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Physics coursework: Trolley experiment

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Physics coursework: Trolley experiment Aim: The aim of this experiment is to find out whether or not the mass of a trolley effects its acceleration when traveling down a ramp kept at a fixed height. Planning Set up the experiment as shown above. Run the cart down the ramp once to make sure the cart runs in a straight line. Start the cart with its front wheels behind the starting line each time. The run finishes when the back wheels cross the finishing line. Three runs will be taken for each weight and three runs will be taken without a weight. We decided to take seven different observations, increasing the weight by 0.8kg each time Apparatus needed: 0.8kg weights (8)to add on to the cart) Ramp (1.5m in length) Cart (same cart used all the time) Books (to hold up the ramp at a fixed height) Stop watch (for timing the experiment) Sand bags (to stop the car at the end of each run) Safety: To keep this experiment safe, different precautions have to be taken. * Sand bags will be used to prevent the cart falling of the table * The ramp will be kept at a sensible height (17.5cm) ...read more.


And whether or not they are balanced. I predict hat the acceleration of the cart will be constant, as the forces are always unbalanced, but because of the different mass for each observation, the forces will always be different. Obtaining evidence The results shown below are the results for the 7 observations for the cart Weight of cart (kg) Time for 1st run (sec) Time for 2nd run (sec) Time for 3rd run (sec) Average time (sec) 0kg added 2.52 2.53 2.53 2.52 0.8kgs added 2.44 2.44 2.44 2.44 1.6kgs added 2.4 2.42 2.4 2.40 2.4kgs added 2.4 2.44 2.41 2.41 3.2kgs added 2.41 2.46 2.45 2.44 4kgs added 2.47 2.49 2.47 2.47 4.8kgs added 2.53 2.51 2.53 2.52 Each run was 1.5m in distance; the same cart was used and started from the same place, and finished in the same place. I worked out the average by adding the 1st, 2nd and 3rd run times, and then dividing the answer by 3. Here is a table to show the average speed for each weight added onto the cart: Weight on top of cart (kg) Average speed (m/s) 0 0.59 0.8 0.61 1.6 0.62 2.4 0.62 3.2 0.61 4 0.60 4.8 0.59 Calculations Here are the calculations I did to find out the average speed for each weight: 1) ...read more.


If the ramp were longer, the cart would have taken more time to complete one run. The observations did back up my prediction, and did back-up my prediction to a certain extent, but at The method we used gave accurate results. Even though the results were accurate, different factors could have still affected the speed, like whether or not the cart ran down the ramp in a straight line, or if the cart hit the sides If I had to do the experiment again I would use wider ramp so that there is chance of the cart hitting the sides of the ramp. The factor that would have probably had the biggest effect on the speed and time would have to be the stopwatch. It was extremely hard to stop the watch at precisely the right time, as it was hard to see when the back wheels crossed the finishing line. That would mean that the experiment is not 100%accurate, but that was one of the things our group found hard to control. To go on a step further in the experiment, I propose that we do exactly the same experiment, but also do 7 observations with the ramp at a different height, to see if the force that does slow the cart down can be determined. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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