# Force, Mass, and Acceleration: An Investigative Coursework

1. Firstly I will set up all the apparatus. The equipment that will be required to set up the experiment are: Rider with a weight holder on each side of it, light gates, string, pulley, stand, computer, carrier, air track, weights and air blower. The carrier is supported by something, whether it be a person or an object. (A8) The reason for this is to stop the rider from being pulled to the end of the air track under the force of the carrier.

2. The light gates will then be attached to a stand. They will be placed around 30cm apart.

3. The air track, with the air blower inserted inside of it, should be placed on a level desk (A8) to balance the force on the rider, thus stopping the rider having any horizontal force upon the rider.

4. The pulley will be attached to the end of the air track with the string resting on it.

5. Then the string will be attached to the carrier and the rider.

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6. The experiment should nearly be set up. The computer should be ready to take the results and the person/object holding the carrier should get ready to drop the carrier, finally the air blower should be turned on and the rider held in place.

7. When the carrier is dropped the results will be recorded by the computer. The carrier and rider will then be replaced in its starting position and weight will be added if needed.

A2

In this experiment, a few things could be measured, such as; How fast could the rider be pushed with different forces, relationship between the weight on the rider and the weight on the carrier, the resultant forces of a collision of two riders with different weights on it.

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A3

A4

Apparatus used

* Air Track

* Air blower

* Light gates

* Carrier with weight holder on it

* Pulley

* String

* Weights (10g each)

* Computer to record results

* Air blower

* Stand

A5

In this experiment I will try and work out the relationship between force, mass and acceleration. I will use weights on the carrier and on the rider. The rider will start with 9N force on it and the carrier with a 1N force. Then I will gradually take the force off the rider and place it onto the carrier, weight by weight. The weight will be 10grams - P.E. ï¿½ 0.1% measured on weighing scales with an accuracy of 0.00g). As it is only 0.1% error, it should not effect the results at all.

A6

The range of readings will be taken using a constant weight of 1N throughout. 0.9N of the force will be put on the rider and the other 0.1N of force will go on the carrier. Then 0.2N will be placed on the carrier and there will only be 0.8N left on the rider. This will continue until 1 Newton of weight is put on the carrier and the results recorded. All the individual forces will be recorded 3 times for accuracy.

A7, D3

* 1 Computer with P.E. ï¿½ 0.1% - As the computer can measure the acceleration to 0.01m/s

* Weighing scale with P.E. ï¿½ 0.1% - As the weighing scale can measure items to 0.00g.

B1,2,3

Acceleration A to B

1 (ms-ï¿½)

2 (ms-ï¿½)

3 (ms-ï¿½)

Average (ms-ï¿½)

Carrier (N)

Rider (N)

Force(carrier)

Force(rider)

0.35

0.35

0.35

0.35

0.10

0.90

0.04

0.32

0.68

0.67

0.66

0.67

0.20

0.80

0.13

0.54

0.97

0.99

1.00

0.99

0.30

0.70

0.30

0.69

1.32

1.28

1.29

1.30

0.40

0.60

0.52

0.78

1.60

1.64

1.66

1.63

0.50

0.50

0.82

0.82

1.91

1.91

1.94

1.92

0.60

0.40

1.15

0.77

2.20

2.25

2.23

2.23

0.70

0.30

1.56

0.67

2.54

2.52

2.29

2.45

0.80

0.20

1.96

0.49

2.86

2.91

2.82

2.86

0.90

0.10

2.58

0.29

3.14

3.15

3.14

3.14

1.00

0.00

3.14

0.00

C1,C2,C3

B4,B5

Even though the measuring equipment has sources of error in them, as a source of error is defined by a limitation of a procedure or an instrument that causes an inaccuracy in the quantitative results, it is quite insignificant. A source of error that could be significant, was the that the carrier could sometimes not be stable when the experiment was started. This adds a lot of friction further up the string due to it moving about the sides of the pulley. To minimise this error, the carrier is steadied each time before the experiment starts. However, it still swings slightly.

C4, C7

F ? A F=ma

?f m

m= 1

1.92

1 =0.167

m

m=0.86

C5

As we can see, there is a clear relationship between force, mass and acceleration. The definition of acceleration is the change in velocity over a corresponding change in time. Since a force causes a change in the velocity of an object and acceleration describes the way that velocity changes over time, you would suspect that there is a direct relationship between force and acceleration. This is know as Newton's second law of motion.

C6

As you can see from the graph, it is straight. The reason why this has happened is because acceleration due to gravity is constant at 9.81kg force. No matter what mass you put on (if the force was kept constant), the acceleration will always be constant. But if you increase the force, acceleration will increase. This is why with greater forces on a frictionless surface, it increases the acceleration. If you could theoretically keep increasing the force in a logical sequence, then the acceleration (neglecting friction) will get higher still - continuing the straight line.

D2, D3, D6

If we extended the graph down to point zero, then the graph would cut through the X intercept at 0.01. This means there is an error in the results. As the error has remained constant throughout the experiment, it will not affect the gradient of the graph, therefore keeping the gradient constant. This was the most significant source of error. The reason why it occurred is because even though the surface of the air track was nearly frictionless, there was still some friction in the pulley, etc. At force 1.98, there is a rogue result. This would have probably been caused by the weight being caught too early or the weight swinging.

D4

I believe this was one of the best ways of going about doing this experiment. It was a suitable method of reducing the friction.

D5

I believe my conclusion to be reasonably reliable because some of the information to me was known beforehand, such as acceleration due to gravity.

D7

To improve the experiment, I would place the air track on a higher surface to prevent the weights from being caught. This would have probably reduced a lot of error as when the carrier is caught, the string goes slack, slowing down the rider. It is too inefficient to not catch the carrier, because as soon as they hit any object, the weights on it go all over the place, making it very time consuming to replace them all. Read also whale rider essay