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Lab 6 - Conservation of Angular Momentum

Lab 6 - Conservation of Angular Momentum - PHYSICS 133...

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PHYSICS 133 EXPERIMENT NO. 6 CONSERVATION OF ANGULAR MOMENTUM Introduction In this experiment, we first study the relationship between torque, moment of inertia and angular acceleration, using a rotating platform. We then test the law of conservation of angular momentum by analyzing inelastic collisions between rotating objects. Equipment 1 rotating platform with photogate, 1 pulley with clamp, 1 iron disk with handle, 1 interface box, 1 computer with timing program, small masses, Vernier caliper. Method Observing the angular acceleration of an object, the rotating platform, under an external torque will enable us to measure the moment of inertia of the object, using the equation τ external = I α , where τ external is the net external torque, α is the angular acceleration, and I is the moment of inertia. After the moment of inertia is determined, conservation of angular momentum will be investigated by dropping a mass onto the rotating platform, and measuring the angular velocity ϖ before and after the "drop." The equation I i ϖ i = I f ϖ f is an expression of the conservation of angular momentum for this system, with the subscripts i and f referring to the initial and final states. This rotational inelastic collision is completely analogous to the linear inelastic collision studied last week on the air track. Procedure I. Correction for Systematic Error, i.e., Friction Unlike the motion of the glider on the air track, the rotating table does exhibit significant friction. After starting its rotation, the table will slow down and eventually stop. However, this effect can be taken into account by a preliminary experiment. Set up the computer in MOTION TIMER mode and measure the angular velocity ω of the freely turning table for 20 or 30 seconds. When the program requests the distance between timings, enter the angular distance (in radians) between the pieces of tape on the plastic ring that pass through the photogate. The velocities will then be in radians/sec. Q1. How does the angular velocity change as time progresses? Graph ω vs t in your lab book. If you can, fit a straight line to your data points and calculate the slope.

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