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Unformatted text preview: Tami Kunst October 1, 2004 Physics Lab 3 Acceleration of an Object on an Incline Plane Abstract The purpose for Laboratory 3 was to examine the acceleration of objects on incline planes, or ramps. Three exercises, different masses of objects, different angled incline planes, and motion with friction, demonstrate the force of gravity verses the ramps push. In exercise 1, we added weights to observe if acceleration would change due to mass differences. As predicted, the acceleration remained constant, around 9.81 m/s 2 . For exercise 2 though, we varied the angel of the incline plane. Using photogates and the formula a=1/2 [(v f 2 v i 2 )/ (x f x i )], we determined the acceleration for each angle to again average to be 9.81 m/s 2 . Finally exercise 3 examines the increase in acceleration and velocity from rest to the bottom of a ramp. Both acceleration and velocity increased as the ball traveled down the ramp. Introduction As stated above the purpose of the lab was to examine the acceleration of an object as it travels down an incline plane. For each exercise, we varied different variables to observe whether the acceleration changed or remained the same. The first exercise varied mass. In the second exercise we varied the angles of the incline plane. Lastly, the third exercise, we determined acceleration when friction is a factor. In completion of the lab, we gained understanding of the force of gravity on an objects acceleration down an incline plane. In class, we were told that the acceleration of an object due to gravity is 9.81 m/s 2 . Yet objects do not fall if there is an equal force pushing it upwards, such as a shelf holding pictures. The pictures will not fall to the ground, because the shelf is pushing back a balancing force against gravity. Using incline planes, we are observing objects that are not falling at a 90 o angle or moving on a flat surface. Instead, we are faced with the affects of the angle of the incline plane and the acceleration of the object. Gravity pulls the object down the ramp, causing it to accelerate as it moves downward. The laboratory handout provides us with the equation g= a/ sin( ). A is the acceleration of the object down the ramp, g is the magnitude of the acceleration due to gravity, and is the angle of the incline plane (handout 1). In exercise 1, we observed the acceleration of a cart down a airtrack at a set angle. The purpose of exercise one, was to prove Galileos statement that mass does not effect acceleration. After each trial was performed, the acceleration was given to us by the computer system. Because the angle was constant, we were able to make a predicted value for acceleration using the equation g = a/sin( ). After three trials with the same mass, we added weights in increase the mass. All together, there were three trials done with three different masses. The idea was to prove that no matter how many weights were added to the cart, the acceleration would remain around 9.81 m/swere added to the cart, the acceleration would remain around 9....
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This essay was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course HIST 1432 taught by Professor Kane during the Spring '08 term at Pittsburgh.
 Spring '08
 Kane

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