Determining the effect mass has on acceleration
The purpose of this lab is to determine the effect of additional mass added to a cart’s existing mass, without changing the applied force, on the acceleration of the cart. We will test this effect by hanging a constant mass to a cart and use a computer program, LoggerPro, to calculate the acceleration which is expressed through the slope of the graph. The cart’s initial mass is 500 grams which we change by adding more weights in order to see a difference in acceleration. Some basic background information needed for this experiment is first, and foremost, Newton’s Second Law of Motion stating: The acceleration (a) of a body is parallel and directly proportional to the net force (F) acting on the body, is in the direction of the net force, and is inversely proportional to the mass (m) of the body, i.e., F = ma. We must also know that weight is a force, we use the weight of the cart and the hanging weight as the forces needed to determine acceleration. The bigger the mass the more force required to create the same amount of acceleration. We have to assume that the length of the track the cart traveled was long enough to accurately calculate the acceleration.
If the mass of the cart increases while keeping the hanging mass (applied force) constant then the acceleration of the cart will decrease because more applied force is needed to pull a heavier mass (cart). This will occur in order to follow Newton’s Second Law of Motion and the equation F=ma.
- LoggerPro program
1. Chose a constant hanging mass/applied force (200g)
2. Attach the hanging mass to the initial cart (without additional weights) 3. Set up Logger Pro and motion sensor
4. Press start and when it beeps let the cart go
5. Stop cart near the end so...