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Vector Addition


To determine the force which balances two other forces. This result is
checked by adding the two forces by using their components and by
graphically adding the forces.

Introduction: Upon the completion of the experiment, the student will be able to
determine the force which balance two other forces by experiment and
could check the experiment result with the method of components and
graphically adding.

ME-9447 Force Table, 3 pulleys and pulley clamps, 3 mass hangers,

mass set, string, and protractor.

1. The apparatus is placed on a level table.
2. The desirable free body diagram is sketched out.
3. The turning knob of the pulley bracket is loosened. The three pulley bracket is
mounted on the protractor plate.
4. The pulley bracket is set to desirable angle and the turning knob is tightened.
5. Both of the screws at the side of the bracket are adjusted. The screws are
ensured not to be too tight nor too lose. The pulley are ensured able to turn
6. The ring is placed to the centre of the protractor.
7. The three cords are placed to the three pulleys.
8. A weight hanger is placed to each of the cord.
9. The desirable weight is placed to each of the hanger and the movement of the
ring is observed.
10. If the ring touches the centre rod, this implies that the system is not in
equilibrium position.

11. The following masses are hanged on two pulleys and the pulleys are clamped
at the given angles:
Force A = 50g at 0
Force B = 100g at 120
Equilibrant ( )






As shown below

Direction ()

As shown below

Method 1:
In method 1, by just using the ME-9447 force table the third force can be obtained.
Hence, from method 1 the equilibrant force is obtained which is
Magnitude: 0.80N
Method 2:
This method contains of two components which is component x (
component y ( and ). The forces are calculated as shown below.

-component = 0.5 cos 0 which is equals to 0.5000 N

-component = 1.0 cos 60 which is equals to 0.5000 N

and ) and

-component = 0.5 sin 0 which is equals to 0.0000 N

-component = 1.0 sin 60 which is equals to 0.8660 N

After the forces above calculated, both x and y components are added together

= 0.5000 N + 0.5000 N which is equals to 1.000 N

= 0.0000 N + 0.8660 N which is equals to 0.8660 N

By solving using trigonometry method:

, Where = 40.9

From formula

It can be calculate that

is equals to


= 1.3229 N.

Hence, the resultant force ( ) is in magnitude of 1.3229 N with direction 40.9.

By testing using the two methods above, it is shown that both methods are obtaining
distinctive results. Hence, it is better to determine the resultant force by using method
2 as it is more theoretical and more accurate as it is based on formula and calculation
comparing to the artificial and hand adjusted force table, which might be inaccurate.