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Questions for Atwood Machine Lab



First period labs can be found at 1stPeriod Labs. Select your lab.
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All answers must be in complete sentences.
  1. Calculate the total mass accelerated. Show your work. Remember--SI units!


  2. Using experimental data, calculate the unbalanced force causing the acceleration. Show your work. Remember SI units!


  3. Use Newton's second law to calculate the theoretical value for the acceleration. Show your work.


  4. What is your experimental value for the acceleration? Record this value below. How did you know that this was the acceleration? Answer this by referring to the graph--its axes, and its slope. Support your answer using a definition of acceleration.


  5. Compare the experimental and the theoretical values for acceleration. Show your setup. Record your answer below.


  6. A systematic error is an error that affects every measurement made the same. State one systematic experimental error that would account for the percentage difference. (Do not use any error dealing with calculations, rounding, etc.) Be specific!


  7. A random error is an error that happens by chance, or hit or miss. State one random experimental error that would account for the percentage difference. (Do not use any error dealing with calculations, rounding, etc.) Be specific!


  8. Imagine that your total mass accelerated is still the same, but you have distributed it differently. In other words, the "heavy" side is heavier and the "light" side is lighter. Predict the appearance of your graph. Predict how the acceleration would change. Use Newton's second law to support your predictions.


Conclusion: In your conclusion, answer the purpose in complete sentences. State what value that you found experimentally for the acceleration. State what value that you calculated for the acceleration. State your percentage error. State Newton's second law (in words, not mathematically). State what two things the acceleration of your object depended upon. In other words, if these two things were changed in any way, the acceleration would also change.