Introduction:
In this experiment, we were asked to perform a series of tasks aimed
toward analyzing Newton’s Second Law. Using cart on a frictionless track, we examined
the results of two separate experiments. In the first experiment, we were asked to
determine the acceleration of the cart, whose mass was constant, when applying various
forces to it. We did this by using the Pasco Smart Pulley, which enabled us to record the
cart’s velocity as the value of the hanging mass varied. Using Data Studio, we were able
to transfer the data obtained by the Smart Pulley and plot it onto a graph. We then easily
determined the acceleration of the cart using a quick linear fit tool, which calculated the
slope of the graph, hence, the acceleration. After obtaining at least three different
accelerations for a given net force, we then found the average acceleration of these three
trials and measured the margin of error for each, using standard deviation. Using 10
grams as our first hanging mass, we then proceeded to apply 10 more grams to the
hanging mass before stopping at 60 grams. Using the average acceleration and hanging
mass of each trial, we then plotted these values into an x-y coordinate system, giving us a
graph.
For the second part of this experiment we were asked to determine the acceleration of the
cart once again, but this time varying the mass of the cart while the force remained
constant. We did this by hanging a constant mass from the pulley and, using Data Studio
and the Smart Pulley, recorded the velocity as we applied more and more weight to the
cart. We recorded the velocity of the cart least three times for each mass, and once again
determined the average acceleration of the cart and the margin of error using standard
deviation. Using the average acceleration and total mass of the cart we then applied these
values to an x-y coordinate system, thus creating our graph for the second part of the
experiment. Using these graphs we then were able to draw several conclusions about
Newton’s Second Law.
Procedure:
For the first part of our experiment we were asked to calculate the
acceleration of the cart as we changed the value of the hanging mass, thus resulting in the
creation of different forces on the cart. Using a fixed mass of 60 grams, we first used 10
grams, or 0.01 kilograms, as our hanging mass and placed the remaining 50 grams on the
cart. Doing this reassures our experiment’s accuracy. After using Data Studio to record
the velocity of at least three trials, we then found the slope of the graphs (acceleration)
and determined the average acceleration and the margin of error. After doing so, we then
changed the value of the hanging mass to 20 grams, or 0.02 kilograms, and once again