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PC1221 Lab Report: Newton’s Second Law
Wang Zhikai
A0080959N
Group A1
PC1221 Lab Report: Newton’s Second Law
Wang Zhikai
A0080959N
Group A1
1
Objectives
To investigate the variation in the acceleration produced when the net force applied to the object stays
constant but the mass of the system is changed.
To investigate the variation in the acceleration produced when the net force applied to the object is
changed but the mass of the system stays constant.
2
Introduction
When the motion of any object changes due to a net force, it’s behaviour can be described by Newton’s
second law, which is
F = ma
, where
F
is the net force acting on the object of mass
m
, and
a
is the resulting
acceleration of the object. When an object is in free fall, its acceleration has been determined
experimentally to be 9.8m/s. When the net force acting on the object is nonzero, the velocity of the object
changes over time; it accelerates.
Force and acceleration have a directly proportional relationship; the larger the force, the greater the
acceleration. According to Newton’s Second Law, not only are
F
and
a
directly proportional to each other,
they also have the same vector direction. It is also shown from the equation
F
=
ma
that acceleration has an
inversely proportional relationship to the mass. When the net force is kept as a constant and the mass
increases, the acceleration decreases, and vice versa.
3
Methodology
Part A: Constant Force
We measured and recorded the mass of the cart as m
1
. We then adjusted the track to ensure it was parallel to
the table by using the cart to check if it rolls when it is placed on the track. We attached the pulley at one
end of the track. A string was tied to the lower attachment point of the cart. We adjusted the pulley so that
the string runs parallel to the track.
A mass hanger was hooked from the other end of the string. We adjusted the string so that when the cart
is at the pulley, the mass hanger at the end of the string does not touch the floor. Next, we pulled the cart
back until the mass hanger reaches the pulley. We recorded this initial release position as x
1
and fixed this
release position for all trials. We then set another point on the track as the final position of the cart, x
2
, while
ensuring the final position was far enough from the magnetic force such that our experiment was not
affected by this force.
We then conducted a test run to determine how much mass we needed on the mass hanger so that the cart
took approximately 2 s to complete the run. We then measured and recorded this mass. Next, we pulled the
cart back to its initial position. We released the cart and timed how long it took to reach the final position
with a stopwatch and recorded down the timing as t
1
. We repeated this 4 more times with the same mass.
Next, we added mass to the top of the cart and recorded the total mass of the cart plus the extra mass and
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This note was uploaded on 01/09/2012 for the course ELECTRICAL 1221 taught by Professor Tan during the Spring '11 term at National University of Singapore.
 Spring '11
 Tan
 Gate

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