Physics Classroom visit: Using the Impulse Momentum Theorem to Calculate Final Jump Height

Categories:  John Drazan, Lessons and Activities, Science of Athletic Performance, Science of Athletic Performance Lessons and Activities

Fellow John Drazan visited a regents physics classroom on Friday, February 6th to run a laboratory activity. Students were introduced to the material by using the impulse-momentum theorem in combination with the straight line motion equation to calculate the average force used by NBA players to dunk the basketball. They then used a vernier force plate system to record their own force vs time data. This data was used to calculate their take off velocity using the impulse-momentum theorem, which allowed students to calculate their maximum jump height. To serve as a control, students recorded their standing jump height using a marked chalkboard. Comparisons were made between the two methods of jump height calculation and students discussed the possible confounding factors such as differences in effort between the two jumps.


force plate data explanation

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.