# lab 02 - Acceleration of a System of Two Objects Lab#2...

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Acceleration of a System of Two Objects Lab #2 xxxxx Physics 11 10/9/06

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Introduction/Purpose The purpose of this lab is to investigate the effect that mass has on friction as well as the effect that mass has on the acceleration of the system. Newton’s second law is an integral part of every calculation involving forces of friction or gravity. His law stated that ma F net = This means that the net force on an object has to equal the mass of the object times its acceleration. In the case of the car on the track, the force due to gravity pulls the weight on the string. This in turn causes a tension force that pulls the cart toward the pulley. Using the above equation, an expression for the net force can be said to be ( M+m ) a If this is the net force, a graph can be made comparing this to the mass of the weight on the string, m. This would leave a m F net = Doing so isolates the acceleration of the cart and weight. The acceleration will always be the same if the only force if the force due to gravity. This is because the force and mass are proportional. If there are other forces like a tension force and a force due to friction there will be two different accelerations: the acceleration of the cart (which will vary depending on the mass) and the acceleration due to gravity. The only one that can actually be seen is the one that the cart experiences. The equation for the net force in terms of the different masses is f mg a M m - = + ) ( Where a is the acceleration of the cart; g is the acceleration due to gravity; f is the force due to friction, air resistance, etc.; and m and M are the masses of the hanging weight and cart, respectively. This equation takes on the form b mx y + = and can be graphed accordingly. The force due to friction should increase as the mass increases. When the mass increases the normal force has to increase to maintain a net force of zero. A net force of zero ensures that there is no horizontal acceleration. When the normal force increases, the force of friction does as well. This is shown be the equation μ = F F friction The coefficient of friction is constant while the two forces are proportional. In this lab the goal is to explore these two concepts of friction versus mass and acceleration versus
mass. Each concept will deal with the forces that are provided by tension, friction, and gravity. Experiment/Data To begin the lab, a track needs to be set up with two gates attached to the timer. The gates should be exactly 1 m apart from each other the whole time. There will be a cart on the track with a string attached to it. The string hangs over the edge of the track on a pulley. Attached to the end of the string is a weight that when released will pull the cart toward

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lab 02 - Acceleration of a System of Two Objects Lab#2...

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