Acceleration Lab Write Up
Physics is the study of matter, energy, and the interaction between the two. Motion is a very important concept in the world of physics, and it has been studied by many physicists, such as Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, and Einstein. Motion can be easily defined as the movement of an object. Acceleration falls into this category of “motion.” Acceleration is a vector quantity that can be defined as the rate at which an object changes its velocity. This change in velocity is caused by a net force that either speeds the object up, slows it down, or changes its direction. Speed is a scalar quantity and can be defined as how fast or slow an object moves from one place to another. Furthermore, velocity is speed in a specific direction. Velocity is also a vector quantity, just like acceleration. For this lab, we will be looking at changes in speed. Galileo observed that objects speed up as they travel downhill. He also noticed that the steeper the downhill incline was, the faster the object sped up on its way down. However, Galileo did not know exactly why this happened. It was later explained by Newton who said that it was due to gravity. The acceleration of gravity when motion is vertical is 9.8 m/s2. The closer an object is to vertical motion, the closer to 9.8 m/s2 the effect of gravity gets, making an object accelerate more quickly the higher the incline is. The purpose of this lab was to look at the effect the angle of incline has on an object’s acceleration. To calculate the acceleration of the cart, we had to calculate the average velocity of the cart. This was done by dividing the total distance traveled for each trial by the total time it took the cart to get there. Since the cart began from rest, we doubled the average velocity to find the final velocity. To get the acceleration of the cart, we divided the final velocity by the time. Procedure:
We set up two photogates 0.20 meters apart next to a track that was...
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