Lab 4 – Work and Energy
Section 442 – Arada Malekian
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Alec Rubenstein
Partners: Andres Novoa
Pledge:
Abstract:
The purpose of this lab is to compare the energy of a system during different phases and examine
the validity of the workkinetic energy theorem:
.
The two major energy conservation
comparisons will be conducted in comparing the spring potential of the entire system to the
kinetic energy of the entire system when the ball leaves the launcher and the kinetic energy of the
ball upon leaving the launcher to the gravitational potential energy of the ball at its maximum
height.
By making these calculations, we will discover if energy is conserved during the
launching of the ball and if there are nonconservative forces acting on the system and the ball.
In part 1 of the experiment, the elastic potential energy of the launcher’s spring is calculated by
adding varying masses to the plunger and recording the distance that the spring is compressed.
After five measurements, the spring constant, k, was calculated by taking the slope of a graph of
Force (N) vs. Displacement (m) of the spring.
After converting mass in grams to force in
Newtons, the linear regression of the plot provided the spring constant.
The elastic potential
energy stored in the launcher was then calculated for the three launch positions.
In part 2 of the experiment, the gravitational potential energy of the ball was calculated by
launching the ball five times at the three positions and recording the maximum height of the ball.
The average height was then used to find the gravitational potential energy of the ball.
In part 3 of the experiment, the initial velocity of the ball was measured using the dual
photogates to measure the time in seconds for the ball to pass through both photogates 0.1000 m
in distance.
Using the calculated velocity of the ball, the kinetic energy of the ball and for the
system was calculated by using the velocity and mass of the ball and the mass of the system.
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View Full DocumentAfter completing all three parts of the experiment, the elastic potential energy of the system was
compared to the kinetic energy of the system right after leaving the launcher and the gravitational
potential energy of the ball at its maximum height was compared to the kinetic energy of the ball
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 Fall '08
 Pengyi
 Energy, Kinetic Energy, Potential Energy, Work

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