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Physics Lab Report

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Essay title: Physics Lab Report

Physics Lab Report

Statement of the Problem:

The problem that was arisen in Problem #5: Motion up an Incline was in reference to a change in acceleration in both an uphill and downhill motion. The question on hand was whether or not the acceleration was the same going uphill as it was downhill or different from each other in both directions. To obtain a secure conclusion this experiment required the use of a frictionless cart, an inclined ramp, motion sensor, meter stick, and assistance of computer programs. These tools help us to achieve/correct our predictions by giving us precise information about the acceleration of the cart in both the up and downhill direction.


My prediction for Problem # 5 was how I felt that the acceleration of the cart would be equal but opposite to each other on the way up and down. As the cart is going uphill it would have a negative acceleration (see notebook for rough sketch of graph) because it’s slowing down and eventually going to return back to the bottom. As the cart is going down hill it is working with the acceleration making acceleration positive in a quantitative sense.

Data & Results:

The lab for Problem #5 was conducted in a pretty simple manner. Since are main goal was to see if acceleration were the same on the way up as it was down we just had to do a couple experimental runs by launching the cart up the hill, allowing it to reach its max distance up and then come back down. While doing the previous mentioned we recorded with the motion sensor the distance versus time, velocity versus time, and acceleration versus time. Instead of going with the acceleration versus time graph that the computer was able to give us, I made my own points of data using the velocity versus time graph by using its slope in between points to calculate the acceleration at each point. After calculating the slope between points I took that average and compared it to what the computer gave us for a line of best fit and my calculation came out to be -1.192 m/s2 and

the computer’s calculation was -1.22 m/s2. This in a way corresponds to what my prediction was but instead in my prediction I said it would be a different sign, as in positive (uphill) or negative (downhill), not thinking that acceleration is the same both ways.

Uncertainty for this lab arises when discussing the exact measurements for the ramp and as well as the angle for which the ramp was held. This is due to the precision to which the measurement was taken, which leaves about a ±.1 cm as uncertainty for the recorded sides. To get the most accurate results possible each measurement was taken a bunch of times and the number that was most frequently recorded was used. There is also some uncertainty in the validity of the velocity and acceleration documented by the LabVIEW program. This is because it is impossible to be exactly in unison to allow the program to begin measuring the acceleration and velocity over time and releasing the cart down the inclined plane.

Here are our data results and graphs:

Time (s) Distance (m)

0.151 0.337

0.251 0.451

0.301 0.502

0.351 0.551

0.45 0.638

0.55 0.716

0.6 0.749

0.7 0.812

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