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Unformatted text preview: EXPERIMENT KINEMATICS: THE LINEAR AIR TRACK Introduction: When studying the motion of isolated bodies, it is often possible to do so without regard to either the mass of the body or the forces causing its motion. This branch of physics is known as “kinematics” and is most useful when applied to point particles or rigid bodies experiencing a uniform acceleration. For uniform acceleration “ a ” (constant in magnitude and direction), the well-known kinematic equations of motion can be written as: v = v o + a t s(t) = y − y o = ½ (v o + v) t s(t) = y − y o = v o t + ½ a t 2 v 2 − v o 2 = 2 a (y − y o ) where y, v , and a are the distance, instantaneous velocity and instantaneous acceleration, respectively. The initial conditions at t = 0 are: y = y o , v = v o , and absolute displacement s(t)=0 . Suppose now that we wish to investigate the kinematics of a rigid body on a flat, frictionless surface which has been inclined at an angle θ with respect to the horizontal as shown in Figure 1. We have a = g sin θ Hence, by determining the object’s acceleration “ a ” for a certain value of θ , we may calculate a value for g . In this experiment the inclined surface is where g is the acceleration due to gravity. a g θ provided by tilting a previously level linear air track and the acceleration “ a ” of nearly frictionless gliders along this track is determined. A scale has been affixed to the air track for distance measurements and time is measured by means of clocks which are controlled with...
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This note was uploaded on 04/01/2011 for the course PHY 135 taught by Professor Wagihghobriel during the Spring '11 term at University of Toronto.

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