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Lab Report 4 (PHY11L)

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Department of Physics

School of Civil Engineering and Geological Engineering

Mapua Institute of Technology

PHY11L A1 Group 4

pjaven@gmail.com

Abstract

In civil engineering, we refer torque as the bending moment as it is defined as the force that

changes the shape of rigid bodies. We use moments and moments of inertia to determine weak

and strong points of members in our structures and also depending where the axis of rotation is.

To our field, this is important because we must meet the demands of our clients, make top quality

structures, and of course, help to improve and save lives.

Introduction

Torque, which is developed by Archimedes, is the ability of force to change the rotational motion

of a particle and an influence to change the rotational motion of an object. For a body to be in

equilibrium the sum of all the torques acting on it, clockwise and counter clockwise, should be

zero. Equilibrium implies a state of balance. Its second condition states that the net torque acting

on the body should be zero for angular acceleration to be zero.

The purpose of this experiment is to study the principles of torque through the application of

Newtons second condition of equilibrium. The students were tasked with obtaining the weight

and forces of certain apparatuses through the analysis of equilibrium so as to practice and

understand more clearly the significance of torque in the process. In order to evaluate their

findings, the students were prompted to compare their gathered data with actual values through

the computation of the percent differences. This relationship between torque and equilibrium is

the main background of the experiment which was conducted.

By the end of the experiment, it is expected for students to know the second condition of

equilibrium. They will learn how the second condition affects an object or a body. They will also

learn how to apply the second condition in computing the unknown data in the experiment.

Through this experiment, the students will gain more knowledge and appreciation about the

concepts on torque and how different is first condition of equilibrium to the second one. Students

will also appreciate the concept of second condition of equilibrium and how it is important in

studying physics.

Methodology

A. Determining the Weight of the Pans

1. Set-up the model balance as shown in Figure 2 and make sure that the axis of rotation

is passing through the center of gravity of the beam.

2. Mark your pans as P1 and P2. Place W1 = 10g weight on P1. Place the two pans on the

beam so that the system is in equilibrium as shown in Figure 3. Measure L1 and L2.

3. Take off the weight from P1 and place W2 = 5g weight on P2. Set the system again in

equilibrium and measure L3 and L4. See Figure 4.

4. Repeat procedures 2 and 3 for trials 2 and 3. Use W1 = 15g and W2 = 25g weights for

trial 2 and W1 = 30g and W2 = 20g weights for trial 3.

5. Using the equations formed in procedures 2 and 3, compute for P1 and P2 for each

trial.

B. Determining the Force needed to be in Equilibrium

1. Place the spring balance and W1 = 50g weight on P1 at the left side of the beam, as

shown in Figure 5. Make sure that the angle of inclination of the spring balance with

the beam is less than 90 while the beam is kept in horizontal position.

2. Record he reading of the spring balance and mark it as

Fmeasured.

3. Measure the distance of P1 and the spring balance from the axis of rotation. Mark it as

L1 and L2, respectively.

4. Measure the angle of inclination, , of the spring balance with the beam.

5. Using the second condition of equilibrium, compute the force F exerted by the spring

balance on the beam to keep it in equilibrium.

6. Repeat procedures 1-6 for trial 2. Only this time, the spring balance will be placed at

the right side of the beam as shown in Figure 6.

1. Use the second hole in the beam as the axis of rotation so that the center of gravity of

the beam does not pass through the new axis of rotation.

2. Place W1 = 50g weight on P1. Adjust its location so that the system will be in

equilibrium, as shown in Figure 7.

3. Measure the distance of P1 and WB from the axis of rotation. Mark it as L1 and L2,

respectively.

4. Compute the weight of the beam, WB.

5. Repeat procedures 1-4 for trials 2 and 3. Use W1 = 60g and 70g weights for trials 2 and

3, respectively.

Experiment 204 is about torque and the 2nd equilibrium condition, but this equilibrium is in

rotational motion. Equilibrium in rotational motion is exhibited when a force that influences rotary

motion, torque, is zero. It means that if more or less torque is applied, the ability of a body to rotate

along its fixed point is also increased or decreased, respectively. In here, we used an apparatus

called a model balance with two weight pans to carry different loads as forces brought at different

distances from the center. We can say that we achieved static equilibrium if those different radial

distances when the beam is balanced and perpendicular with the scales stand. Also, it is helpful to

use the needle to accurately determine the beams center of gravity. Different distances were tested

in 3 trials.

1. Can two unequal weights be balanced in the model balance? How should the different

weights be positioned in the model balance to achieve equilibrium?

Two different weights can be balanced if we place the heavier one nearer the axis of rotation

and the lighter one on the farther edge of the beam to compensate for the net torque upon the

system.

2. In Part B of the experiment, how does the angle of the spring balance with the beam affect

its reading? Does the angle affect the torque needed to balance the beam? Explain briefly.

The angle of the spring balance can affect the reading because as angle changes, the

components of the force change as inclination and other internal/external forces play a part

in making changes in the measurement. Angle will not affect torque because we are only

looking for a static equilibrium state. We are only interested in determining the forces

needed to keep the system balanced

3. In Part C of the experiment, is the torque due to the beams weight constant for the three

trials? How can the torque due to the weight be changed?

The torque due to the beams weight is constant. Our net torque influenced by weight can be

changed by picking a new axis of rotation or fulcrum. Torque will change due to principles

of moments of inertia but the torque due to weight is constant.

Conclusion

The 2nd condition of equilibrium requires the systems net torque to be zero. Note that this

condition equilibrium is static, so therefore it must be at rest. Hence, applying different weights at

different radial distances must be balanced. Balanced forces are either in static or dynamic

equilibrium.

When we apply different weights at different distaces at a varying position of the fulcrum may not

be intuitive, but this experiment proves that application of different amounts of torque at varying

points can also not be of same distances from the center to achieve equilibrium. We can also say

that torque depends a great deal with the length of the lever arm. Say that if we apply same amount

of mass to a lever arm but in a different distance from the center (generally speaking, the fulcrum),

the one that is farther from the center exhibits a greater amount of torque. The closer it is to the

fulcrum or center, the less torque it gives. Torque is defined as a force that influences rotary motion.

Linear force and torque are correlated with translational and rotational equilibrium. Translational

equilibrium is achieved when static or dynamic linear forces balance out or at constant speeds.

Rotational equilibrium is achieved when T = 0 or T= k. Torque is the force that influences or

accelerates a particle to move on a rotary manner in a centripetal path.

Recommendations

Possible sources of error are as follows: Using the balance on an unlevelled platform, inaccurate

measurement of lengths, incorrect use of the spring balance(using a poorly calibrated spring

balance), mismatched units and error in calculation (syntax errors, wrong formulas, petty

algebraic errors), and not following the assigned weights per trial.

References

Reference from a book:

[1] Halliday, D., Resnick, R., & Walker, J. (2014). Principles of Physics 10 th ed. Hoboken, NJ:

Wiley.

Reference from a website:

[2] Information from http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/mi2.html

[3] Information from https://www.khanacademy.org/science/physics/torque-angular-

momentum/torque-tutorial/a/rotational-inertia

[5] Information from https://www.ux1.eiu.edu/~cfadd/1150/08Statics/second.html

[6] Information from https://www.mrwaynesclass.com/torque/reading/index04.html

Appendix

Computations

Table 1: Determining the Weight of Pans

Actual value of pan 1, P1 = 24.8g

Actual value of pan 2, P2 = 24.8g

Trial 1:

W1 = 10.0g L1 = 12.5cm L3 = 21.6cm

W2 = 5.0g L2 = 17.5cm L4 = 17.5cm

| |

24.824.56

x 100

(P1 + 10) (12.5) = P2 (17.5) % diff (P1) = 24.8+24.56 = 1.21%

2

| |

24.824.69

x 100

12.5P1 + 177 = 17.5P2 % diff (P2) = 24.8+24.69 = 0.69%

2

By elimination:

P1 = 23.35g P2 = 23.82g

Average weight of pan 1, P1 = 24.56g

Average weight of pan 2, P2 = 24.69g

Trial 1:

P1 = 24.56g = 50

W1 + P1 = 74.56g

Fmeasured = 32g

L1 = 25cm, L2 = 7.5cm

(74.5 6 g ) (25 cm)

F= = 32.57g

(7.5 cm)sin50

| |

32. 5 732 . 0

x 100

% diff = 32 .5 7+32.0 = 1.7655%

2

Trial 1:

P1 = 24.56g

W1 + P1 = 50g + 24.56g

(74.86 g ) ( 13.6)

Wb = = 136.7g

7.5

Measured Wb = 135.6g

| |

136.7135.6

x 100

% diff = 136.7+135.6 = 0.6515%

2

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