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Friction Experiment

Alan Swartz Physics 121 7/11/11 Prof. Gateva

To investigate frictional forces and to determine the coefficient of kinetic and static friction between two surfaces.

Wood block, aluminum track, pulley, mass set, string, meter stick, balance

Experimental Procedure
Part A: Determine the mass, m2, of the wooden block and place the block, felt side down, on a level aluminum track, Attach a string to the block and run the string over a pulley as shown. Place just enough mass, m1, on the end of the string so that once started, the system moves with constant velocity. The net force on each mass is then zero since the acceleration of each mass is zero. Calculate the friction force on the mass m2 and determine the coefficient of kinetic friction. Repeat the experiment with the mass m2 on its edge. Repeat the experiment with a 500g bar added to m2. Calculate the average value of uk for this part of the experiment. Part B: Incline the track by raising one end until once started the block will slide down the incline with constant velocity. Using Newtons Second Law derive the equation for uk in terms of theta. Determine the value of uk and find the %difference between theory and experiment. Without changing the angle, change the area in contact with the plane by turning the block on its side and repeat the experiment. Again calculate the coefficient of friction and compare with the average value calculated in Part A. Place a 500g bar on the block and repeat the experiment. Part C: Double the angle found in part B and attach a string to the block and pass it over a pulley mounted to the end of the track as shown. Add just enough mass m1 to the end of the string so that, once started, the block on the plane just moves up the incline with constant velocity. Calculate uk.

Part A: M1 0.029 kg 0.029 kg 0.141 kg M2 0.122 kg 0.122 kg 0.622 kg u 0.237 0.237 0.266 %diff from ave 1.6% 1.6% 3.0%

Average u: 0.233

Part B: Theta 16.18 16.18 16.18 M2 0.122 kg 0.122 kg 0.622 kg Uk exp .29 .29 .29 Uk the .23 .23 .23 % diff 20% 20% 20%

Part C: Theta M1 M2 u exp u the %diff 32.36 0.099 kg 0.122 kg .327 .23 29.6%

Part A: Fk=uk*FN FN=W2 x: T-Fk=m2a T-Fk=0 T=Fk T=m1g m1g=ukm2g m1g/m2g = uk m1/m2 =uk Part B: Fk=ukFN Fk=fgx FN=fgy ukFN=m2gsin(theta) fgy=m2gcos(theta) uk=(m2gsin(theta)/m2gcos(theta)) uk=tan(theta) Part C: X: T=fk+fgx fk=ukFN


T=m1g fk=m1g-m2sin(theta)

Discussion of Theory
Part A showed that friction is not dependent on the surface area, but only upon the type of materials and the normal force. Part B demonstrated the same concept. When the area in contact with the plane was decreased, uk did not change. Part C demonstrated that by increasing an incline, FN also increased, which caused fk to increase. However, the coefficient of friction remains constant, at least theoretically.

We investigated the frictional force and were able to determine the coefficients of friction between two surfaces.