An air track is an apparatus that simulates the effects of frictionless motion. A known mass is attached to an air-cart on an air-track apparatus. Attached by string, the air-cart is pulled by the known mass when hung over a pulley. A spark timer will mark the motion at a frequency of 10 Hz (10 dots/s) on a strip of paper called ticker tape. The air-track will supply air through the apparatus to simulate a frictionless environment, enabling the system of masses to move without an applied force or a frictional force. This experiment will measure the motion of an air cart attached to a known mass by string moving on an air track using kinematics and dynamics concepts. The kinematics concept of uniform accelerated motion and the dynamics concepts of Newton’s Second Law and systems of masses will be used. The equations relating to these concepts are: d ⃑= (v_i ) ⃑t+ 1/2 a ⃑t^2 and F_net=ma ⃑ . The accepted value of acceleration due to gravity is .
In this activity, an air-cart’s motion will be graphically analyzed. A mass will be attached to the air-cart by a string and hung over pulley with the other end attached to an air-cart resting on a frictionless surface. The study of the motion of the system of masses will be used to determine the velocity of the masses from an analysis of the displacement versus time data. This velocity will then be used to calculate the acceleration of the system of masses and therefore the acceleration due to gravity. A spark timer will mark the motion at a frequency of 10 Hz (10 dots/s) on a strip of paper called ticker tape.
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