Lab 4: Newton’s 2
nd
Law
Staci Williams
Kevin Schesing
Section 011
Performed October 8 2009
Due October 16, 2009
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View Full DocumentObjective:
The objective of this lab is to verify Newton’s 2
nd
Law and applications of the law to
test if the acceleration is equal to the force divided by the mass.
Description:
A photo gate is a digital sensor shaped like a U, which shoots an infrared beam
between the legs of the U and can measure, velocity, position, and acceleration by
the beam being blocked and unblocked. A force sensor is also used, along with a
smart pulley, which is a pulley that combines a photo gate sensor and a pulley with
spokes which can calculate position, velocity, and acceleration by the successively
blocked spokes. A picket fence is a sheet of clear plastic with dark bands that when
passed through a photo gate will alternatively block the beam. An air track is also
used, which is a long triangular track in which air is blown through little holes along
the length allowing for gliders to move across the track with little friction.
Theory:
The vector of force is equal to the mass times the vector of acceleration. The
vector of force is equal to the sum of all forces acting upon the chosen body or
system. The acceleration due to gravity can be found by multiplying Newton’s
gravitational constant by the mass of the earth and dividing it by the radius of the
earth squared which is equal to 9.81m/s^2. The weight of an object, in Newtons, is
equal to the mass in kilograms multiplied by the acceleration due to gravity. If the
only force on an object that is being dropped is the force due to gravity,
acceleration is equal to 9.81m/s^2. When 2 masses are connected by a string, the
acceleration can be accounted for by solving for by adding up the forces for each
mass, solving for tension, and then substituting the equations, allowing the
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 Spring '10
 Adler
 Physics, Acceleration, Force, Mass, General Relativity

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