1G20.79 - Accelerometer - Vibrating Ruler & Coin plus Others

Code Number:
Demo Title:
Accelerometer - Vibrating Ruler & Coin plus Others
Gravitational Acceleration - Uniform Acceleration
Area of Study:
Metal or Plastic Ruler, Transparent Cup, and a Coin.

Tape the cup to the end of a metal ruler.  Place a coin in the cup and hang the cup end of the ruler over the edge of a table.  Gently vibrate the ruler so that you can hear the coin rattling in the bottom of the cup.  The rattling is caused by the ruler and cup moving faster than "g" and moving out from under the coin on the downward stroke.

  • Colton Dudley and Scott Dudley, "A Tennis Ball Accelerometer Model", TPT, Vol. 57, #7, Oct. 2019, p. 510.
  • Robert Ehrlich, "3.6, A Vibrating Ruler Accelerometer", Why Toast Lands Jelly-Side Down, p. 52 - 53.
  • Robert Ehrlich, "3.4 - A Simple Accelerometer For Use On The OHP", Why Toast Lands Jelly-Side Down, p. 48.
  • Robert Ehrlich, "3.5 - A Second Accelerometer For The OHP", Why Toast Lands Jelly-Side Down, p. 50.
  • Robert Ehrlich, "3.9 - A 1000 g Accelerometer", Why Toast Lands Jelly-Side Down, p. 57.

Disclaimer: These demonstrations are provided only for illustrative use by persons affiliated with The University of Iowa and only under the direction of a trained instructor or physicist.  The University of Iowa is not responsible for demonstrations performed by those using their own equipment or who choose to use this reference material for their own purpose.  The demonstrations included here are within the public domain and can be found in materials contained in libraries, bookstores, and through electronic sources.  Performing all or any portion of any of these demonstrations, with or without revisions not depicted here entails inherent risks.  These risks include, without limitation, bodily injury (and possibly death), including risks to health that may be temporary or permanent and that may exacerbate a pre-existing medical condition; and property loss or damage.  Anyone performing any part of these demonstrations, even with revisions, knowingly and voluntarily assumes all risks associated with them.