You are on page 1of 3

SPH4U – Unit 1: Forces and Motion – Static and Kinetic Friction on an Inline

Part A:
12. Determine the slope of the graph – what does the slope represent? Is it similar to the
average value of F friction/F normal calculated above? The slope of the graph, as found in the
graph of F applied vs. F normal, is around 0.21. The slope represents the coefficient of static
friction found by the equation F friction/ F normal. The slope of the graph is very similar to the
average value of F friction/F normal calculated in the data table. This is because they both
represent the slope of the graph. However they are not the same because the calculated value for
the average F friction/F normal ratio is an average taken from four coefficient of static friction
where as the slope of the graph is calculated from the line of best fit of the data points. Also,
there may have been minor experimental errors which are unavoidable.
Part C:
3. If the brush is sliding down the slope at constant velocity, how must the Fg component
down the incline (FgsinO) compare to Ffk? If the brush is sliding down the slope at constant
velocity, it must have an acceleration of zero. In order for the acceleration to be zero, the net
force acting on the brush also has to be zero. Since FgsinO and Ffk have opposite directions, the
magnitude of these forces should be the same to result in having a net force of zero. Therefore,
the Fg component down the incline should be equal to Ffk except for the difference in their
direction.
Conclusions:
1. Why is the normal force equal to mg in Part A, but not in Parts B and C? Explain
using a FBD. The normal force is equal to mg in Part A because since the ramp is at a
zero degree angle, the normal force is towards the opposite direction of the force of
gravity. The magnitude of the normal force is equal to the magnitude of the gravitational
force only when they are facing the opposite directions, having an angle of 180 degrees in
between them. That is why in Parts B and C, where the board was slanted, the normal
force did not equal to the force of gravity which is calculated by mass times the gravity.

2. What does the slope of the graph in Part A represent? How do you know? The slope of
the graph in Part A represents the coefficient of static friction because on the graph, F
friction represents the y-axis and F normal represents the x-axis. The slope of a line is the
change in y-coordinates divided by the change in x-coordinates. According to the graph,
the slope is then calculated by F friction divided by F normal. This equation is also used
when the coefficient of static friction is calculated and therefore the slope of the graph in
Part A represents the coefficient of static friction. As one can see, the difference between
our slope of the graph and the coefficient of static friction is minimal and the difference
that exists is only because of minor experimental errors. The slope of the graph was
around 0.21 and the average coefficient of static friction was around 0.25.
3. Does the mass affect amount of friction? Force of friction equals to µ multiplied by
normal force. Therefore it is right to say that the force of friction is dependent on the
value of the normal force. Since mass affects the normal force, the amount of friction will
also be affected by the change in mass. The higher the mass, the higher the normal force
which will increase the force of friction. The lower the mass, the lower the normal force,
which will decrease the force of friction.
4. Does the mass affect the coefficient of kinetic friction? Mass does not affect the
coefficient of kinetic friction because the coefficient of kinetic friction can be found by
the equation, Ffk/Fn. Ffk is mgsinO and Fn is mgcosO. When Ffk is divided by Fn, the
mg in both forces will cancel out and therefore the coefficient of kinetic friction will be
tanO. Mass would not affect the coefficient of kinetic friction because if there is a change
in the mass, it would change the Fn as well as the Ffk because Ffk is basically FgsinO.
The force of normal and the force of kinetic friction will show the same ratio no matter
what change is made to the mass.
5. Use a FBD and your data from Part B to derive the equation tanO = µs.

6. Is the coefficient of static friction from Part B larger or smaller than the coefficient of
kinetic friction from Parts A and C? The coefficient of static friction from part B is
larger than the coefficient of kinetic friction from Parts A and C because the angle of the
ramp in part B was the greatest. In part A the angle was 0 degrees, in part B the angle was
16 degrees, and in part C the angle was 15 degrees. The coefficient of friction found in
parts A,B, and C are 0.25, 0.29, and 0.27, respectively. Since the coefficient of friction is
calculated using tanO, the greater the angle, the greater the coefficient of friction.

7. Describe 2 non-negligible sources of error for each part of this lab.

Part A:
- When the mass was pulled across the ramp, the force applied was not always constant
because it was very difficult to pull the mass for a fair amount of distance with constant
force.
- The surface of the ramp was not very smooth and some parts were rougher than the
other. This caused the force applied to be unstable.
Part B:
- When we were lifting the ramp, the lift was not very smooth. Sometimes the ramp
was a bit shaky which caused the mass to move at one point and stop at another point.
- It was difficult to hold the ramp at the same angle when the mass was sliding down
the ramp. This caused a slight deficiency in the data collected.
Part C:
- Sometimes when we applied a push to the mass to make it slide down the ramp, the
force we applied to push the mass was not always constant.
- When the mass was sliding down the ramp, sometimes it started slow and sped up
towards the end, showing acceleration. This was due to a slight change in the angle of
the ramp.