The g-ball: a nice alternative to the traditional experiment

Setting up the apparatus for the Leaving Cert Physics experiment “Measurement of acceleration due to gravity using the method of freefall” can be tricky at best.
I recently ordered something called a ‘g-ball’ from ibotz for about €40 which does much the same thing. And at that price you could probably get a few of them and have different groups doing it separately.

The link below is a video of the g-ball in action.

There are all sort of errors involved, but it’s still reasonably accurate and errors can often serve to act as source of further discussion.

I like it in that it takes away all the confusion associated with the traditional circuit which I think distracts from the important physics (drop a ball; measure time of fall and distance traveled and from this work out g using a very simple equation).

If I was setting up a lab and trying to save money I would use the g-ball instead of the traditional set-up (while still ‘learning’ the traditional set-up for exam purposes).

To order the g-ball contact the boys at
Oh. And did I mention that it’s fun?
Physics? Fun? Who’d a thunk?

By the way, this is the traditional method:


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