Physics 1AL
ENERGY & ENERGY CONSERVATION
Winter 2009
1
Introduction
In this lab you will use conservation of mechanical energy to predict the motion of objects in
situations that are difficult to analyze with force concepts.
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Prelab Activity
Read
sections 5.3, 5.4, 5.5 & 5.6 in Serway & Faughn
Answer
the following questions. Please, SHOW ALL YOUR WORK:
1.
If a particle’s speed increases from 30 miles per hour to 90 miles per hour, by what factor did
its kinetic energy change?
2.
Sean climbs a tower that is 82.3 meters high to make a jump with a parachute.
The mass of
Sean plus the parachute is 68.0 kg.
If we define ground level to have zero gravitational
potential energy, what is the gravitational potential energy of Sean and the parachute at the
top of the tower?
3.
A 100 gram mass is placed on a horizontal
spring.
The spring has a spring constant
k = 150 (N/m) and is at its equilibrium length.
a)
If it remains at equilibrium, how much
elastic potential energy is stored in the
spring?
b)
The same spring is stretched so that it is
5.0 cm longer than its equilibrium length. How much elastic potential energy is stored in
the spring now?
c)
Now the spring from part b is released, what is speed of the mass as it passes through the
equilibrium point from part a?
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A.
Group Activity
The TA’s will hand out a question for you solve as a group. You should write your solution on
your whiteboard and be prepared to present your solution to the class.
After one group has presented their solution to the rest of the class, you should copy the correct
solution into your lab notebook.
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Physics 1AL
ENERGY & ENERGY CONSERVATION
Winter 2009
2
________________________________________________________________
B.
CONSERVATION of MECHANICAL ENERGY and PROJECTILES:
You have a curved ramp with the bottom at the edge of the desk and you start with a car at rest
at the top. The end of the ramp is horizontal. When the car leaves the ramp, it falls to the floor
on a ballistic trajectory. The horizontal distance, between the end of the ramp and where the car
hits the floor, is called the range.
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 Spring '08
 ANDERSON
 Energy, Force, Potential Energy

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