The lab for Physics I this week fell on Halloween. We couldn’t pass up the chance to pull out our Trebuchet to heave some pumpkins down towards the pond. The point of the lab was to try to measure the effect of air resistance on the flight of a pumpkin.
As part of the lab, we carefully measured the angle and initial velocity of the pumpkins as they left the Trebuchet. Comparing the theoretical, calculated distance to the measured, actual distance should allow us to measure the air resistance. Moreover, the great challenge in measuring these quantities lead into a discussion of experimental design and how initial uncertainties in measurement can affect calculated quantities.
Julia Evanczuk in the Communications office put together this very nice short video showing off our launch: