The Cart Tends, Lab Report Example

Pages: 1

Words: 1119

Lab Report

Introduction

The cart tends to be in motion and different times to reach the intended location it attains when there is a change in its location due to its movement and positioning. The object`s motion is not changed unless acted upon by a force as described by Newton`s fist law. The problem statement of this experiment is as follows; what effect does the release position of the cart on an inclined plane have on the time taken for it to stop?

The cart possesses energy and it is stored in the form of potential energy as it is in rest. Potential energy; this is the energy stored by an object by the merit of its position at different heights. Therefore, this means that the potential energy changes with position for instance; the more the height, the more the potential energy. The main purpose of this experiment is to investigate the relationship between the distance and time for an object rolling down a plane. In the repeat trials, the one factor that is to be changed will be the distance the cart moves along the plane.

Hypothesis

The time taken for the cart to stop will increase as the distance along the plane is increased. As the distance along the plane increases there is resistance, this in turn reduces the speed of the cart. In addition, since there is a positive correlation between kinetic energy and the potential energy; as the potential energy increases, the kinetic energy also increases; this proves the recording of the increased time as the distance is increased.

Variables

This experiment carried out upon the independent variable on the Y-axis, which is the distance covered on the plane and the dependent variable on the x-axis, which is the duration (time) it takes for the cart to reach the obstacle at the end. The other variables kept constant include; the friction on the plank is at a negligible value, the weight of the cart is constant at 250g, and the height of the inclined plane at a height 9cm from the ground.

Manipulated Variable: Launch distance

The launch distance will be measured with the meter stick that is attached on the incline plane. The distance will continuously be measured to the nearest 10 centimeters from the tip of the point where the back end of the cart was previously released.

Responding Variable: Relative time taken

A stop timer will be set to a value equal to zero at the beginning of every launch and each release time is recorded on the stopwatch. The experiment will carried out in a room so as to avoid wind interference. The room temperature will remain as constant throughout the experiment to maintain the amount of air resistance the cart would encounter. In addition, the launch angle of the inclined plane will remain as constant as possible during the entire experiment so as not to alter the cart`s acceleration.

Apparatus

  • Track/Inclined Plane
  • “Frictionless” cart,
  • Stopwatch
  • Meter stick (±0.1m)

Procedure

  1. Once the required apparatus are acquired, set up the materials as shown in the diagram.

diagram

  1. Place a stopping block at the end of the inclined plane. This is to allow you to see accurately when the cart reaches the bottom.
  2. Put the cart at a position 10cm at the top of the inclined plane.
  3. Without applying force, release the cart and let it move all the way down the plane.
  4. Record the time in the stopwatch and reset the watch to zero again.
  5. Repeat the experiment with the cart placed at different lengths of 20cm, 30cm, and 40cm up to 100cm along the plane.
  6. Record the different times and make three repeat trials for the whole experiment.
  7. Graph the distance (cm) (y-axis) against the average time (s) (x-axis)

Data collection

The table below shows the duration it takes for the cart to get to the end-point of the plane.

Data table

Release Distance (cm) Trial 1 (time elapsed, s) Trial 2 (time elapsed, s) Trial 3 (time elapsed, s) Average (time elapsed, s) Maximum Minimum Random Error
10 8.00 8.62 8.88 8.50 8.88 8.00 0.44
20 12.07 12.28 11.98 12.11 12.28 11.98 0.15
30 15.26 14.88 14.99 15.04 15.26 14.88 0.19
40 16.22 15.98 16.09 16.10 16.22 15.98 0.12
50 17.54 17.22 17.65 17.47 17.65 17.22 0.22
60 19.53 19.65 19.52 19.57 19..65 19.52 0.66
70 20.26 20.28 20.12 20.22 20.28 20.12 0.08
80 21.35 21.39 21.13 21.29 21.39 21.13 0.13
90 22.37 22.35 22.64 22.45 22.64 22.35 0.15
100 23.72 23.53 23.54 23.60 23.72 23.53 0.09

Data Processing

Time Release Position Graph

This time-release position graph shows the increase in time as the distance stopping point on the lane increases.

In all cases, Data point, one (10cm ± 1cm) has been taken into account.

Average Time = Sum of trials/ Number of trials

= (8.00+8.62+8.88)/3

= 25.5/3

= 8.50s

Random error = (maximum value – smallest value)/2

= (8.88 -8.00)

= 0.88/2

= 0.44s

Gradient from the graph = {(19.57-12.11)/ (60 -20)}

Gradient = 0.187

Percentage error = (Calculated value – random error)/ (calculated value) *100

= (0.187-0.138)/ (0.187)*100

= 26.20%

Conclusion

The entire experiment was carried out with the least amount of errors. There were ten data points and each had three trials. The experiment was performed as stated in the procedure. The investigation was to find out the effect of the release position of the cart on an inclined plane have on the time taken for it to stop. The factor in the investigation was the distance along the ramp. The data table and the plotted graph clearly depict the increase in time as the distance along the inclined plane increases. This means that the distance and the time are directly proportional.

A the distance is increased, the kinetic energy is equal at each point distance since the potential energy is also constant as the height is not increased. This in turn maintains the velocity of the cart along the plane and the time taken increases hence proving the hypothesis right.

Evaluation

As shown from the graph, the percentage error is calculated to be 26.20% noting that there were flaws encountered while carrying out the experiment. The changed velocity of the cart along the plane caused the altered values in the data table. In addition, the applied force on the cart was not uniform. The stopping block at the end of the plane moved a centimeter or two.

Self-Improvement

A number of precautions should improve the errors above such as the cart should be left to leave the top of the inclined plane without any force. The position of the stopping block at the end of the plane should be noted and recorded and this is to ascertain the difference in position that occurs each time.

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