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VectorsForce Table
Introduction
Vector quantities are distinguished by the fact that they have both a magnitude and a direction. In this
experiment we will employ the intuitive example of a force to provide a concrete illustration of the discussion
in the lecture regarding the addition of vectors and the decomposition of vectors into components.
We will realize these vectors by attaching masses to a ring which itself is centered around the pole in the
center of a force table. These masses produce the weight via Newton's formula
F
g
= mg,
where g = 9.8 m/s
2
and m is a mass. The resulting units is kg m/s
2
and is abbreviated as Newton (N):
N = kg m/s
2
Therefore weight is measured in Newtons.
Experiment
Set up the Force Table
In this lab we will use hanging masses which exert forces on a metal ring around the pole in the center of the
force table. Independent of specific arrangement of the weight forces we can say that equilibrium of all forces
has been achieved precisely when the metal ring around the pole does not touch the pole.
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 Fall '09
 Barker
 Physics, Force

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