Physics 105

February 19, 2003

We believe the laws of physics if their predictions can be verified by experiment. We will be illustrating this process by carrying out a series of experiments in which the acceleration of a cart is measured under various circumstances. For each setup we have a theory predicts that the observed acceleration in terms of various paramateres that are varied during the experiment (e.g. the sin of the angle of inclination of a track, the mass of the cart, the mass of the puley). Today we will finish the first two experiments we carried out to compare experiment and theory, and finish analyzing the results. We will work on the following two experiments:

In these experiments we compare the results of a series of measurements with a theory. Consider the following questions when you look at the results of your experimens:

The motion we observe is always a result of forces acting on the objects in motion. Sometimes these forces are clearly present, like for example a horse pulling a cart, while in other cases we do not observe the forces directly but instead only observe their effect, like for example the force of friction. Experiments have shown that the acceleration of an object is directly proportional to the force acting on the object (please refer to the note "Force and Motion").

Note: there will be no lab report due next week.

© Frank L. H. Wolfs, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, USA

Last updated on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 9:18