So, I am doing a free-fall lab for my physics class. We got the values and I have the results here(we used a infrared photo-gate). Basically, we have a brass cylinder and a wood cylinder. Each are dropped in the middle of 5 infrared photo-gates before hitting the ground, which calculate the velocities and the time at which they passed through.
We had 4 trials done(the recommended amount). We needed to calculate the acceleration to determine whether it was approximately equal to 9.81 m/s^2. However, when calculating the acceleration, we got weird results.
First, we decided to subtract the velocities between gates and subtract the times between and then divide the velocity change by the time difference and here is one result we got that makes no sense: 31.13 m/s^2.
We then decided to calculate it as if we are going from 0 velocity to N velocity, the results we got. We got better results, but they had an increasing acceleration. Here is the first set of results: 10.18 m/s^2, 13.96 m/s^2, 15.63 m/s^2, 19.8 m/s^2.
I will try using averaging, but I wanted to make sure I calculated the results correctly. Is there a mistake that was made?