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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
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Motion in One Dimension
= Acceleration
= Gravitational Acceleration
= Position & Displacement
= Velocity
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Middle School
- Upper Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Curriculum support
= Interactive Simulation
- Audio/Visual
= Movie/Animation
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- New teachers
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Intended Users:
Learner
Educator
Format:
application/java
Mirror:
http://physics.bu.edu/~duffy/Ejs/…
Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a GNU General Public License Version 3 license.
Rights Holder:
Andrew Duffy, Boston University
Keywords:
EJS, Easy Java Simulations, acceleration, free fall, free fall simulation, gravity, position, position vs. time, velocity, velocity vs. time
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created April 27, 2010 by Mario Belloni
Record Updated:
June 6, 2014 by Andreu Glasmann
Last Update
when Cataloged:
April 16, 2010
Other Collections:

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

4. The Physical Setting

4B. The Earth
  • 6-8: 4B/M3. Everything on or anywhere near the earth is pulled toward the earth's center by gravitational force.
4G. Forces of Nature
  • 9-12: 4G/H1. Gravitational force is an attraction between masses. The strength of the force is proportional to the masses and weakens rapidly with increasing distance between them.

11. Common Themes

11B. Models
  • 6-8: 11B/M1. Models are often used to think about processes that happen too slowly, too quickly, or on too small a scale to observe directly. They are also used for processes that are too vast, too complex, or too dangerous to study.
  • 6-8: 11B/M2. Mathematical models can be displayed on a computer and then modified to see what happens.

Next Generation Science Standards

Crosscutting Concepts (K-12)

Patterns (K-12)
  • Graphs and charts can be used to identify patterns in data. (6-8)

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices (K-12)

Analyzing and Interpreting Data (K-12)
  • Analyzing data in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to introducing more detailed statistical analysis, the comparison of data sets for consistency, and the use of models to generate and analyze data. (9-12)
    • Analyze data using computational models in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims. (9-12)
Developing and Using Models (K-12)
  • Modeling in 6–8 builds on K–5 and progresses to developing, using and revising models to describe, test, and predict more abstract phenomena and design systems. (6-8)
    • Develop and use a model to describe phenomena. (6-8)
  • Modeling in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to using, synthesizing, and developing models to predict and show relationships among variables between systems and their components in the natural and designed worlds. (9-12)
    • Use a model to provide mechanistic accounts of phenomena. (9-12)
Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking (5-12)
  • Mathematical and computational thinking at the 9–12 level builds on K–8 and progresses to using algebraic thinking and analysis, a range of linear and nonlinear functions including trigonometric functions, exponentials and logarithms, and computational tools for statistical analysis to analyze, represent, and model data. Simple computational simulations are created and used based on mathematical models of basic assumptions. (9-12)
    • Create or revise a simulation of a phenomenon, designed device, process, or system. (9-12)
    • Use mathematical or computational representations of phenomena to describe explanations. (9-12)

NGSS Nature of Science Standards (K-12)

Analyzing and Interpreting Data (K-12)
  • Analyzing data in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to introducing more detailed statistical analysis, the comparison of data sets for consistency, and the use of models to generate and analyze data. (9-12)
Developing and Using Models (K-12)
  • Modeling in 6–8 builds on K–5 and progresses to developing, using and revising models to describe, test, and predict more abstract phenomena and design systems. (6-8)
  • Modeling in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to using, synthesizing, and developing models to predict and show relationships among variables between systems and their components in the natural and designed worlds. (9-12)
Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking (5-12)
  • Mathematical and computational thinking at the 9–12 level builds on K–8 and progresses to using algebraic thinking and analysis, a range of linear and nonlinear functions including trigonometric functions, exponentials and logarithms, and computational tools for statistical analysis to analyze, represent, and model data. Simple computational simulations are created and used based on mathematical models of basic assumptions. (9-12)

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)
  • A-CED.1 Create equations and inequalities in one variable and use them to solve problems. Include equations arising from linear and quadratic functions, and simple rational and exponential functions.
Reasoning with Equations and Inequalities (9-12)
  • A-REI.3 Solve linear equations and inequalities in one variable, including equations with coefficients represented by letters.

High School — Functions (9-12)

Linear, Quadratic, and Exponential Models? (9-12)
  • F-LE.1.b Recognize situations in which one quantity changes at a constant rate per unit interval relative to another.
The Physics Classroom: Representing Free Fall by Graphs (Editor: Caroline Hall)
Date: 06/11/2010

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.

The Physics Classroom: Representing Free Fall by Graphs (html)

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:
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
A. Duffy, Computer Program FREE FALL MODEL (2010), WWW Document, (http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10001&DocID=1639).
AJP/PRST-PER
A. Duffy, Computer Program FREE FALL MODEL (2010), <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10001&DocID=1639>.
APA Format
Duffy, A. (2010). Free Fall Model [Computer software]. Retrieved October 24, 2014, from http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10001&DocID=1639
Chicago Format
Duffy, Andrew. "Free Fall Model." http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10001&DocID=1639 (accessed 24 October 2014).
MLA Format
Duffy, Andrew. Free Fall Model. Computer software. 2010. Java (JRE) 1.5. 24 Oct. 2014 <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10001&DocID=1639>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Andrew Duffy", Title = {Free Fall Model}, Month = {April}, Year = {2010} }
Refer Export Format

%A Andrew Duffy
%T Free Fall Model
%D April 16, 2010
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10001&DocID=1639
%O application/java

EndNote Export Format

%0 Computer Program
%A Duffy, Andrew
%D April 16, 2010
%T Free Fall Model
%8 April 16, 2010
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=10001&DocID=1639


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Free Fall Model:

Is Based On Easy Java Simulations Modeling and Authoring Tool

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relation by Mario Belloni

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