lab_8 - Lab #8: Newtons Second Law and Acceleration Due to...

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Lab #8: Newton’s Second Law and Acceleration Due to Gravity Introduction The purpose of this lab is to observe several effects related to Newton's Second Law, in the context of 1-dimensional motion with three themes: first with constant force and varying mass, second with constant mass and varying force, and third with varying both mass and force. The lab also teaches some concepts of measurement and analysis of experimental data. Acceleration due to gravity will also be computed. The gravitational force on a small hanging mass (m 1 ) is applied to a cart (m 2 ) on a level, nearly frictionless air track, using a string and pulley arrangement. The resulting horizontal force accelerates the system of the two masses. Using the laboratory computers, we measure the speed of the cart at two different positions, and from this deduce the acceleration produced by the force. The measured acceleration and its dependence on the magnitude of the hanging mass are compared with those predicted by Newton's Second Law. Some limiting cases and the accuracy of the measurement method are briefly studied. Apparatus Air Track with one "cart" and one pulley attached to end of track, Two photogates, "Flag" of length D = ~10 cm attached to cart—This blocks each photogate momentarily as the cart passes, permitting the speed to be measured nearly instantaneously, Lab computer, LabPro Interface, "Gate Timing With Acceleration" software, Set of masses to hang, Light nylon line to hang from, Meter stick to measure separation (labeled "x" in diagram) between two photogates. Procedure The procedure consists of using the computer and photogate system to measure the time it takes the glider to travel distance D at two positions separated by distance x. Knowing the velocity at those two positions we then can calculate the acceleration of the system. To do this reasonably accurately, a number of steps are required: Level the air track as well as you can. This is a bit of a tedious process, but take 3-5 minutes to do a good job. To level the track, place the cart at the middle of the track, turn on the air blower, and carefully release the cart from rest. Adjust the leveling screws on the legs of the air track to get
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This note was uploaded on 02/29/2012 for the course PHYS 227 taught by Professor Rabe during the Fall '08 term at Rutgers.

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lab_8 - Lab #8: Newtons Second Law and Acceleration Due to...

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