• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Uncertainty in Atwoods machine lab. Measuring acceleration.

Extracts from this document...


Alejandro Serruto Servat

Physics Report

Uncertainty in Atwood’s machine

Alejandro Serruto Servat


Lab Report: Physics


How does acceleration of the system vary according to the difference in between masses?


  1. Set up a pulley system using a wheel
  2. Place four 50g blocks in each side of the rope that rests in the pulley.
  3. Pull one of the weights down and release it without pushing it or pulling it and record the acceleration using the sensor and logger pro.
  4. Measure the acceleration by measuring the slope of the graphic.
  5. Record your data
  6. Repeat each step but taking 50 grams off from one of the sides of the pulley and placing it in the other side, unbalancing the weight.


  • Independent: The mass in each side of the pulley (g)
  • Dependent: The acceleration of the motion (ms-2). The difference of mass on each side of the pulley
  • Control: The total mass in the system.
...read more.



























Table Analysis

When the mass of the system was unbalanced, I figured out that the more unbalanced the mass on both sides of the pulley then the motion will have a greater acceleration. This is due to the larger weight force that the side of the system with more mass has; this produces a bigger force in the direction of the side with a larger weight force.

This can be explained with the Acceleration formula in Dynamic Systems: (Wb-Wa)/(Ma+Mb)

...read more.


Wa=Ma x g → Wa= 150 x 9.81 →Wa=1471.5 newtons

Wb=Mb x g→ Wb= 250 x 9.81 →Wb=2452.5 newtons

A= (Wb-Wa)/(Ma+Mb) → 2452.5 – 1471.5/250 + 150 = 2.45 ms-2

The result is almost the one that I got as the final average. This shows that the weight force and the mass are directly proportional and so affecting proportionally the acceleration of the system.

Now that we got that result, what would happen if taken in consideration? The measuring limit would be in this case 0.5 grams. If this was applied then the accelerations would be

Weight difference

Acceleration with Original Weight

Acceleration with +0.5 grams of weight

Acceleration with -0.5 grams of weight






4.9 ms^-2




7.35 ms^-2



...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Physics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Physics essays

  1. Angle Acceleration

    board, so that it would be convenient for the tape to come out. Attach all necessary wiring (seek teacher guidance if unaware of what do it). 6. Attach the tape (by means of sticky tape) to the end of the model cart 7.

  2. Bullet Train Newtons Laws

    would reduce pollution, since Japan's success invention, the bullet train system has been a global influence. It has spread all the way over to America, Europe and France, this will be better for the environment knowing that a few more countries are using this system to protect the environment.

  1. Factors affecting an electromagnet

    Remember that the wire cannot touch another part of the wire when coiled. 3) Take an Ammeter and add it to the series circuit with alligator clips and check the current. 4) Record the constant current and you will be ready to begin the main experiment.

  2. This lab will test the effects of the surface area factor on acceleration due ...

    Surface Area of Paper Data Table: Paper Size Full 1/2 1/4 1/8 Width(cm) �0.05cm 21.30 21.30 10.65 10.65 Height(cm) �0.05cm 27.40 13.70 13.70 6.85 Surface Area(cm2) 583.62�2.44 291.81� 145.91� 72.95� * The surface area is measured to the nearest

  1. Harmonic Motion lab

    Using photoreceptors we solely measured the time (t) it takes for the block to move through a set distance (s). Having this data we calculated vmax with the well-known equation: As for setting of the mass-spring system, we used two different masses of the blocks and five different extensions per

  2. Body Moving With constant acceleration

    * Make marks on the tracks at equal intervals. As my track was 220cm long, I made marks every 20cm. * Release the ball from the top and take readings of time for each successive mark. * The temperature and pressure will be constant as the weather conditions are not changing.

  1. Physics Wave revision question

    Which of the following correctly gives the frequency and the amplitude of the wave? frequency / Hz amplitude / cm A. 2.0 ? 10-2 2.0 B. 2.0 ? 10-2 1.0 C. 50 2.0 D. 50 1.0 (1) 28. Waves of frequency f travel with speed c in air and enter a medium M of refractive index 1.5.

  2. HL Physics Revision Notes

    Did not specify composition of nucleus. How did protons in the nucleus stay closely bound when electrostatic forces should have forced them apart? Emission Spectra: the spectrum of light emitted by an element Absorption Spectra: a bright continuous spectrum covering the full range of visible colors, with dark lines where

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work