Computer Program Detail Page
written by Andrew Duffy
This simulation allows students to examine the motion of an object in free fall. Download below. The user can control the initial height (0-20m), set an initial velocity from -20 to 20 m/s, and change the rate of gravitational acceleration from zero to 20 m/s/s (Earth's gravitational constant is ~9.8 m/s/s). Students can also launch the ball upward from any point on the line of motion. The free fall is displayed as a motion diagram, while graphs are simultaneously displayed showing position vs. time, velocity vs. time, and acceleration vs. time.
See Annotations Below for an editor-recommended tutorial that further explains how graphs are used to represent free fall motion.
This item was created with Easy Java Simulations (EJS), a modeling tool that allows users without formal programming experience to generate computer models and simulations. To run the simulation, simply click the Java Archive file below.
Please note that this resource requires at least version 1.5 of Java (JRE).
View the source code document attached to this resource
AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)
4. The Physical Setting
4B. The Earth
4G. Forces of Nature
11. Common Themes
Next Generation Science Standards
Crosscutting Concepts (K-12)
Science and Engineering Practices (K-12)
Analyzing and Interpreting Data (K-12)
Developing and Using Models (K-12)
Science Models, Laws, Mechanisms, and Theories Explain Natural Phenomena (2-12)
Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking (5-12)
Common Core State Standards for Mathematics Alignments
Standards for Mathematical Practice (K-12)
MP.4 Model with mathematics.
High School — Algebra (9-12)
Creating Equations? (9-12)
Reasoning with Equations and Inequalities (9-12)
High School — Functions (9-12)
Linear, Quadratic, and Exponential Models? (9-12)
The Physics Classroom: Representing Free Fall by Graphs (Editor: Caroline Hall)
The Physics Front editors recommend supplementing the Free Fall Model simulation with this interactive tutorial by Tom Henderson, developer of The Physics Classroom web site. It will help students gain insight into why the v/t and p/t graphs of free fall motion appear as they do.
This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.
Topic: Kinematics: The Physics of Motion
Unit Title: Modeling Motion
We like the simplicity of this model for introducing free fall and gravitational acceleration. Students can control the initial height, set initial velocity from -20 to 20 m/s and change the gravitational constant. The free fall is displayed as a motion diagram, while graphs are simultaneously displayed showing position, velocity, and acceleration vs. time.Link to Unit:
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Free Fall Model:
Is Based On Easy Java Simulations Modeling and Authoring Tool
The Easy Java Simulations Modeling and Authoring Tool is needed to explore the computational model used in the Free Fall Model.relation by Mario Belloni
Is a Teaching Guide For Physics Classroom: Introduction to Free Fall
Is a Teaching Guide For Physics Classroom: The Acceleration of Gravity
Is a Teaching Guide For Physics Classroom: Representing Free Fall by Graphs
Is a Teaching Guide For Physics Classroom: How Fast? and How Far?
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