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Rolling objects down a ramp Physics LAB

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Objects Down a Ramp

(Physics 3U Summative)

Friday December 23rd, 2011

Physics 3U                                                                               Mr. Meldrum

Objective: The purpose of this experiment is to analyze the forces, dynamics and energy of certain objects.

Apparatus:                Wooden ramp                Pencil Case

                        Newton scale                Wooden block

                        Digital scale                Sandpaper (60 gritt)

                        Timer                        Meter tape

                        Tape holder


Measure the ramp

Let go of objects from specified length (90, 75, 50 inches)

Time the time it takes from letting go to hitting the wall (repeat 5 -8 times)

Repeat until all 3 objects have been timed at all 3 distances




Pencil Case

Pencil case: 400.1g

Static friction 1.5 N

Kinetic friction: 1.2 N

60 inches:  image00.png

         = 0.73 s

75 inches:  image01.png

                 = 0.93 s

90 inches: image02.png

                 = 1.10 s

Tape Holder

Tape holder: 611.7g

Static friction: 3.75 N

Kinetic friction 3.5 N

60 inches:  image03.png

                = 1.63 s

75 inches:  image04.png

                 = 1.87 s

90 inches:  image05.png

         = 2.24 s

Wooden Block (with Sandpaper at the bottom)

Wooden block: 293.9g

Static friction: 2.3 N

Kinetic friction 2.3 N

60 inches:  image06.png

         = 1.37 s

75 inches:  image07.png

                 = 1.67 s

90 inches:  image08.png

 = 1.76 s

Pencil Case

It took approximately 0.

...read more.



 (9.8) (0.5)        




5.958-1.96 = 3.998

3.998 J - 3.8 J = 0.198 J

0.198 J

Therefore approximately 0.198 Joules have been lost

Tape Holder

It took approximately 1.87 seconds to travel 75 inches.






 (102 cm/s)                                image34.png


Therefore velocity is 0.102 m/s and acceleration is 0.055 image16.png

611.7 g= 6N (weight)







Therefore force of static friction is approximately 22.5 N and the force of friction is approximately 21 N

Wooden Block with Sandpaper base

It took approximately 1.67 seconds to travel 75 inches.






 (114 cm/s)                                        a= 0.068m/s  (image42.png


Therefore velocity is 0.114 m/s and acceleration is 0.068 image16.png

400.1 g = 3.22 N (weight)







Therefore force of static friction is approximately 6.624 N and the force of friction is approximately 6.624 N

Sources of Error


The wooden ramp was slightly bent at the top due to the force leaning on the table. After the table (going downwards), the wood seemed relatively straight due to the wall supporting it. The top of the ramp did not have any support therefore making a slight bend in the wood above the table mark.

Assuming the bend was curved downwards making the time slower, the time took 0.07 seconds longer.

To fix that we would add 0.07 to each time

Tape holder

It took approximately 1.80 seconds to travel 75 inches.






 (106 cm/s)                                image50.png


...read more.


Calculated Industries Prexiso X2 3350 Laser Distance Measuring Tool) it would be much faster to calculate distance and it would be much more accurate (tenths of a millimeter). This device is only $24.99 making it affordable for us to have. Instead of using a wooden ramp we could have put a layer of steel on top of the wood to make the surface almost perfectly straight making the whole surface have a constant coefficient of friction. To maximize accuracy of the time, we could have attached small mini wireless microphone to the object and then we could have took the audio file to a computer and find out exactly how long it took from start to end.


To conclude this lab, the velocity of pencil case could have been from 0.197 to 0.210m/s. Tape holder could have been from 0.098 m/s to 1.06m/s. Wooden block could have been 0.110 to 0.118m/s. Acceleration for the pencil case can be from 0.20image16.png

 to 0.23image16.png

. For the Tape holder it can be from 0.053image16.png

 to 0.57image70.png

 For the wooden block it can be from 0.067image16.png

 to 0.069image16.png


...read more.

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