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ERIC Number: EJ1100723
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Apr
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Indoor Microgravity Survey
Secco, Richard A.; Sukara, Reynold E.
Physics Teacher, v54 n4 p213-215 Apr 2016
There are many lab exercises for upper-level school students and freshman undergraduates to measure the value of the local acceleration due to gravity ("g") near Earth's surface. In these exercises, the value of "g" is usually taken to be constant. The approach is often based on measuring the period of a pendulum that is inversely proportional to the square root of "g". Traditional measurements of the period of a simple or inclined pendulum involve use of a stopwatch to measure the time required to complete a number of oscillations, but other more sophisticated measurement techniques for greater accuracy, such as a photogate timing system, measuring the time-dependent tension on the string, or using a stepper motor connected to a conical pendulum have been described. Using video imaging, the mechanics of objects dropped from some height has also been used to determine "g". In physics courses where physical principles are applied to Earth problems, however, the goal is usually to measure a change in a potential field, such as Earth's gravitational field, in order to determine anomalous subsurface characteristics. In this paper, we describe an indoor exercise to measure the local change in "g" resulting from a large anomalous mass near the observation location.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A