PhysicsLAB Lab
Freefall Mini-Lab: Reaction Times

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Two students form a team. One student vertically suspends the end of a meter stick between the thumb and forefinger of the other student. The student holding the stick distracts the other student so that he is not WATCHING the meter stick. Without warning, the student holding the stick releases it. The other student must then catch the falling stick between his thumb and forefinger. Record the position where the student catches the stick. Release the stick two more times. Record your results in your notebooks and in the required values in the table below. Switch roles and let the second student catch the falling meter stick.


Data Chart: Show your calculations for each trial's displacement and reaction time on your lab report.

(one chart per) Student
Trial position
released
position
caught
displacement reaction
time
(cm) (cm) (meters) (seconds)
1
2
3
 
 
 
Conclusions: Show your calculations on your lab report.
 
Based on your average reaction time, how far would you travel (measured in meters) in a car that was moving at a constant 40 mph (1 mph equals 0.45 m/sec) while you reacted to a sudden change in a traffic situation?
 
Your average reaction time was 

The distance the car would travel is 



Your lab report should be turned in at the end of the period after you submit your results.

 
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