energy conservation lab .docx - Energy Conservation...

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Energy Conservation
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Abstract: In this energy conservation experiment, the velocity of the cart on the roller coaster track was measured as a function of its height when it passed through the different photogates. And the relationship between gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy are analyzed to observe the energy conservation of the isolated system and to determine the loss of energy due to non- conservative forces such as friction. Lastly, the fastest path between the two points were determined by varying the setup of the path to conclude whether travelling in a straight line is fastest path or not. Observing the data collected, it can be concluded that as the mass of the cart increases, gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy increase as well as the loss of energy. And, the experimental gravitational acceleration can be determine through g = ( slope ) 2 2 where slope represents the change in velocity as a function of h (different heights of the cart). Introduction: The goal of this experiment is to determine the conservative energy of the isolated system through the relationship between the kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy. Since the system is isolated, the total energy of the system is constant while the form of energy is changing throughout the process. When the cart was at the top of the roller coaster path, it has gravitational energy and as the cart rolled down, the gravitational energy is converted to kinetic energy which causes the speed of the cart to increase. Although the system is setup appropriately to have the total energy conserved, there are still some non-conservative forces present such as the work of friction which can lead to the loss of energy. Since the energy is lost due to restrictive forces throughout the experiment, the cart won’t be able to reach the initial height that it has started from one side to the opposite side of the path. Theory: - The total energy of the conservative energy can be determined through, E = K + U E equals the total energy which is equals to the total of kinetic energy and potential energy.
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-Since Kinetic energy equals to K = 1 2 m v 2 and gravitational potential energy equals U = mg Δ y E = 1 2 mv 2 mg Δ y *since the height is decreasing each time -Since the reference point is when the cart is at rest, E i = 0 -In a closed system, initial total energy is equal to final total energy; E i = E f 0 = 1 2 mv 2 mg Δ y 1 2 mv 2 = mg Δ y v = ( 2 g Δ y ) *experimental gravitational acceleration can be calculated using this equation through the cart speed and its height with experimental gravitational acceleration.
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