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# OCR (A) specifications: 5.1.

3a,c,d,e,f,g

Chapter 3
Dynamics explaining motion
Worksheet
Worked examples
Practical: Force and acceleration
End-of-chapter test
Marking scheme: Worksheet
Marking scheme: End-of-chapter test

Worksheet
Intermediate level
acceleration of free fall g = 9.81 m s2

1
2
3
4
5

## In the topic of dynamics, the equation F = ma is very important.

Define all the terms in this equation.



## A metal sphere is falling at a steady speed in a tube containing oil. Describe

all the forces acting on the sphere and explain whether or not it is accelerating.



## Define the newton (N).



A 120 g apple falls off a tree. Calculate the weight of the apple.



The diagram shows a parachutist of mass 80 kg falling towards the Earth. In each
case below, determine the net force and the acceleration of the parachutist.
a

300 N

800 N

1500 N


800 N

800 N



800 N







Higher level
7

70 N

## The diagram shows the horizontal forces

acting on a motorbike and its rider
travelling along a level road.
The total mass of the rider and the
motorbike is 160 kg. Determine the
acceleration of the motorbike.



160 kg

200 N

200 N

A car engine provides a constant forward force. When starting from rest, the
acceleration of the car when unloaded is a. The mass of the car increases by 50%
when fully loaded. Determine the acceleration of this fully laden car in terms
of the acceleration a when it starts from rest.


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## 3 Dynamics explaining motion

Extension
9 The diagram shows the horizontal forces acting on a 920 kg car.
20m s1

400 N

drag

The total forward force acting on the car is 400 N. The drag on the car depends on
its speed v and is given by the expression:
drag = 0.3v2
a

i



ii



## Explain why you cannot use

v = u + at
to determine the velocity of the car after a time t.



## 10 The diagram shows an 80 kg person in a lift.

The normal contact force acting on the person
from the base of the lift is R. Determine the
magnitude of R when the lift:
a
b

## is travelling upwards at a constant

velocity of 2.0 m s1;
2

## is accelerated upwards at 2.3 m s .

R
direction
of travel


lift



weight

11 Use the Internet to investigate the motion of objects travelling through fluids
(liquids and gases). To do this, use a search engine (e.g. Google) and insert a
phrase such as falling objects in air applets or skydiver applets. An applet is
an animation or a simulation of a physical system.
Total: Score:
32

## Cambridge University Press 2005

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Worked examples
Example 1
A 900 kg car starts from rest with an initial acceleration of 0.60 m s2. Determine the
forward force provided by the engine of the car. Explain why the acceleration of the car
decreases as its speed increases, even though the engine continues to provide the same
forward force on the car.
At the start, there is no air resistance (drag). Therefore, the net force on the car is equal
to the force provided by the cars engine.
F = ma
F = 900 0.60

## Do not forget that F is the total or

net force acting on the car.

F = 540N
As the speed of the car increases, the magnitude of the drag also increases. The net
force on the car decreases and therefore its acceleration also decreases (a F for
constant mass).

Tip
If the forward force on the car of mass m is F and the drag is D, then the
acceleration a of the car is given by:
a=

FD
m

The drag depends on the speed v of the car. Although not required by the
specifications, the drag force is directly proportional to the speed2.

Example 2
The diagram shows a metal sphere falling
through engine oil. Its instantaneous acceleration
is 4.5 m s2 and the resistive force (drag) is 0.20 N.
Calculate the mass m of the metal sphere.

drag = 0.20 N

4.5m s2

F = ma
drag = 0.20 N

weight drag = ma
mg drag = ma
a

m(g a) = drag
m=

drag
0.20
=
0.038 kg
(9.81 4.5) 5.31

(38 g)

weight = mg

## You can make a good start by drawing all

the forces acting on the falling metal sphere

Tip
In this question you have to identify the forces acting on the object, determine an
expression for the net force F and solve F = ma.

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## 3 Dynamics explaining motion

Practical
Force and acceleration
Safety
There are not likely to be any major hazards in carrying out this experiment. However,
teachers and technicians should always refer to the departmental risk assessment before
carrying out any practical work.

Apparatus

motion sensor
computer
linear air track
glider

A4 card
string
pulley
selection of 10 g masses used as weights
to accelerate the glider

Introduction
How is the motion of an object affected by the action of forces? You have the
opportunity to answer this question by carrying out a series of experiments looking at
different aspects of force and acceleration.

Procedure
Details on Force and acceleration are given on pages 23 to 25 of Physics 1. The velocity
of an object may be determined from the gradient of a displacement against time graph
(see page 20 of Physics 1).

## An object travels at a constant velocity unless acted upon by an external force

v

motion sensor
air track

glider

computer

1
2
3

Choose the option for the computer to plot a graph of velocity against time.
Switch on the motion sensor and push the air track glider along the track.
As the glider travels along the length of the air track, the net force on the glider is
zero. The velocity against time graph should be a straight-line graph. Is it?
to computer

F = ma

motion sensor

weight

## Cambridge University Press 2005

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Use a 10 g mass as a weight to accelerate the glider. The force on the glider is:
force = mg = 0.010 9.81 0.10 N

2
3

Determine the acceleration of the glider. Repeat this for different forces.
Record your results in a table.
Force (N)

Acceleration (ms2)

0
0.10
0.20
etc.

4
5
6

## Plot a graph of force against acceleration.

Draw a straight line of best fit.
Your results should show that:
force acceleration

The gradient of the line is equal to the mass of the glider. Use a digital balance to
measure the mass of the glider. How close is your result? What are the main
sources of inaccuracy in this experiment?

## Motion of an object in a fluid

card

to computer

motion sensor

weight

Fix a large card on to the glider. There is a resistive force (drag) on the glider as it
travels along the air track. (The fluid is air.)

2
3

## Move the glider using a constant force.

Use the motion sensor and the computer to obtain a velocity against time graph for
the glider. Comment on the shape of the graph.

## Guidance for teachers

If you do not have a motion sensor or a datalogger to determine the acceleration of the
glider, then an alternative would be to use a ticker-tape timer.
For the F = ma experiment, remember that m is the total mass of the glider and the mass
attached at the end of the string. In trials, a 300g glider was accelerated using forces up to
0.50 N. This gave a reasonable (15%) straight-line graph for force against acceleration.

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## 3 Dynamics explaining motion

End-of-chapter test
acceleration of free fall g = 9.81 m s2

a
b

A rocket is lifting off from the surface of the Earth. The rocket burns its
fuel at a phenomenal rate and consequently its mass decreases rapidly.
Assuming that the thrust provided by the rocket is a constant, discuss
what happens to the acceleration of the rocket as its mass decreases.



## Determine the mass of the rock.



State the acceleration of the rock as it falls towards the ground. What
assumption have you made?



Calculate the time taken for the rock to reach the ground.



A spider of mass 0.52 g falls off a table. It falls a distance of 30 cm in 1.4 s. The spider
reaches its terminal velocity almost immediately after falling off the table.
a
b



## Write an equation for the net force F acting on a mass m with an

acceleration a.

What is the net force acting on the spider when falling at its terminal
velocity?



Determine:
i

## the terminal velocity of the spider;



ii

the drag force on the spider when descending at its terminal velocity.



## The velocity v against time t graph for a car is shown below.

v

0
0

The engine of the car provides a constant force of 350 N and the mass of the car
is 750 kg.
a

Use the graph above to suggest when the acceleration of the car is a maximum.


## Calculate the maximum acceleration of the car.

At a particular instant the acceleration of the car is 0.20 m s2. Determine the
drag force acting on the car.




Total: Score:
19

## Cambridge University Press 2005

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Marking scheme
Worksheet
1

F = net (or total or resultant) force ; m = mass of the object ;
a = acceleration of the object 

## vertically up: drag (and upthrust) 

The net force is zero, therefore the acceleration of the sphere is zero. 
weight

## The newton is the net force acting on an object of mass 1 kg that

produces an acceleration of 1 m s2. 

4
5

W = mg ;
a

a=

F 500
=
6.3 m s2
m 80
and


a=

0
= 0 m s2 
80

Net force = 0

a=

## W = 0.120 9.81 = 1.18 N 1.2 N 

F 700
=
8.8 m s2 (deceleration) 
m 80
W = 5.0 8.77 44 N 

W = mg ;

a=

F 330
=

m 160

a 2.1 m s2 

F.
m

## For a constant force F, the acceleration is inversely proportional to the mass m:

a

1

m

The mass of the car is increased to 150% an increase by a factor of 1.5. 
Hence, the acceleration will decrease by a factor of 1.5.
New acceleration =

28

a 2
= a 
1.5 3

ii

a=

F 280
=
;
m 920

## a = 0.304 m s2 0.30 m s2 

This equation can only be used for constant acceleration. In this situation, the
acceleration of the car depends on its speed, hence the equation v = u + at
cannot be used. 

## 3 Dynamics explaining motion

10 a

F = ma
Since the lift is travelling at constant velocity, its acceleration is zero. 
The net force on the person is zero, hence:
R = weight
R = mg = 80 9.81 780 N 

F = ma
R mg = ma 
R = m(g + a) = 80(9.81 + 2.3) ; R 970 N 
Note: R > weight in order for the person to have an upwards acceleration.

## Cambridge University Press 2005

29

Marking scheme
End-of-chapter test
1

F = ma 

1
). 
m

## The acceleration of the rocket increases as its mass decreases. 

m=

W 1.4
=
0.14 kg 
g 9.81

W = mg ;

The acceleration of free fall of all objects on the Earth is 9.81 m s2. 
The assumption is that air resistance (drag) is negligible. 

s = ut +
3.0 =
t=

1 2
at
2

u=0

1
9.81 t2 
2

2 3.0
0.78 s 
9.81

F = ma
The acceleration of the spider is zero, hence the net force is also zero. 

0.30
0.21 m s1 
1.4

Terminal velocity =

ii

## At terminal velocity, the net force is zero, so drag = weight. 

drag = mg = 0.52 103 9.81
drag 5.1 103 N 

## The acceleration of the car is a maximum at t = 0. 

At t = 0, the gradient of the graph is a maximum. 
(Gradient from a velocity against time graph = acceleration.)
F
350
; a=
0.47 m s2 
m
750

a=

F = ma
Net force = 750 0.20 = 150 N 
Net force = 350 drag 

350 N
(motive force)

200 N
(drag)

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