Car Experiment Lab Report

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I. Experimental Question/Purpose The situation being analyzed for this experiment is a cart sliding down a ramp and crashing into different mass blocks in different trials. The purpose is to see how changing the mass of an object affects how far it gets pushed by another object going at the same velocity every time.

II. Procedure/Methodology For this lab, I will need a ramp with, a motion detector, a computer with Logger Pro, a measure tape or meter stick, a cart, a scale, and blocks of different masses. Since I am figuring out how the cart directly affects the blocks, I will use same cart for every trial. The mass blocks will be changed throughout the trials, because the mass is the independent variable, and the distance they are pushed
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I will do this to see the velocity of the cart when it impacts the block, and use that value as a reference for the analysis. I will press the play button on Logger Pro before letting the cart go, ensuring that I do not let the cart go before pressing play. To see the velocity at impact, I will look for the value on the graph that is right before the cart slows down. For the remaining trials, I will not use Logger Pro anymore, as now I will only be looking at the distance the blocks are pushed. For the first trial, I will place the smallest block available because after this trial, more blocks can be added on to make the mass bigger. Then, I will let the cart go and let it collide with the block. After the block stops moving, I will measure the distance from its starting position to its ending position, to give me the output of the data. This will be repeated for every trial, making sure that the cart and the masses are at the same starting position every time, but the masses will change for every…show more content…
The points on the graph are not in a perfect straight line, suggesting that there were imprecisions in the procedure, causing discrepancies in the data. The main possible source of impressions may have been the blocks used for this experiment. These blocks are made of wood, and were placed on the ramp, which is made of metal. When these surfaces slid against each other, they created friction, which affected the outcome. Also, not all wood is the same, and not the same piece of wood was put at the bottom every time, creating different amounts of friction every time, which is something that was not intended. If there was no friction, the graphed data would be a straight horizontal line because no outside forces aside from the cart would be acting on the blocks. A smaller source of imprecision could also be measuring the distance that the blocks travelled. When the blocks were pushed, the were occasionally tilted a little sideways, which left the corner of the block being the part I measured for the distance pushed, which could also created imprecisions in the data. How these imprecisions affected my data is by that it allowed the data points to be too high or too low from the best fit line depending on the friction that the block of wood was experiencing or how precisely the distance pushed was

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