I am performing a drop test of an object. The mass,
height, and srtarting velocity (0 m/s) are known. Measuring the impact
with an accelerometer, I determine the acceleration at impact in g's. I
know the period of the impact curve. How do I determine the energy
This one is extremely easy. The energy absorbed depends only on the
difference between the potential energy of the object at the beginning and
its potential energy at the end of the drop - in this case, the difference
is mgh, where m is the mass fo the object, g is the gravitational force of
9.8 N/kg, and h is the height difference between start and finish.
The force and time of the actual impact affect only how much time it takes
to absorb this energy, not the total amount of energy absorbed.
Richard Barrans Jr., Ph.D.
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Update: June 2012