Physical Science

Mechanics Investigative Task
LO 2 and LO 3
Marko Svicevic


[MECHANICS INVESTIGATIVE TASK ] January 1, 2011 Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) was a British scientist who in his lifetime made many significant contributions to the development of science. He developed the science of dynamics amongst other things. The science of dynamics describes the way in which forces control the motion of objects. The foundation of dynamics is Newton’s Three Laws of Motion. 1. Besides Newton’s contributions to universal gravitation he made many advances into other scientific fields such as optics and mathematics (calculus). Isaac Newton investigated what a prism could do to white light as well as discovered that white light was made up of a mixture of all the primary colours of the spectrum. He also proved that colour is a result of objects interacting with already coloured light. All the properties of optics that he investigated were recorded and published in two books; “Optics” and “Newton’s Theory of Colour”. 2. Although Newton’s laws of motion are seen as accurate and seemingly cannot be proven wrong there are many who think otherwise. Newton’s laws of motion are said to be falsifiable-therefore there is a capability of it being verified or falsified by observation or experimentation. One case of Newton’s third law being inaccurate is by saying that there is not an equal opposite reaction to every action; instead there are consequences for actions and nonactions that may or may not be equal or opposite. An example of this is when an astronaut is floating in space and hits a pebble. The pebble may be sent “shooting” into space without any reaction force on the astronaut himself. Since the astronaut remains stationary and the pebble goes flying off proves the law wrong. The incorrectness is the assumption that every object can return a limitless amount of force when instead motion occurs due to forces that are not balanced and not in opposing directions. 3. The sketch shows a 4 kg mass at rest on a rough horizontal table. The maximum friction between the table and this mass is 20 N. A string is attached to the mass and passes over a frictionless pulley to a mass of 6 kg from it. The force in the string is T.

m=4 kg m=6 kg


Mass A T


T Mass B Fg m=6 kg


Fg m=4 kg

Given/stated: Fg=m.g f=20N FA=Fg=m.g

Fg=FN TmassA=TmassB


Fnet = mA.a T-f = mA.a

Fnet = mB.a Fg-T = mB.a


T-f = mA.a T-20 = 4a T = 20 + 4a T=T 20+4a = 58.8-6a 4a+6a = 58.8-20 10a = 38.8

Fg-T = m.a Fg-T = 6a T = (6)(9.8)-6a =58.8-6a

m.g-T = 6a


a = 3.88 m.s-2 to the right for mass A and downwards for mass B.


T=T TmassA = 20+4a = 20+4(3.88) = 20+15.52 = 35.52 N to the right.

T=T TmassB = 58.8-6a = 58.8-6(3.88) = 58.8-23.28 = 35.52 downwards.

The acceleration and tension will be equal in each mass piece.


    Oracle-Think Quest, 8327/html/exploration/people/ ml (14/09/2011) Wikipedia*The Free Encyclopedia-Isaac Newton, 8 September 2011 18:06, (14/09/2011) Hub Pages, M. G. Roberts, 2011, (14/09/2011) Wikipedia*The Free Encyclopedia-Falsifiability, 16 August 2011 04:40, (14/09/2011)

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