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Lab 4 - Conservation of Energy

Lab 4 - Conservation of Energy - PHYSICS 133 EXPERIMENT NO...

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sult) were very close which shows that our experiment had results that were practically equal to the experimental value. PHYSICS 133 EXPERIMENT NO. 4 CONSERVATION OF ENERGY Introduction In this week's lab, we will study the vector nature of force and energy conservation using a glider on an air track. A vector can be expressed as the sum of its components along a conveniently chosen coordinate system. In the first part of this experiment, we will study the component of the gravitational force, mg sin θ , by using a tilted air track, where is the tilt angle. For an isolated non-dissipative (e.g., frictionless) system, the total mechanical energy must be conserved. In the second part of the experiment, we will examine the law of energy conservation by observing the transfer of gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy. Equipment 1 air track, 1 glider with photogate, 1 light sensor, 1 interface box, 1 computer with timing program, 2 wood blocks, 10 and 20 gram masses, low-friction pulley and thread. Method A battery-powered photogate is mounted on the glider. When activated with the small push-button on the side of the glider, the photogate turns on a bright, light emitting diode (LED) whenever the picket fence over the air track blocks the photogate. A light sensor at the end of the air track receives the LED signals and a timing program in the computer measures and records the time intervals between successive lightings of the LED. In the first part of the experiment, we release the glider from rest on a tilted air track. The acceleration a of the glider can be measured and the component of gravitational force along the air track, mg sin , can be obtained. In the second part, a small mass is attached to the glider via a thread that passes over a low-friction pulley at the end of a level air track. The small mass is then released, causing it to accelerate the glider as it falls. The change in the height of the small mass is measured, as is the velocity of the glider/mass system. This will allow us to keep track of the kinetic and potential energy as the small mass falls, enabling us to test for energy conservation. Procedure Measurement of g sin
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1. Level the air track by carefully adjusting the single leveling screw at one end of the track. When the track is level, the glider should remain nearly stationary at any point on the track. Be sure to tighten the wing nut on the leveling screw when the track is level. 2. Tilt the track by placing one of the blocks flat on the table under the leveling screw. Determine the track’s tilt angle
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Lab 4 - Conservation of Energy - PHYSICS 133 EXPERIMENT NO...

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