Lab 4: Newton’s Second Law
September 24, 2013
Partners: Amanda Okeefe, Sara Rojek, Kiran Kandola
The objective of the first part of the experiment was to derive an expression, under conditions with negligible friction, for the acceleration of a cart on a level track when it is attached by a string to a hanging mass at the end of the track. With the value of acceleration and the mass of the weight divided by the mass of the weight plus the mass of the cart, a value for free fall acceleration (g) could be determined. For the second part of the experiment, the objective was to derive a second equation for the value of constant air friction force using the known values of acceleration, free fall acceleration (g), and the various masses of the experiment. Theory:
According to accepted physics, when an object of a larger weight pulls an object of a lesser weight there is a tension that acts between the two objects. However, even though the weights of the two objects are different, the force that each object exerts on the other is equivalent. When considering motion, acceleration is created because the system moves in the direction of the larger weight. If the mass of the larger object increases, the acceleration will also increase due to their proportional relationship. On the other hand, the force of friction acts upon the object being pulled in the inverse direction causing the acceleration to decrease. In this experiment, an object was hung at the end of a track and connected by string to an object on top of the track. When the hanging object was released, the acceleration of the system increased in the downward direction. In regards to friction, the first part of the experiment included the exertion of air against the object on the track making friction negligible. The air was turned off for the second part of the experiment causing friction to act in the opposite direction of the object on the...
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