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Paul Gonzales
PHYS 2425 – McGraw
Summer 2010
Atwood’s Machine
I.
Introduction
This lab studies Newton’s Second Law using Atwood’s Machine – a
machine system consisting of a pulley, two weights on either side, and the
measurement of velocity/acceleration (in this case acceleration due to
gravity) using a photogate. We are to compare our measured acceleration
to that of actuality – gravity – to determine whether the accepted value
falls within our measured standard error. If it does, then we can say that
our experimental value agrees with the standard value, if not, then we
must find some systematic error that compromises this.
II.
Experimental Procedure
First set up Atwood’s Machine as seen in the diagram and open
LoggerPro. Next, place 50 g on one weight hanger and 52 g on the other.
Making sure the weights do not swing during the experiment, put the
heavier side higher on the pulley than the other weight. Let the heavier
fall, press “Collect”, and watch the lighter weight come up. The photogate
should measure the acceleration and the velocity of the weight moving.
Once done, click the velocity graph on the screen, highlight the area of the
graph that is most linear, and choose Linear Fit. Record the value of the
slope, the value of both masses, and the uncertainty (obtained by clicking
the box and checking “Show Uncertainties” under “Linear Fit Options”).
Repeat this 4 more times, for a total of 5 trials. Each time, take 1 gram off
of the lighter side, and add it to the heavier side.
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View Full DocumentPaul Gonzales
PHYS 2425 – McGraw
Summer 2010
III.
Data
Raw Data:
M1 (kg)
M2 (kg)
ABS(m1m2)/
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 Summer '10
 mcgraw

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