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Josh Tepei September 30, 2011 AP Physics B Forces Lab Background Information: In the Forces lab, we will explore

the differences in Forces on a moving cart. We will determine the force applied on each part of the cart when the cart on an air track is angled at various degrees. A force is the measure of the energy exerted on an object. An air track is a scientific device used to study motion in low friction environment. Its name comes from its structure: air is pumped through a hollow track with fine holes all along the track that allows specially fitted air track cars to glide relatively friction-free. A Photogate is the scientific device that will allow us to measure the time between the starting time of the cart and the finishing time using a system of infra-red beams. The measurements can then be used to determine the acceleration of the block. We will further delve into forces by determining the amount of friction that is present on the air track to determine the amount of force slowing the air track down. Friction is the resistance that one surface or object encounters when moving over another, in this case, the movement of the cart on the airtrack. Calculations in this lab will be determined using the following equations: F=ma (sum of the forces equals mass*acceleration) x=.5at2 (distance=one-half*acceleration*time squared) % error=

Fk=kWcos (force=friction*Weight*cos(angle)) Experiment Materials Needed: air track air cart Photogate electrical power 100 gram weight string Procedure: 1. Gather the required materials. 2. Set up the air track on a straight surface and place the cart onto it. 3. Tie a string to one end of the cart and place the 100 gram weight on the end of the string. 4. Hold the cart down at a certain measurement.

5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Place the photogate at the beginning of where youre releasing the cart. Release the cart when ready and record the data. Repeat these steps but elevate the left side of the airtrack at an angle Record the data. Repeat these steps one more time, this time elevating the right side of the track at an angle. 10. Record the data. 11. Perform all the necessary calculations. Results *see back page for calculations 1. Theoretical: T=.5902N; a=3.908meters/second Experimental: T=.5594N; a=4.216meters/second % error: 5.22 2. Theoretical: T=.6184N; a=3.625meters/second Experimental: T=.6126N; a=3.684meters/second % error: .954 3. Theoretical: T=.5760N; a=4.04meters/second Experimental: T=.3743N; a=6.067meters/second % error: 35% 4. Fk=.0125N k=.0481128N Conclusion: The angle affects T (force of tension) and the acceleration. When we placed the air track horizontally the force in newtons was .5902. When the air track was elevated at a steeper angle, the force increased to .6126 newtons. Finally, when the air track was elevated in the opposite direction, the force decreased to .5760 newtons. This data shows that the force is increased or decreased by the angle at which the cart travels. Even though the friction is also a force present, it is the same on the three different experiments, thus, it can be seen that acceleration and force is affected by the angle. There was a slight percent error due to human error. The angle of the experiments was not exact and also the height of the measurement of the air track was probably slightly off. All these small errors added up to give the error percentages (see results for exact percent error).