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Experiment on the Effects of Motion; Acceleration, Speed, and Velocity

3541 words (14 pages) Essay in Physics

08/02/20 Physics Reference this

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Title: Using Ticker Tape to Analyze the Motion of a Dynamic Trolley as . . . . .

 

Introduction: This experiment will investigate the effects of motion; acceleration, speed, and velocity when different surfaces are introduced.

This experiment will measure how different surface types can affect the trolleys acceleration and velocity. The different surfaces that will be used include; a towel, velvet, and a plastic bag. The ticker timer tape will be used to measure the acceleration and speed. The investigation will be based on discovering which surface is the fastest and which is the slowest,

It is important for society as a whole to understand motion because motion and Newtons laws of motion tie into just about everything in people’s daily lives. Once you learn about the laws of motion you can understand how and why everything works and moves the way it does. If society didn’t know how motion worked and friction, then we wouldn’t know how to improve our technology and advance in science and learn more about our planet.

Acceleration is the rate of change in an object’s velocity, so how fast a car went from 0 to 50kmh. It is calculated by using the formula

a=vut

. To find the acceleration using a velocity-time graph you measure the change in velocity and divide it by the time it took to do so (

riserun

). This experiment will test the effects of acceleration against the different friction forces associated with velvet, plastic bag, and a towel. This experiment is proving the higher the friction the slower the acceleration.

Velocity is a vector quantity, it needs a direction and is measured in m/s. Speed and velocity often get confused as being the same, but they are not. Velocity is a vector quantity, so it needs direction whereas speed is a scalar quantity, so it does not need a direction. This experiment will observe how the velocity is affected by friction caused by different surface types.

Speed is a scalar quantity and it is the rate at which an object covers a distance. Speed is calculated by using the formula

s=dt

. Speed is completely different to acceleration and partially different to velocity, basically, speed is velocity but doesn’t need a direction. Using the ticker timer tape the speed will be able to be measured and graphed as individual sections and as an average.

Distance is not an important part of this experiment to investigate but it can still be measured using a velocity, time graph. The velocity and acceleration are the main focuses of this experiment but to calculate the total distance travelled you find the area under the graph, for a square

a=b×h

and for a triangle

 

a=12×b×h

and add all the area together, example below.

A ticker timer is a piece of equipment that makes a dot on the ticker tape every fiftieth of a second, if the paper is pulled through the machine for one second it will have 50 dots on it. The ticker tape in this experiment is attached to the dynamic trolley and this is how you will measure the speed, velocity and the time it took. The ticker tape can be split into sections once the experiment is done and it should display a gradual increase in speed over time, that is until the surfaces with a higher coefficient are added to the experiment.

Friction is a force that resists a relative motion between two or more objects, like a rubber tire and asphalt have a coefficient value of 0.5-0.8μs which is less friction then iron on iron which has a coefficient value of 1.0μs (Ron Kurtis. 2018). Friction is caused by the roughness of a surface and molecular adhesion, molecular adhesion is when and how quickly and intensely two objects or materials stick to each other. The roughness of a surface can affect the acceleration of an object dramatically, especially if it does not have suspension and tires with a good tread. It causes the object to bounce and not able to roll and gain speed but bounce and get less time on the surface. Friction is the variable in this experiment, without friction this experiment would be pointless, though it is important to take friction into account, it would be far too advanced to calculate the friction of each surface type on the dynamic trolley.

This experiment is proving the effects of friction on the dynamic trolley, different surfaces have different amounts of friction. Generally, rough surfaces with loose elements like gravel roads or pavement have a higher friction which is why if you ride a skateboard on it you will not travel as far as on a smooth tar road.

 

Predictions are that the dynamic trolley’s motion will be affected significantly by the different materials, the towel will have the greatest impact on the dynamic trolley’s motion due to the rough and absorbent surface. From the research above it is evident that roughness is an affecting factor to this experiment and since the towel is the roughest and has the softest and most absorbent base the dynamic trolley will have the most difficulty gaining speed and accelerating at a fast pace.

 

Aim: To analyse the effects on the motion of a dynamic trolley when different surfaces are introduced with different levels of friction and calculate the speed, acceleration, and velocity.

Hypothesis: If a dynamic trolley is released down a ramp with a towel, plastic bag, and velvet as the surface, then the acceleration of the trolley with a towel as the surface will be slower than that of the others. This is because the towel will have a high coefficient friction with the dynamic trolley causing the trolley to have a slower acceleration and a slower final velocity than that of the other surfaces.

 

Materials:

  • Dynamic trolley
  • Ticker timer
  • Ticker timer tape
  • Ramp
  • Textbooks (to give the ramp a slope/gradient)
  • Towel
  • Velvet
  • Plastic bag
  • Ruler
  • Graph paper

Method:

  1. Set the ramp up (with two textbooks to give it its angle) leading into open space, ensure the material you are testing is covering the ramp and has no large bumps or creases.
  2. Set ticker timer behind the ramp where the ticker timer tape can pass freely.
  3. Feed ticker timer tape through the ticker timer and attach to the dynamic trolley.
  4. Set someone at the end of the ramp to catch the trolley once it is released down the ramp.
  5. Release the dynamic trolley down the ramp ensuring it is not pushed.
  6. Replace the disk and change the material and repeat steps 3-5.
  7. Pack the equipment up ensuring it is all placed away safely and in the correct location.
  8. Record the results using the ticker timer tape ensuring the dots are measured correctly.

 

 

Risk Assessment:

 

Table 1: Assessment of the Possible Risks Associated with this Experiment

Hazard

Risk

Preventative Action

Broken equipment

The dynamic trolley could get stepped on/dropped etc.

Always warn others when about to send the trolley down the ramp and make sure the area is clear

Injury (eye)

The long rod on the trolley get poked into someone’s eye

Always carry the dynamic trolley pointing down and don’t wave it around the air near people

 

Results:

 

Table 1: Towel

Section

Total Time (s)

Length of Section (mm)

Time Interval of each section (s)

Average Speed of section (mm/s)

1 (dots 0-5)

0.1

8.5

0.1

85

2 (dots 5-10)

0.2

11.2

0.1

112

3 (dots 10-15)

0.3

14.8

0.1

148

4 (dots 15-20)

0.4

17.3

0.1

173

5 (dots 20-25)

0.5

20.0

0.1

200

6 (dots 25-30)

0.6

22.4

0.1

224

7 (dots 30-35)

0.7

23.2

0.1

232

8 (dots 35-40)

0.8

22.8

0.1

225

9 (dots 40-45)

0.9

23.5

0.1

235

10 (dots 45-50)

1.0

24.7

0.1

247

Average acceleration of trolley

a=247850.9

                                                  

a=180mm/s2

Table 2: Velvet

Section

Total Time (s)

Length of Section (mm)

Time Interval of each section (s)

Average Speed of section (mm/s)

1 (dots 0-5)

0.1

7.1

0.1

71

2 (dots 5-10)

0.2

10.5

0.1

105

3 (dots 10-15)

0.3

12.5

0.1

125

4 (dots 15-20)

0.4

16.3

0.1

163

5 (dots 20-25)

0.5

20.1

0.1

201

6 (dots 25-30)

0.6

22.9

0.1

229

7 (dots 30-35)

0.7

25.8

0.1

258

8 (dots 35-40)

0.8

26.5

0.1

265

9 (dots 40-45)

0.9

30.0

0.1

300

10 (dots 45-50)

1.0

36.0

0.1

360

Average acceleration of trolley

a=360710.9

                                            

a=329mm/s2

Table 3: Plastic bag

Section

Total Time (s)

Length of Section (mm)

Time Interval of each section (s)

Average Speed of section (mm/s)

1 (dots 0-5)

0.1

29.0

0.1

290

2 (dots 5-10)

0.2

38.0

0.1

380

3 (dots 10-15)

0.3

45.5

0.1

455

4 (dots 15-20)

0.4

49.0

0.1

490

5 (dots 20-25)

0.5

62.0

0.1

620

6 (dots 25-30)

0.6

63.1

0.1

631

7 (dots 30-35)

0.7

73.0

0.1

730

8 (dots 35-40)

0.8

78.1

0.1

781

9 (dots 40-45)

0.9

84.1

0.1

841

10 (dots 45-50)

1.0

95.1

0.1

951

Average acceleration of trolley

a=9512900.9

                                                  

a=734mm/s2

Graph:

Speed (mm/s2

)

Discussion: The aim of this report was to prove that different surfaces will make different impacts on the motion of the dynamic trolley when released down a ramp. The data above clearly indicate that the surface the dynamic trolley affected the acceleration quite dramatically, the aim of the report was achieved.

The most notable trend is they all increase their speed as time goes on and appear to still be accelerating when the graph is cut off, except for the towel. The towel increased speed almost identically to the velvet, then it seems to slow down and almost stay at the same speed for 0.4 seconds. The data shows each type of material increases its speed at a steady pace, there are a few spikes and drops noticeably around 0.5 seconds into the experiment, but other than that specific spike it was a straight increase and had a steady pace.

The trends that were observed occurred because of the different levels of friction, if you look at the research above it states that not only the coefficient affects the acceleration but also the ‘smoothness’ of the surface. The towel had the roughest surface and the highest coefficient which automatically made it the most affecting towards the speed of the dynamic trolley.

My hypothesis was correct, I stated that the towel will have the biggest effect on the motion of the dynamic trolley because it is the roughest and most absorbent material. This was correct because I researched the effects of friction and made an informed hypothesis with the information in my introduction to help make my hypothesis the most accurate I could.

We encountered some problems and issues that affected our results during our experiment, these were mainly personal errors. There was a small crease in the plastic bag which is apparent in the table, this would have affected the average speed of the dynamic trolley and possibly occurred in the other two materials that were tested. We only tested the materials once, we could have released the dynamic trolley down the ramp three times and averaged the results of each to get a more accurate reading.

The experiment could have been improved by adding more surface types, repeating the experiment numerous times to get more consistent data. The experiment provided us with good base results, but to improve its usefulness further and more accurate data it could be repeated and a more accurate way of measuring the results could be found. Possibly adding another variable, mass, the gradient of the ramp etc. this would make it a lot more challenging to find the results and make a graph but it would give us a lot more to think and observe how it changes the motion of the dynamic trolley.

Conclusion:

It can be concluded that replacing the surface of the ramp with a towel dramatically reduces acceleration and the final velocity reached, the dynamic trolley’s motion was impacted by all the materials and provided more friction and a less gradual incline in velocity. 

References:

  • School-for-champions.com. (2018). Causes of Friction by Ron Kurtus – Physics Lessons: School for Champions. [online] Available at: https://www.school-for-champions.com/science/friction_causes.htm#.W9ka6GIzagQ [Accessed 31 Oct. 2018].
  • Engineeringtoolbox.com. (2018). Friction and Friction Coefficients. [online] Available at: https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/friction-coefficients-d_778.html [Accessed 5 Nov. 2018].
  • Physics.bu.edu. (2018). [online] Available at: http://physics.bu.edu/~duffy/semester1/c6_measuremus.html [Accessed 5 Nov. 2018].
  • App.grammarly.com. (2018).  Grammarly. [online] Available at: https://app.grammarly.com/ [Accessed 11 Nov. 2018].
  • Bbc.com. (2018). [online] Available at: https://www.bbc.com/bitesize/articles/zxqrdxs [Accessed 11 Nov. 2018].

 

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