Lab 3: Newton’s Second Law: The Atwood Machine
Introduction:
In the study of physics a lot of the basics were put in place by Isaac Newton. Out of the 3 laws of motion he had declared the second law states that force equals mass times acceleration (F=ma). The Atwood machine is a machine that has a pulley in the air and a string running through the pulley, some kind of mass is suspended by each end of the string. When the suspended masses are unequal, the system will accelerate towards the direction of the larger mass. In this experiment, we used different masses to the velocity of the Atwood system. The data we collect for this experiment are the differences in mass between the two masses, the distance the heavier mass has to fall
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This lab was about the Atwood machine, a system consisting of a pulley in the air with a length of string running through the pulley and different masses on either side of the string. We had pulled the lighter mass to the ground, suspending the heavier mass in a known height that we had measured and recorded off the ground. We timed with a stopwatch the time it took for the heavier mass to hit the ground. We performed five trials for each of the three mass differences and calculated an average measured acceleration for each of the three. We detirmed the Atwood formula, A= g(m2-m1)/ (m2 + m1), which allowed us to find a theoretical acceleration using the masses of the two different masses, to be used to compare to our measured accelerations. For set 1, the two masses that we weighed were 50g and 55.5g, the difference of the two being 5.5g. The actual measured acceleration, which was detirmed by us using the stop watches was .164 m/s2 .The theoretical acceleration we detirmed by the Atwood formula is .52 m/s2. We then took these two measurements and put them in the percent error formula which is 68.46%. For set 2, the two masses were 50g and 61g, the difference of the two being 11g. The actual measured acceleration by us was .38 m/s2. The theoretical acceleration was .99 m/s2. Using these two numbers the percent error is 61.62%. For set 3, the two masses were 50g and 78.2g, the difference being 28.2g. The actual measured

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