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You are on page 1of 7

Partner(s): ________________________________

1114 section: _______

Desk # _____________

Date: _________________

Purpose

1) using the component method,

2) graphically using the head-to-tail method.

When an object is in static equilibrium, Newton’s First Law states that the vector sum (or

r

resultant) of all the external forces acting on the object must add up to zero: ΣF = 0 . In

this lab, we will study the vector sum of three forces acting on a single point in static

r

equilibrium. One of these forces Fg is provided by a 2.00N weight suspended from a

r r

vertical string. The other two forces are the tensions in the strings T1 and T2 hanging

from spring scales attached to a backboard. The magnitudes of the forces are measured

using the spring scales.

components. In Problem 1, we will verify that the resultant force has zero components in

both x and y directions: ΣFx = 0, ΣFy = 0 by drawing a scale diagram and measuring the

components. In Problem 2, we will use a scale diagram to graphically add the vectors

using the head to tail method and verify that the resultant force is a vector with zero

length, or that the length is less than the uncertainty.

Up until now, you have likely broken up vectors into components using angles and

trigonometry. This lab, on the other hand, will show how these components can be

measured directly by carefully drawn and constructed scale diagrams: You will be using

PICTURES to learn Physics!

Fig 1

Preliminary questions: From the earlier description of this lab (and read through

Problem 1) and your current knowledge of vectors, answer the following.

1) If you are reading a vector diagram (like Fig 1), what information gives you the

magnitude of your vectors? How do you find these numbers?

2) In this experiment (see Fig 2), what numbers - that you are going to find - represent

the magnitudes of your three vectors?

3) In this experiment, how are you going to get the directions of the vectors drawn

correctly on your scale diagram?

4) How will you then draw the vectors to the correct magnitude?

Problem 1 Verify the equilibrium condition by measuring the components on a

scale diagram

Apparatus

backboard

r

T2

string

r

T1

knot

paper string

r

Fg

2.00 N

Fig 2

Data

• Draw a dot/circle at the location of the string’s knot, and trace lines representing the

directions of your 3 forces/vectors from your strings.

• Remove the paper from the backboard, and make a scale drawing of the forces as

vectors. Extend or shorten the length of the traced lines, as necessary, to represent

them as the correct magnitude. Use a scale of 1 cm = 0.2N.

• Each partner must hand in his/her own diagram, stapled to this worksheet.

• Record raw data for forces in Table 1 and convert to cm in Table 2.

T1 (N) T2 (N) Fg (N)

Uncertainty

Zero Reading -------------

Reading

Corrected Reading -------------

Note: The corrected reading is not needed if the zero reading is zero.

Table 2: Vector magnitudes represented with a scale of 1 cm for 0.2 N

Magnitude T1 T2 Fg

Length (cm)

• Now find the x and y components of the forces, by measuring them directly on your

scale diagram paper. (Do NOT use trigonometry). Label all lengths in cm on the

r

diagram. As an example, Figure 3 shows the components of T2 .

y

r

T2 T2 x

10.5cm

T2 y

Fig 3

• Convert the components into Newtons, to get T2 x and T2 y , and record the values in

Table 3.

r r r

Vector T1 (N) T2 (N) Fg (N)

x - component

y - component

Calculate the sum of the x - components of the three forces ΣFx =_________________

Calculate the sum of the y - components of the three forces ΣFy =___________________

1) Do your results satisfy the equilibrium condition? (Hint: see the Introduction and

Theory)

YES NO

Problem 2 Verify the equilibrium condition using a scale diagram to graphically

add the forces

Apparatus

backboard

r

T2

string

r

paper T1

knot

string

r

Fg 2.00 N

Fig 4

instructions on the next pages and answer the following.

1) If we change the vector’s length on our drawing is it still the same vector?

YES NO

YES NO

3) If we move a vector to a different starting point, but keep the direction and length the

same, is it still the same vector?

YES NO

r r

4) State how you will ensure that your moved vectors ( T2 and Fg ) have the same

5) State how you will know that your moved vectors have the same direction as your

original ones. (i.e. What can you say about the relationship between the original vector

and the moved one?)

This will all be useless unless you do it carefully – exactness (preciseness) matters!

“Good enough” is not acceptable in the laboratory. This probably means you must take

more time and care to draw what appears to be a simple diagram, than you normally

would.

Data

• Set up the apparatus as shown in Fig 4, with positions for the two spring scales

different from Part 1 of the experiment.

• Each partner is to include such a page attached to this worksheet.

• Draw a dot/circle at the location of the string’s knot, and trace lines representing the

directions of your 3 forces/vectors from your strings.

• Make your scale diagram, again on the paper from under the apparatus. Do not erase

any vectors for the next part.

• Draw an equivalent vector representing one of your force vectors at the head of

another vector. Do this again for the 3rd force vector. You should end up with a

diagram similar to Fig 5.

r

T2 r

r T1

∑F

r

Fg

Fig. 5

Table 4: Magnitudes of the Forces on the Knot – based on Fig 4

T1 (N) T2 (N) Fg (N)

Uncertainty

Zero Reading -------------

Reading

Corrected Reading -------------

Magnitude T1 T2 Fg

Length (cm)

10) Is it possible to obtain an answer exactly the same as what is required by the theory?

Explain why or why not. (Hint: Uncertainty lab.)

11) Can the uncertainties in the raw data tell you anything about the uncertainty in your

final result? (Hint: Your measurements have uncertainty. We don’t calculate uncertainty

in the final result, but do you think it also has uncertainty?)

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