Uniform Rectilinear Motion Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 16 March 2016

Uniform Rectilinear Motion


The purpose of this experiment, was to prove the concept of the uniform linear motion by using an air track. With this, we demonstrated the impulse and change in momentum, the conservation of energy and the linear motion. We basically learnt to calculate the distance/time, acceleration/time, and velocity/time and graph it. The air track is also used to study collisions, both elastic and inelastic. Since there is very little energy lost through friction it is easy to demonstrate how momentum is conserved before and after a collision. According to the result, the velocity of the object in the air track was constant, it means that it didn’t have acceleration because it has constant velocity.


First of all; we should understand what is linear motion. Linear motion is motion along a straight line, and can therefore be described mathematically using only one spatial dimension. Uniform linear motion with constant velocity or zero acceleration. The Air Track can be used to obtain an accurate investigation of the laws of motion. A car or glider travels on a cushion of air provided which reduces friction. Since the friction is all but removed the car will be moving at a constant acceleration similar to a free fall.

The acceleration of an object is directly proportional to the resultant force acting on it and inversely proportional to its mass. The direction of the acceleration is the direction of the resultant force. With this tool we can discover inelastic collisions, impulse and change in momentum, conservation of momentum, conservation of energy and more in our two meters long track. Because the frictional forces are negligible, the data derived will always be accurate.


We went to the lab and we divided into groups of five or six people per table. We had to work with the assesment, which was to use the air track with the help of one of the lab managers.


1. You will be adjusting only the one single screw at one end of the air track. 2. Next in a briefly, the glider is given an impulse at one end of the track, and its velocity is measured at a point near each end of the track. The same measurement is done starting the glider at the other end of the track. 3. For each direction, compute the velocity change as a percent of the initial velocity. Evidence of a tilt would be indicated by the effect of gravity. The leveling screws are then adjusted upwards or downwards, depending on the difference in the two velocity change measurements. 4. This procedure is repeated until no further improvement in the correspondence of the two velocity changes can be made.


The result of the distance of each point was almost constant according to the previous graphics. We calculated the previous data based only on the distance it took in each constant second, (in each .2 seconds). Perhaps in this lab we learnt how an air track looks like and how to use a air track or the way its works. Also we learnt how to graphic the results of our distance, velocity and acceleration. This lab report will help us to determine in a better way how to use the formulas to have a result.


Physics Classroom. Web page. 2010. Date of consulte 9/03/14. Classroomphysics.com How to. How to use an Air Track (function and use) Web page. 2012. Date of consulte 9/03/14. howtouse.com

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