Will my physics experiment work?

In summary, the conversation discusses the process of designing an experiment to determine the optimal angle for diving off of swimming blocks. The participants consider the impact of different angles on entrance speeds and explore methods for measuring initial velocity and force. They also discuss the importance of maintaining a consistent posture during the experiment.
  • #1
Pi Face
76
0
For homework, I'm supposed to design an experiment and work it out using estimated values. I didn't really have an idea till I got to my swim practice later on. I heard my coach saying that you should try to dive off of the blocks at a 45 degree angle in order to maximize your distance. I thought about it at first, and thought that the angle should be slightly less because the height of the start and end points are not the same (the block is roughly 28 inches above pool level). In addition, would different angles result in different entrance speeds?

I thought about this and came up with the conclusion that although the entrance speeds may be the same, the horizontal and vertical speeds are different. In order to maximize the horizontal entrance speed, would you have to push off the block at basically a horizontal path? But then, if you angle your dive upwards you are able to let gravity add to your momentum and therefore add to your speed.

Will this project work out? Or will I find out that no matter what angle you dive at it doesn't matter (or is simply a straight line)?

Can anyone help me get stared on the right track? For my experiment, I'll be using myself as the model. Because I don't have access to a pool this moment, and don't know of a better way to measure the force of which i push off the block, I think I should somehow calculate the force with which I jump and use that value instead. How would I go about doing that?
 
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  • #2
using projectile motion, you can find the maximum angle for the maximum range. But how to measure your initial velocity may become a bit difficult.
 
  • #3
do I need my initial velocity? or will initial force from my jump work?
 
  • #4
I sort of have a general idea of what I want to do, but I just don't want to do it all and have it come to the conclusion that it doesn't matter or something like that.

Anyways, this is my plan

-Find force of my jump (not sure how to go about doing this)
-Split force into vectors
-Find distance away from block I will land
-calculate the velocity at which I will enter
 
  • #5
Pi Face said:
do I need my initial velocity? or will initial force from my jump work?
The force of your jump will allow you to calculate your initial velocity once you are airborne. It is that initial velocity that you will need to calculate the projectile trajectory.
 
  • #6
Well one thought is just to see how high you can jump vertically from roughly the same posture in terms of leg flex (try to maintain the angle at the waist so that the center of mass remains stationary--somewhere between your naval and sternal notch). It would be best if you have access to a video camera but even w/o you should be able to get a rough idea. The other way to do it would be to measure the hang time which could be gotten pretty accurately from a vid recorder if you can advance frame by frame.

I'll leave the math to you but holler if you need help.
 

Related to Will my physics experiment work?

1. Will my experiment produce accurate results?

This largely depends on the design of your experiment and the precision of your equipment. It is important to thoroughly plan and test your experiment beforehand to minimize errors and ensure accurate results.

2. How can I improve the chances of my experiment working?

Careful preparation and attention to detail are crucial for a successful experiment. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the underlying physics principles and follow established methods and protocols. It is also helpful to have a well-controlled environment and to repeat the experiment multiple times.

3. What if my experiment produces unexpected results?

In science, unexpected results can often lead to new discoveries and insights. Take note of any anomalies and try to understand the reasons behind them. You may need to adjust your experiment or consider alternative explanations.

4. How can I troubleshoot if my experiment fails?

If your experiment does not work as intended, check for any obvious errors or malfunctions in the equipment. You may also need to review your experimental design and procedure, and consult with colleagues or experts for advice. Persistence and the ability to adapt are key in troubleshooting experiments.

5. What are some common sources of error in physics experiments?

Some common sources of error in physics experiments include human error, equipment malfunctions, environmental factors, and limitations in measurement precision. It is important to identify and minimize these sources of error to ensure the validity and reliability of your results.

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