Force and Acceleration
Objective:
In this experiment we will be calculating the force of an object by determining its
acceleration.
We will use varying masses, coupled with Newton's Second Law of motion, which states
that force is the product of an object's mass and acceleration.
Using the nearly frictionless air track,
which has acceleration determined by a weighted hanger, we will graph the results and see if the
acceleration's slope is a straight line, as is predicted by F = ma.
Theory and Method:
The theory being applied is Newton's Second Law, as stated above.
We will use
a massless string to bind the weighter hanger to the glider on the track.
As the lab proceeds, we will
transfer mass from the hanger to the glider.
The freebody diagram below will show that the mass in
Newton's Second Law equation is equal to the sum total of the mass of the glider, hanger, and weights.
Photobridges will be used to determine the velocity as in Lab 2, with acceleration to be
calculated in the same manner as well.
The equations are shown below, with an explanation readily
available in Lab 2.
The photobridges were set up so that the time the glider took to travel from the first
to the middle photobridge was ½ the time it took to reach the final photobridge.
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 Spring '07
 Cutts
 Physics, Acceleration, Force, Mass, Second Law Of Motion, hanger

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