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Cart on a Ramp Lab Report Shakil Mirza Mr.

Carolan Physics November, 14th 2011

Introduction Life is difficult if we take out the smallest of objects, we do not consider these objects important when they are looked at individually, but are vital in every machine and handiwork. They are the simple machines, and one of these simple machines is the inclined plane. Inclined planes are flat surfaces that are tilted at an angle, and help move from high place to a low place and vice versa. The most common inclined plane which we find today is a ramp; ramps are a way to reduce less effort and energy, the less steeper a ramp is less energy is needed for movement. The frequent use of ramps is for those who are not able to use stairs, and is an alternative for the physically disabled and others. Trucks use inclined planes to help workers move heavy boxes and packages to and from the truck to the floor. The roof of a building can be an inclined plane; too as it helps move rain off the roof to the ground. The purpose of this experiment is to find the acceleration of a frictionless cart on a ramp. Hypothesis Fn

Fg - x

27.5 cm

227 cm

Fg - y Fg

Our Prediction is that the cart will go 1.13 m/s2 on a ramp which is 6.95, which has a height of 27.5 cm and hypotenuse of 227 cm.

Materials (1) (2) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) 500 g Frictionless Cart Textbooks Ramp Tissue box GLX Explorer Pencil and Paper Ruler

Procedure 1. A Ramp was set up using two textbooks and a tissue box (standing) as the height, and then a ramp was placed on top of the textbooks and tissue box creating a right angle triangle. 2. Then the length of the height and hypotenuse was measured using a ruler 3. Then the missing length of the triangle was calculated using the formula 4. After that the angle of the ramp was calculated by using earlier measured lengths and SOHCAHTOA 5. Next, the missing angle of the triangle was found by subtracting 180 degrees from 90 and the earlier angle that was found in step 3 6. The Force of gravity was then calculated using the formula 7. Next, the force of gravity in the x direction was calculated by using the formula 8. Then we calculated the slope of the cart accelerating down the ramp using the GLX Explorers 9. Then the predicted acceleration was found by rearranging the formula to 10. After getting the actual acceleration, the Force Net was calculated using the formula 11. Thus the Force of Friction was calculated using the formula 12. In the end the percent error was calculated using the formula

Observations and Results We saw a frictionless cart accelerate throughout the distance it was travelling on the ramp until it had to be stopped when it had reached the end. We had to try repeatedly to release the cart on the same time as the GLX Explorer started counting the velocity. We first measured the velocity of the cart until its front end reached the end of the ramp, and also calculated the velocity of the cart until the whole cart reached the end of the ramp. There was not much difference between the two values, but we concluded to use the acceleration of the cart when the whole cart crossed the ramp.

m = 1.4557 0.3512/ 2.02 0.77 a = 1.25/1.1045 a = 1.13 m/s2 From the graph, you can see that the cart started from rest and was increasing its velocity throughout the distance it was travelling on. From this graph, we found the slope and this would be our measured (experimental) value. The percent error found in our experiment was 0.89

Discussion This experiment was conducted to measure the acceleration of the 500 gram cart on a ramp. Our theoretical data was found using knowledge of math taught from previous years as well as physics taught in class to prepare us for this lab. Formulas included the line of a slope, Pythagorean Theorem, SOHCAHTOA, and also formulas learned in class such to find force of gravity, force net, and percentage error. The answers between the experimental and theoretical data are quite similar, but nonetheless

there was a percent error of 0.89 %. The sources of error that may have affected our experiment is that we may have rounded the final answer to early, and when we did we change the other answers which required the earlier to solve. Also the measured result could have error as it the cart could down before the GLX Explorer could start recording its velocity and vice versa. The reason for this is that a machine is not controlling when to release the cart and/or starting the GLX Explorer rather a human, so there is always a chance of human error. Therefore the result of the acceleration of the 500 gram cart on a ramp of 6.95 is 1.13 m/s2. Questions Fnet = Ff + Fgx Ff = Fnet Fgx Ff = 0.56 N 0.6 N Ff = 0.4 N

Therefore, from our calculations we can firmly say that though the cart is almost frictionless, and is at a point where the friction is so low that it becomes negligible which is 0.035N. Conclusion The predicted (theoretical) value our group had calculated of the cart on the ramp is 1.13 m/s2 but the measured result was 1.13 m/s2. The source of error that may have occurred is early rounding in calculations, and late or early timing of the GLX Explorers which resulted in 0.89 % error in the experiment. Our expectation was to find the acceleration of the cart on the ramp; we hypothesized that the object will go at 1.12 m/s2 which determined to be wrong because the measured acceleration of the cart was 1.13 m/s2.


Dr. Bob Williams, Ohio University. (2011). Inclined Plane. In Haptics-Augmented Simple Machines. Retrieved November 11, 2011, from