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(EXPERIMENT)

Experiment:

The smart pulley has low friction and low

inertia, and its rotation is monitored by an

attached photo-gate. One arm of the photogate emits a thin beam of infrared light

which is detected by the other arm. The

computer discerns whether the beam

strikes the detector or is blocked by a spoke

in the pulley sheaf. The small LED light in

front of one arm illuminates when the beam

is blocked. By accurately timing the signals

that arrive from the photo-gate, the

computer is able to track the motion of any

object linked to the pulley.

Computer and Pasco interface

Large glider

Scale and weight set

Photo-gate and picket fence

Rag box for collecting picket fence

Light

Gate/Beam

Load

Pulley

THEORY

Consider a glider of massMon a nearly frictionless air track. This glider is attached

to a

small massm by a string passing over a smart pulley. The Earth exerts a downward

force on the small mass which is equal in magnitude to its weightmg.

Reasoning somewhat intuitively, we can

say that this gravitational force causes

the entire system of massM+mto

accelerate. Newton's Second Law can

then be written as:

mg=(M+m)a

INVESTIGATION

Effect of the force acting on a

fixed mass:

Acceleration of an object :

down on the weights and

hanger is acting on the total

mass of the system, which is

the mass of the trolley plus

the weights and hanger.

found by measuring the time taken

for the card to cut the light beams

and the separation of the gates. If L

is the length of the card, t1 and t2

are the times to break the light

beams and s is the separation of the

gates:

produced by a fixed force:

The weight on the hanger is kept constant.

Weights are added to or taken from the

trolley to increase or decrease the mass of

the system.

The acceleration is found for each mass,

as before , and a graph of acceleration

against the inverse mass is plotted.

Final Velocity, V = L/t2

The acceleration can be calculated

using the equation can be

calculated using the equation of

motion:

V2 = u2 + 2as

The resultant force is provided by

the weight on the hanger.

CONCLUSION

If we wish to test Newton's Second Law, we might think of using different

small massesmand checking whether the accelerationais proportional to

the gravitational forcemg., however, shows thatais not simply proportional

tom, since the denominator also depends onm. Thus, holdingMconstant

while increasingmcauses thetotalmass of the system to increase. On the

other hand, if we add, say, three more small masses (each of massm) to the

glider and transfer them one at a time to the hanger (also of massm), then

thetotalmassM+4mof the system remains constant. Hence, we can test

whether the acceleration of the system is proportional to the gravitational

force as it increases in magnitude frommg to2mg,3mg, and4mg.

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