Newton's Second Law Atwood Machine Experiment

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Physics IA – Newton’s Second Law: Atwood Machine
An Atwood’s Machine is a device that consists of a light string over a pulley with different weights on either side of the string. When released the heavier mass accelerates downward. This motion is due to the force of gravity acting on the weight. The weights both have the same acceleration because the pulley redirects the force from the heavier object to the lighter object, but with the opposite sign. A diagram of the set-up is shown below. Fig 1
‘’What is gravity?’. This question has always intrigued me since I started learning about acceleration due to gravity along with Newton’s equations of motion. Now in my physics classes I have learnt that gravity
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This is because the force acting against the force of gravity (which is the smaller weight) will be increasingly smaller and the mass being acted on by the force of gravity will be increasingly larger. When the difference between the masses is held constant and the total mass is increased the acceleration will likely decrease. This is because the difference in mass relative to the total mass will be decreasing which will result in an increasingly larger force acting against the force of gravity, while the mass being acted on by gravity will be increasingly closer to the relative weight of the other mass. The differences and increases will likely have a linear relationship for each…show more content…
• One of the biggest errors in the experiment was the change of string. While conducting the experiment a very thin string was used but due to tension with the greater mass combinations like 0.16kg and 0.04kg the string broke. Therefore, to compensate for the error another piece of string was taken which was thicker and stronger.
• The next error in the experiment was the change in height of the fall of the heavier mass. As the string broke, it was not possible to get the same length of string to maintain the same height due to shortage of time. Therefore, the closest height that could be measured the fastest so that the experiment continued was 0.35m as compared to 0.41m. the break in the string came during the second trial of the 0.16kg and 0.04kg data point. Therefore, the last data point had a completely different set of readings as compared to what it would have been had the string not broken.
• The other error would be the stopping and starting of the stopwatch. As the height decreased the time taken also decreased. Throughout the experiment as well there was human error of not stopping the stopwatch the moment the heavier mass reached the

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