This is why the marble picks up speed as journeys down the ramp.

As for acceleration, it is the rate at which velocity changes over time. An object accelerates when there is a change in speed, direction, or both. Because the marble gains speed as it travels down the ramp, it has acceleration. Although the marble only has a change in speed and not direction, we can still determine that acceleration occurred, due to the definition. This relates to the lab results, because as we determined the marble gained speed as it advanced down the ramp. This is important because it tells us that as the marble traveled it was gaining speed, which led to positive acceleration. This is the comparison between the average speed in the lab and acceleration.

The first and second graphs are examples of a positive slope, which is where the slope and speed increase. We know the slope is positive, because the graphed line goes left to right and increases. If the slope was negative, the graphed line would go left to right and decrease. In this case the slope also equals the speed. My first graph, which is distance vs. time, shows the speed in the slope of the graphed line. My second graph is average speed vs. average time, this shows points that are averaged out and then I drew a best fit line through them. Neither graph showed constant speed, because both graphs demonstrate acceleration.

The first graph is showing acceleration, because as the distance decreased so did the average time. The y-axis is distance and the x-axis is the time. (Example: 100cm= distance; 3.16= average time, 20cm= distance; 1.78= average time). For the second graph I divided distance by average time, which was the y-axis. (Example: 90-70cm= distance; 0.79= average time, 90- 70=20, 20/0.79= 25.32; 25.32= average speed) The x-axis is average time. The reason the graphed lines look different is because the first graph was a distance vs. time graph, rather than plotting an average speed vs. average time graph, which is what the x and y-axis for the second graph. So the results are going to be different because were dealing with different units of measurement. This describes the graphs in part one and how they relate to the result in part two.

Courtney from Study Moose

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