# B4 Inquiry Activity

REQUIRED SKILLS
■ Recording and organizing data
■ Drawing conclusions
Relating Acceleration and Net Force
Question
How is the acceleration of an object related to the net force acting on the object?
Materials
• C-clamp
• dynamics cart
• 5-g standard mass
• three !-g standard masses
• pulley
• smooth" flat surface #about !\$5 m%
• recording tape
• recording timer with power supply
• metre-stic'
• mas'ing tape
• graph paper
CAUTIN! "osition a catc#er \$erson near t#e edge o% t#e la& &enc#' Do not let t#e cart or
#anging o&(ects %all to t#e ground'
Continued on next page…
"rocedure
)' Copy the two tables below into your noteboo'\$
*' (easure the mass of the cart\$ Record the )alue in *able +\$&\$
+' ,et up the recording timer" pulley" and cart loaded with three !-g standard masses on a
lab bench #see diagram below%\$ (a'e a loop at each end of the string\$ Hoo' one loop to the
end of the cart and let the other loop hang down o)er the pulley\$
4' -ttach a length of recording tape to the cart and thread it through the timer\$
,' .hile holding the cart still" transfer one !-g mass from the cart to the loop of string o)er
the pulley and start the timer\$ .hen you release the cart" the hanging !-g mass will e/ert
a force of about ! 0 on the system\$ Release the cart but stop it before it hits the pulley\$
1abel the tape 2trial !3 magnitude of
app
F
r
4 ! 0\$5
Continued on next page…
-' Repeat steps 6 and 5 using the same cart but this time transfer another !-g mass from the
cart to the first hanging object\$ 1abel the tape 2trial &3 magnitude of
app
F
r
4 & 0\$5 7y
transferring objects from the cart to the end of the string hanging o)er the pulley" the mass
of the system remains constant but the net force acting on the system )aries\$
.' Repeat steps 6 and 5 using the same cart but this time transfer another !-g mass from the
cart to the two hanging masses\$ 1abel the tape 2trial +3 magnitude of
app
F
r
4 + 0\$5
Anal/sis
)' Calculate the mass of the system" m*\$ Record the )alue in *able +\$&\$
*' 8sing the tape labelled 2trial +"5 label the dot at the start t 4 and mar' off a con)enient
time inter)al\$ 9f the period of the timer is

1
60
s" a time inter)al of + dot spaces represents
\$5 s

30 ×
1
60
s = 0.5 s

⎟\$ Record the time inter)al in *able +\$&\$
+' (easure the distance the system tra)elled during this time inter)al\$ Record this )alue in
*able +\$&\$
4' 8se the e:uation

a =
2d
∆t ( )
2 to calculate the magnitude of the acceleration of the system\$
Record the )alue in *ables +\$& and +\$+\$
,' 8sing the same time inter)al" repeat :uestions + and 6 for the tapes labelled 2trial !5 and
2trial &\$5
-' .hy is it a good idea to choose the time inter)al using the tape labelled 2trial +5?
.' ;lot a graph of the magnitude of the acceleration )s\$ the magnitude of the applied force
#*able +\$+%\$
0' #a% Describe the graph you drew in :uestion <\$
#b% .here does the graph intersect the x-a/is? .hy? .hat conditions would ha)e to be
present for it to pass through the origin?
#c% =or each trial" subtract the x-intercept from the applied force to find the net force\$
Record the )alues in *able +\$+\$ *hen plot a graph of the magnitude of the acceleration
)s\$ the magnitude of the net force\$
1' .hen the magnitude of the net force acting on the system is doubled" what happens to the
magnitude of the acceleration of the system?
)2' .hat is the relationship between the magnitude of the acceleration and the magnitude of
the net force? .rite this relationship as a proportionality statement\$ Does this relationship