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AP Physics 1AB

Vanderway Period 2

Newtons 2nd Law Lab Report

Abstract:

Our overall objective of this Lab was to build a quantitative model relating force and

acceleration. We did this by determining the relationship between acceleration and the sum of

forces and determining the relationship between acceleration and total mass. The variables we

investigated between were sum of forces vs acceleration and the mass of the system. The sum of

forces was the independent variable and the acceleration was the dependent variable. The mass

of the system was the independent variable and the acceleration was dependent. We basically

used a ramp, a cart, a hanger, a pulley, string, a motion detector, and weights to measure the

acceleration in different scenarios. For changing forces, we had different sets of masses that

added up to 100 grams; put an amount of weights to the cart aligned it with the pulley and

attached that to the cart, and released the cart down the ramp whilst measuring the acceleration

of the cart. For changing masses, we kept the mass of the weight constant and kept adding

weights to the cart whilst measuring acceleration of the cart going down the ramp each time we

added masses to it. For changing forces, our data showed that the sum of forces was directly

proportional to acceleration which means that as the sum of forces increases the acceleration

increases at a constant rate. For changing masses, our data showed inverse proportionality which

means acceleration was directly proportional to 1/mass.

!

1st Procedure: Changing Forces

1. Compensate for friction by making the slope of the ramp (acceleration) less than or equal to

the absolute value of 0.01 m/s/s and adjust the ramp when necessary.

2. Take a set amount of weights (for us it was 100 grams) and create different variations of that

amount to put on the hanger and the cart.

3. Put the designated weight(s) on the hanger and/or cart and align the string with the pulley.

4. Distance the cart 40 cm away from the motion detector and click the green play button (that

detects acceleration) and release the cart when you can hear the clicking of the motion detector.

5. As two sets of graphs start to present lines, highlight the part of incline and click the best fit

line to derive the slope.

6. Record the data in your data tables. Repeat for the next 6-7 pairs of masses to get an accurate

data set.

2nd Procedure: Changing Masses

1. Compensate for friction by making the slope of the ramp (acceleration) less than or equal to

the absolute value of 0.01 m/s/s and adjust the ramp when necessary.

2. Designate a set mass to the hanger (55 grams)

3. Begin adding weights in increments and measure acceleration by clicking the green play

button on loggerpro and releasing the cart down the ramp when you hear the motion detector

clicking.

4. Record the data in your data tables. Repeat for the next 6-7 pairs of masses to get an accurate

data set.

!

!

Evaluation of a vs. F

After we have found information enough for 6 data points, we inputted our data by putting the

Forces onto the x axis which is basically m2( the of everything on the hanger including itself)

multiplied by gravity. Then by putting the acceleration that we got from the motion detector on

the y axis. After graphing it, it comes out as a linear line.

Sample:

0.105kg*9.8N/kg=1.029N

0.095kg*9.8N/kg=0.931N

0.085kg*9.8N/kg=0.833N

Interpretation of graphs

A general trend that we noticed in our data is that the points formed a straight linear line. This

means that the change of acceleration and the change of the sum of forces is constant. In our data

it was constant by 2.76 m/s/s/N.

Meaning of slope- For every set amount of sum of forces, the object has a set acceleration.

Meaning of intercept- the acceleration of the object when the sum of forces is equal to 0.

Equation:

a=(2.76 m/s/s/N) F+ (- 0.1993m/s/s)

!

!

!

Evaluation of a vs m

For our Acceleration vs mass experiment we left mass 1 (the cart) the same weight but kept

changing the mass on mass 2 (the hanger). We tested to see the difference of the carts

acceleration when there were less or more mass on the hanger.

General trends are some of the patterns that we noticed in our a vs m graph. Some general trends

in our acceleration vs mass graph were that each point has a different slope. Also the points made

up a hyperbola which means acceleration is proportional to 1/mass.

!

Since the A vs M graph was not linear, to linearized it we had to divide 1 by mass as I mentioned

before. For the A vs 1/m graph, the points made a straight line as it should have.

Some general trends in the a vs 1/m graphs were that the slopes for each point were very similar

which is one of the causes of the linearization.

Meaning of slope: the acceleration of the object for every 1/1 kilogram

Meaning of intercept: the acceleration of 1/mass

Combined Analysis:

Since F and mass are independent of each other and a is proportional to F and a is

proportional to 1/m, a is proportional to F times 1/m.

a F

a 1/m

a F x 1/m

a= F x 1/m

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