Speed, velocity and acceleration

Velocity = Displacement / Time

Acceleration = Change in velocity / Time

Equations of motion

  • v = u + at
  • s = ut + 1/2at2
  • v2 = u2 + 2as


  • A ball bearing is held by an electromagnet at height, h, above a trapdoor switch.
  • When the switch is thrown from A to B, the circuit is broken and the ball begins to fall.
  • At that instant the stopclock starts timing.
  • When the ball strikes the trapdoor, the lower circuit is broken and the clock is stopped.
  • The height is measured using the metre rule.
  • The timing is repeated several times, and an average value of t is recorded.
  • The experiment is repeated for a number of height and a graph of h against t2 is plotted.
  • As h = 1/2g t2, the gradient of the line will be 1/2g.
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