Sample Lab Report

Sample Lab Report - (Sample Lab Report Lab 8 Newtons Second...

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(Sample Lab Report) Lab 8: Newton’s Second Law 1 Authors: Mahatma Coat, Carmine Dioxide PHY151 Section 123 Instructor: Stan Converse Performed: 7 March 2008 Submitted: 14 March 2008 1 Based on an example from the NCSU Department of Physics

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I. PURPOSE A. Objective: The purpose of this experiment was to find the acceleration of a system of two connected masses by measuring the initial velocity, final velocity, and time that it takes for one of the masses to pass over a certain interval. The acceleration could be changed by varying one mass with the other kept constant. By applying Newton’s 2nd law to this situation, a relationship was found and compared to a curve fit of our experimental values. B. Theory: Newton's 2nd law states that "the vector sum of all external forces on a mass must equal the mass times its acceleration vector". Figure 1 below shows two masses connected by a string with tension T . Also shown are free body diagrams for the two masses, with choice of coordinates for both. Friction is neglected on the horizontal surface for m 2 . W 1 and W 2 are the weights of m 1 and m 2 respectively, and n is the normal force on m 2 . Figure 1: System of 2 masses with free body diagrams. Newton's 2nd law in x and y component form gives three equations for this system: Σ F 1y = m 1 a 1y ; or m 1 g - T = m 1 a Eq. (1). Σ F 2x = m 2 a 2x ; or T = m 2 a Eq. (2). Σ F 2y = m 2 a 2y ; or n - m 2 g = 0 Eq. (3). For convenience, down is chosen as the positive y-direction for the hanging mass m 1 . This allows us to set the acceleration of m 2 in its positive x-direction equal to the acceleration of m 1 in its positive y-direction (down), since m 1 moves down and speeds up at the same rate that m 2 speeds up as it moves to right. In other words, we set a 2x = a 1y = a.
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