Due: Monday, February 4th by 11:59 PM

Getting Started

Start by downloading CS101_Assign01.zip, saving it in the directory H:\CS101.

Start a Cygwin Bash Shell and run the following commands:

cd h:
cd CS101
unzip CS101_Assign01.zip
cd CS101_Assign01

Using Notepad++, open the file


You will add your code to this file.

When you are ready to compile the program, in the Cygwin window type the command


To run the program, type the command


Your Task

Your task is to write a program that prompts the user to enter the height of an object dropped from rest (neglecting air resistance). The program should then print out the object's time to fall to the ground and velocity at impact in several different units including

  • meters/sec
  • ft/sec
  • miles per hour

Here is an example run of the program (user input in bold):

Enter the initial height of the object in meters: 50
The object took 3.19 seconds to fall.
The velocity of the object at impact was:   31.3 m/sec
                                           102.7 ft/sec
                                            70.1 mph

The time field should have two decimal places of precision. All of the velocity values should allow for up to four digits in front of the decimal point and one digit after the decimal point such that the decimal points are aligned in the final output.


70% level - obtain user input and properly compute the time

80% level - compute the final velocity in m/sec

90% level - compute the final velocity in ft/sec and mph

100% level - format the output correctly



The basic physics (which many of you will learn this semester in PHY160) governing an object falling only under the influence of gravity (neglecting air resistance) is integration of the acceleration (which for the earth is -9.81 m/sec) with respect to time. Hence the velocity of the object as a function of time is given by


where v(t) is the velocity at time t, a is the acceleration due to gravity (-9.81 m/sec), and v0 is the initial velocity (which for this assignment is 0).

The position of the object as a function of time is found by integrating the velocity with respect to time as follows


where x(t) is the position at time t and x0 is the initial position (which for this assignment is the value entered by the user).

Therefore we can find the time the object falls in seconds by solving the above equation for t setting x(t) = 0, a = -9.81, v0 = 0


where x0 is given in meters. Once the time is computed, the velocity at impact is computed from the velocity equation as (again setting v0 and a = -9.81)


Note the velocity will be negative indicating the object is moving downward, but your output should only show the positive magnitude.

Some useful conversions

  • 3.28 feet in a meter
  • 3600 seconds in an hour
  • 1609 meters in a mile

USE the computer to compute the conversion factors for the velocity units by simply writing expressions in your program and storing the results in variables.


START EARLY! And develop the program incrementally! You should always have a working program at each step (even if only minimally) to make it easier to debug errors. For example, make sure the program obtains the user input properly and then add one computation at a time. Also make sure you follow good programming practices such as adding comments, using meaningful variable names, and having proper indentation in the program.

The square root function in C is


which returns a double value which is the square root of x. You will need to include the math.h library by adding the following line at the top of your program

#include <math.h>

See pages 348-355 of the textbook for details regarding the conversion specifiers for printf.


To submit your work, make sure your Freefall.cpp file is saved, and in the Cygwin window type the command

make submit

Enter your Marmoset username and password (which you should have received by email.) Note that your password will not be echoed to the screen. Make sure that after you enter your username and password, you see a message indicating that the submission was successful.

Important: Make sure that you check the file(s) you submitted to ensure that they are correct. Log into the server using the following URL (also linked off the course homepage):


You should see a list of labs and assignments. In the row for assign01, click the link labeled view. You will see a list of your submissions. Download the most recent one (which should be listed first). Verify that it contains the correct files.

You are responsible for making sure that your submission contains the correct file(s).