Effect Of Adding Mass To A Cart On Newtons Second Law Brentwood Research Task

2615 words - 11 pages

Aiden Guerin 18 August
Research Question:
How does adding six 250g masses to a cart effect the acceleration and therefore time for a car to travel a distance of 2 meters towards the CAPSTONE PAS PORT Motion sensor?
This experiment is to test Newton’s second law of motion. The second law states that the acceleration of an object is dependent on the force acting upon the object and its mass. In the experiment we aim to see the changes to acceleration when mass is added to the car.
This experiment aims to observe the effects of Newton’s second law of motion on a car. This will be tested by adding 250g weight increments to a PASCO cart and recording the times taken for them to travel along the 2 meter track. Through this experiment the aim is to observe the relationship of force and mass on acceleration.
If the mass of the cart (measured by adding 250g weights a total of six) is increased, then the time taken for the cart to travel 2m along the track will increase. This is because the force is equal for all tests meaning that when mass is increased, acceleration will decrease leading the car to take more time to reach the end of the track.
From this prediction it can be assumed that when the mass increased the acceleration will decrease leaving the force the same. This can be seen in the equation . In the case of this experiment the same amount of force is generated each time from the spring in the car. For the force to stay the same while increasing the mass the acceleration must decrease proportionally to the increase in mass.
A real life example of the principle being tested would be two people who are walking next to each other. If Person A and B are both exerting the same amount of force to walk but person A is lighter. In this case Person A would walk faster than person B due to having less mass, causing them to have more acceleration. This is why many race cars attempt to have as little mass as possible in order to travel faster than other cars exerting the same amount of force.
If Person A has a mass of 50kg, and exerts a force of 100N then he will travel 2m/s.
Compared to person B, who has a mass of 80kg, and exerts a force of 100N will only travel 1.25m/s.
Independent variable:
The independent variable that is being changed is the mass of the weight on the car. This will be changed by adding 250g weights onto the car. Starting with no weights, then to a 250g weight on top of the car, and increasing the weight in 250g increments up to 1500g.
Dependent variable:
The dependent variable being measured is the time for the car to reach the sensor, measured in seconds by the sensor. The time taken will be effected by the mass added to car.
Controlled variables:
Variables that need to be controlled are;
Distance the car is launched from. The distance is from the sensor to the original position of the car, which will be 2m. This is in order to make sure that all of the tests are...

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