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Does the mass of a block of wood effect the size of a frictional force?

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Does the mass of a block of wood effect the size of a frictional force?

Preliminary experiment

First we chose a block of wood, it weighed 105g. A Newton metre was attached, which would measures the frictional force exerted on the block when dragged across a surface.

We tried doing the experiment on a smooth surface (table top), but there wasn’t enough friction for an accurate reading. Also when we tried to measure the force with just the block and only a 50 g weight attached the Newton metre did not even give a reading as there was not enough friction on the surface. We then tried carrying out the experiment on a wooden surface (an old drawing board) but again the results weren’t very clear, due to lack of friction. Finally we carried out the experiment on the floor (anti-slip vinyl flooring), the results were much clearer as there was much more friction.

Results for preliminary experiment

Mass of block (g)

Extra mass placed on block (g)

Total Mass (g)

Force exerted on block on the smooth surface (N)

Force exerted on block on the wooden surface (N)

Force exerted on block on the rough surface (N)  













...read more.



We were given a block of wood, which weighed 105g; to the wood we attached a Newton metre, we pulled the Newton metre with the wooden block attached to it across an area of flooring. The Newton metre measured the force of friction and we recorded the results. We then added an additional weight of 50g to the block of wood and repeated the experiment. We did this again but added an 100g, 150g, 200g, 240g and a 300g weights and recorded all these results. I repeated this 3 times.


  • Use the same surface throughout the experiment
  • Keep the same person pulling the block
  • Keep the speed at which you are pulling the block steady
  • Use the same person to read the Newton metre each time
  • Use the same Newton metre
  • Use the same block
...read more.



We can see from this graph that my results were proportional and that there are not any obvious anomalies. We can see from the arrow I have drawn on the graph that my results are not completely directly proportional. This is because the line does not go through the origin. It is very close though, so I think that my experiment was very accurate. From the line of best fit I have drawn, we can see that there is 1 small anomalie. I have worked out however that it is only 3% away from the line.

I think that my results were more accurate as I repeated the experiment 3 times, and then I averaged my results. This therefore made my results more accurate. We can see that my results are accurate from looking at the graph.

...read more.

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