Physics Dash


Purpose: To gather time, displacement, velocity and acceleration data as a student runs a fifty foot dash.



1. The timing set up is shown below.

2. Setup the TI-83+ calculator following the commands shown.




Set Up Probes

One probe

Select probe


Connect photogate to channel 1 Enter

Timing Mode


Motion Timing

Select Device

Custom device

Enter leading edge in meters?____ (Check with your teacher for the distance between the laser beams and the number of leading edges.)

Enter number of leading edges?____ (A leading edge is each time the laser beam is broken. In the set up above has five leading edges.)

Collect Data

Press [Enter] to arm gate


3. At this point, when you press enter the calculator will say "Ready".

4. Now you can walk, jog, or run through the timing set up. Backwards motion will not be detected. If you want to vary speeds it works best if you change speed for a whole interval between mirrors rather than for just a short distance.

5. After you disconnect the calculator, examine your d vs t, v vs t, and a vs t graphs.

6. On one sheet of paper do the following to be turn in at the end of the hour:

A. Sketch your three graphs.

B. Write a paragraph describing your motion.

C. Identify on your graphs the spots where major changes in your motion took place.



Teacher Notes:


Set Up and Equipment:


Teaching Uses:



Gary Severtson 7/99