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Physics 202 Lab 1 Newton's First Law

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Course: PHYS202 Section: PHY 202
Name: Instructor Name: Professor Pam Khurana
Title: Newton's First Law Experiment (or Law of Inertia)
Introduction:
Newton's first law is also known as the law of inertia, it states that an object at rest will always be at
rest unless a force is applied on the object. In this eperiment. Our object is a block which is placed on
an inclined plane. In this lab we will observe and analyze two ways that will make the object slide
down the incline. One is to apply a force on the object, the other is to increase the angle of the ramp. In
an ideal condition, there are 3 forces acting on a ramp: gravity pointing downward, normal force
perpendicular to the ramp and the friction force parallel to the ramp and opposite to the trending motion
of the object. When the angle is big enough, or when a force is applied on the object, it will start sliding
down because the static friction reached to the maximum and converted to kinetic friction. Since the
static friction which keep the object in place disappears, the object will start to move down the incline.
Methods:
The materials needed in this experiment are: a wooden board, a block or small book (not too thin), and
larger books used for increasing the height. Or you can use simply a ramp and a block.
Part I: this portion requires the student to draw the body diagrams of the object resting on the ramp.
After drawing out the forces, they will be dissected into the x-axis portion and y-axis portion using the
notation of the angle of the ramp. Later, the height of the ramp will be increased little by little, and to
an extent which the object will be sliding down. Draw out the body diagram and analyze the forces at
the circumstance. Find the relationship between Fgravity and the angle of the ramp (between 0 to 16.6
degrees).
Part II: increase the angle of the ramp to 17 degrees and let the object move down the incline . Use the
stop watch to record the time it travels down the incline. Later calculate the velocity of the object by
length of the ramp divided by time. Repeat the procedure 10 times and record the results in the lab
notebook.
Part III: by putting various weights on the ramp, find the maximum angle that prevents the object to
slide down the incline by increasing the angle of the ramp. By knowing the weight and the angle, the
maximum static friction and static friction coefficient can be calculated. In real life experiment, it is
recommended to use weights with various materials (like plastic, wood, steel, etc..) and measure the
weight with the digital scale. In the simulation lab there is a wide range of objects like crate,
refrigerator, piano, etc.. The height of the ramp can be increased by stcking more books on the table.
Part IV: this lab is carried out in real life and is to test the relationship between the surface of the
ramp/object and the coefficient of the static friciton. Two surfaces will be used, one is the sliding object
surface. The other is the surface other than the sliding object surface. The object will be allowed to
move down the incline with different surfaces and analyze the coefficient of the static friction in
different circumstances. The surface of the object also affects the coefficient of static friction and has
the same effect as the ramp surface.
Paper back on wooden board: θr=46.2 degrees, µ=tan(θr)=1.04
Hard back on wooden board surface: θr=37.46 degrees, µ=tan(θr)=0.77
Results:
Part I: angle and Fgravity

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θ Fgravity displayed (N) Fgravity calculated (N) Percent difference
5 -85.41 -85.41 0
8 -136.39 -136.39 0
12 -203.75 -203.75 0
16 -270.12 -270.12 0
free body diagram of the forces acting on the filing cabinet at 16 degrees. (I drew this myself using an
online software)
Part II:
Trials Speed at the top (m/s) Speed at the bottom (m/s)
1 0 0.52
2 0 0.53
3 0.2 0.51
4 0.1 0.52
5 0.3 0.52
6 0 0.55
7 0 0.53
8 0.2 0.54
9 0.1 0.46
10 0 0.54

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Course: PHYS202 Section: PHY 202 Name: Instructor Name: Professor Pam Khurana Title: Newton's First Law Experiment (or Law of Inertia) Introduction: Newton's first law is also known as the law of inertia, it states that an object at rest will always be at rest unless a force is applied on the object. In this eperiment. Our object is a block which is placed on an inclined plane. In this lab we will observe and analyze two ways that will make the object slide down the incline. One is to apply a force on the object, the other is to increase the angle of the ramp. In an ideal condition, there are 3 forces acting on a ramp: gravity pointing downward, normal force perpendicular to the ramp and the friction force parallel to the ramp and opposite to the trending motion of the object. When the angle is big enough, or when a force is applied on the object, it will start sliding down because the static friction reached to the maximum and converted to kinetic friction. Since the static friction which keep the object in place disappears, the object will start to move down the incline. Methods: The materials needed in this experiment are: a wooden board, a bl ...
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