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Investigating the relationship between force, mass and acceleration

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Introduction

Investigating the relationship between force, mass and acceleration Aim: To prove Newton's second law, F=ma. Hypothesis: We expect to find that as force increases the acceleration will increase. This relationship should be proportional. On the other hand, we expect to find an inversely proportional relationship between mass and acceleration. As the mass increases, the acceleration will decrease. Apparatus: o Dynamics trolleys o Ramp o Light gates o Stopwatch o Masses 100g, 1kg o String o Card Diagram: Method 1. Set up apparatus as shown in the diagram. 2. Set up light gate computer to measure the acceleration of the trolley as it travels down the ramp. ...read more.

Middle

One showing force against acceleration and the other showing mass against acceleration. Results: Force (N) Acceleration (ms-2) Average Acceleration (ms-2) 1 1.00 0.99 1.00 1.00 2 1.53 1.55 1.53 1.54 3 1.98 1.96 1.96 1.97 4 2.38 2.37 2.36 2.37 5 2.71 2.71 2.72 2.71 Mass (kg) Acceleration (ms-2) Average Acceleration (ms-2) 1 1.00 0.99 1.00 1.00 2 0.69 0.68 0.69 0.69 3 0.61 0.60 0.60 0.60 Graphs Conclusion: As we can see from the graphs, the hypothesis has been confirmed. There is a proportional relationship between the force and acceleration, and the nearly straight line on the graph shows it. There is an inversely proportional relationship between mass and acceleration and the negative-gradient line on the graph shows it. ...read more.

Conclusion

This'll probably improve the accuracy of the results. Another factor that may have caused us to get inaccurate results is the fact that every so often we had to change the position of the mass on the end of the string because we had to stop the mass hitting the floor before it passed the second light gate. To improve this, we should increase the height at which we perform the experiment so the mass would hit the ground later. Lastly, we should try and increase the distance between the light gates, because the greater the measurement of acceleration, the smaller the inaccuracies. In order to increase the distance between the light gates we need to increase the distance between the mass and the floor. Overall, the experiment was successful as is gave us relatively straight lines, which show proportional or inversely proportional relationships. ...read more.

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