Newton’s Second Law
PHYS 2125102
Abstract:
This experiment explores the theory of Newton’s Second Law, and verifies it
by studying acceleration of a mass as a function of the force applied to it.
Introduction:
Newton’s Second Law states that when force (F) is applied to a mass (m) it
will experience a uniform acceleration (a), which creates a formula for force which is
=
.
F
ma
In this experiment, we have a air track glider (m
atg
) that is attached to a
mass hanger (m
h
) through a pulley system. The mass hanger will pull the glider
with a force of
=
F
mhg
, this is derived from the previous force equation but
substitution gravity for acceleration, because the mass hanger, being in a free fall,
has the acceleration of gravity. The motion of the mass hanger pulling the air track
glider is recorded using a photogate. The equation used to calculate the force of the
entire system is
+
×
=
matg mh
slope
F
.
The experiment measures different
accelerations using various values of m
h
and m
atg
. The results are then compared to
Newton’s Second Law.
Procedure:
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Set up the experiment according to figure 1 below. Level the air track
carefully by adjusting the leveling feet. You will know when it is level if the glider is
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 Fall '07
 MacAlevey
 Physics, Acceleration, Force, Mass, mass hanger

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