Newton - Newton's Second Law Author: Colleen Doorhy...

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Newton’s Second Law Author: Colleen Doorhy Partners: Brittany Denning and Barbara Hoskins PY 211 Sec 220 Performed: October 2, 2007 Submitted: October 9, 2007
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I. Introduction A. Objective: The purpose of this experiment was to experimentally test Newton’s second law by finding the acceleration of two connected masses. Initial velocity, final velocity, and time for one of the masses to break the photogate beam. The acceleration could be changed by adding more of a mass, while keeping the other constant. With Newton’s second law, a connection was made and compared with a best fit line of acceleration and m 1 g. B. Theory According to Newton’s second law “an object will accelerate in the direction of the net force” and “the vector sum of all external forces on a mass must equal the mass times its acceleration vector.” From this, it can be concluded that the acceleration of an object is directly proportional to its mass. Below a diagram of two masses connected by a light string and friction is neglected is shown in Figure 1 . Also, the free body diagrams help to show the direction of the forces acting on the masses. The falling mass is pulled downward by gravity (or weight, W=m 1 g ) and upward by the tension (T) in the string. Newton’s second law can be summed as: a m F = or ma F = (1) where a is the acceleration of the object, m is its mass, and F is the vector sum of all forces acting on it. Also, Newton’s second law gives three different equations for the x and y components: ; 1 1 1 y y a m F = or a m T g m 1 1 = - (2) ; 2 2 2 x x a m F = or a m T 2 = (3) ; 2 2 2 y y a m F = or 0 2 = - g m n (4) In this system, the coordinate plane follows the positive y -direction to be down for m 1 . The acceleration of m 2 with its positive x -direction is equal to the acceleration of m 1 when m 1 is in its positive direction and moves down and speeds up at the same rate of
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acceleration as m 2 speeds up as it moves to the right. Then we can say, a 2x = a 1y = a. To find the total mass of the system: M=m 1 +m 2 (5) The mass M will be changed by varying the weight of m 2 and m 1 and keeping the total system mass constant to allow the acceleration to change. From here the acceleration can be calculated by the familiar equation:
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Newton - Newton's Second Law Author: Colleen Doorhy...

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