Laboratory Report

Laboratory Report
LibraryPirate
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Metric Prefixes
Multiple
Name
1018
1015
1012
109
106
103
102
101
1
10–1
10–2
10–3
10–6
10–9
10–12
10–15
10–18
1,000,000,000,000,000,000
1,000,000,000,000,000
1,000,000,000,000
1,000,000,000
1,000,000
1,000
100
10
1
0.1
0.01
0.001
0.000001
0.000000001
0.000000000001
0.000000000000001
0.000000000000000001
exa
peta
tera
giga
mega
kilo
hecto
deka
—
deci
centi
milli
micro
nano
pico
femto
atto
Abbreviation
E
P
T
G
M
k
h
da
—
d
c
m
m
n
p
f
a
Physical Constants
Acceleration due to gravity
g
Universal gravitational constant
G
Electron charge
Speed of light
e
c
Boltzmann’s constant
Planck’s constant
k
h
h
me
mp
mn
k
eo
mo
Electron rest mass
Proton rest mass
Neutron rest mass
Coulomb’s law constant
Permittivity of free space
Permeability of free space
Astronomical and Earth data
Radius of the Earth
equatorial
polar
average
Mass of the Earth
the Moon
the Sun
Average distance of the Earth
from the Sun
Average distance of the Moon
from the Earth
Diameter of the Moon
Diameter of the Sun
9.8 m/s2 5 980 cm/s2 5 32.2 ft/s2
N-m2
6.67 3 10 211
kg2
1.60 3 10–19 C
3.0 3 108 m/s 5 3.0 3 1010 cm/s
5 1.86 3 105 mi/s
1.38 3 10–23 J/K
6.63 3 10–34 J-s 5 4.14 310–15 eV-s
h/2π 5 1.05 3 10–34 J-s 5 6.58 3 10–16 eV-s
9.11 3 10–31 kg 5 5.49 × 10–4 u 4 0.511 MeV
1.673 3 10–27 kg 5 1.0078 u 4 938.3 MeV
1.675 3 10–27 kg 5 1.00867 u 4 939.3 MeV
1/4πeo 5 9.0 3 109 N-m2/C2
8.85 3 10–12 C2/N-m2
4π 3 10–7 5 1.26 3 10–6 T-M/A
6.378 3 106 m 5 3963 mi
6.357 3 106 m 5 3950 mi
6.4 3 103 km (for general calculations)
6.0 3 1024 kg
7.4 3 1022 kg < 811 mass of Earth
2.0 3 1030 kg
1.5 3 108 km 5 93 3 106 mi
3.8 3 105 km 5 2.4 3 105 mi
3500 km < 2160 mi
1.4 × 106 km < 864,000 mi
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PHYSICS
LABORATORY
EXPERIMENTS
S e v e n t h
E d i t i o n
Jerry D. Wilson
Lander University
Cecilia A.
HernÁndez-Hall
American River College
Australia • Brazil • Japan • Korea • Mexico • Singapore • Spain • United Kingdom • United States
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Physics Laboratory Experiments,
Seventh Edition
Jerry D. Wilson
Cecilia A. Hernández-Hall
Publisher: Mary Finch
Development Editor: Brandi Kirksey
Editorial Assistant: Joshua Duncan
© 2010, 2005 Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning
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“What is the meaning of it all, Mr. Holmes?”
“Ah, I have no data. I cannot tell,” he said
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of the Copper Beeches, 1892
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Contents
[Key: GL (Guided Learning), TI (Traditional Instruction), and CI (Computer Instruction),
GL is associated only with TI experiments. See Preface.]
Preface
vii
Introduction
ix
Why We Make Experimental Measurements
General Laboratory Procedures
ix
ix
Experiments in the bound volume
1. Experimental Uncertainty (Error) and Data Analysis
1
2. Measurement Instruments (Mass, Volume, and Density)
21
3. (GL) The Scientific Method: The Simple Pendulum
35
4. (TI-GL/CI) Uniformly Accelerated Motion (Includes TI free-fall
spark timer apparatus method at end of experiment)
47
5. The Addition and Resolution of Vectors: The Force Table
73
6. (TI-GL/CI) Newton’s Second Law: The Atwood Machine
83
7. (TI/CI) Conservation of Linear Momentum
103
8. (GL) Projectile Motion: The Ballistic Pendulum
127
9. Centripetal Force
141
10. (TI/CI) Friction
155
11. (GL) Work and Energy
175
12. (GL) Torques, Equilibrium, and Center of Gravity
189
13. (GL) Simple Machines: Mechanical Advantage
203
14. (TI/CI) Simple Harmonic Motion
219
15. Standing Waves in a String
239
16. The Thermal Coefficient of Linear Expansion
249
17. Specific Heats of Metals
259
18. Archimedes’ Principle: Buoyancy and Density
269
19. Fields and Equipotentials
281
20. (TI/CI) Ohm’s Law
291
21. The Measurement of Resistance: Ammeter-Voltmeter Methods
and Wheatstone Bridge Method
309
22. The Temperature Dependence of Resistance
323
23. (TI/CI) Resistances in Series and Parallel
335
24. Joule Heat
359
25. The RC Time Constant (Manual Timing)
367
26. (TI/CI) The RC Time Constant (Electronic Timing)
375
27. Reflection and Refraction
393
28. Spherical Mirrors and Lenses
403
29. (TI) Polarized Light (CI) Malus’s Law
419
30. The Prism Spectrometer: Dispersion and the Index of Refraction
439
31. Line Spectra and the Rydberg Constant
447
32. (TI) The Transmission Diffraction Grating: Measuring the Wavelengths of Light
(CI) Single-Slit and Double-Slit Diffraction
457
33. Detection of Nuclear Radiation: The Geiger Counter
481
34. Radioactive Half-Life
491
35. The Absorption of Nuclear Radiation
499
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vi
CONTENTS
Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Appendix D
Appendix E
Material Properties
511
Mathematical and Physical Constants
517
Absolute Deviation and Mean Absolute Deviation
Standard Deviation and Method of Least Squares
Graphing Exponential Functions
523
520
521
Experiments available in customized orders
36. (TI/CI) Rotational Motion and Moment of Inertia
37. Conservation of Angular Momentum and Energy: The Ballistic Pendulum
38. Elasticity: Young’s Modulus
39. Air Column Resonance: The Speed of Sound in Air
40. (TI) Latent Heats: Heats of Fusion and Vaporization of Water
(CI) Latent Heat of Fusion Water
41. Newton’s Law of Cooling: The Time Constant of a Thermometer
42. The Potentiometer: emf and Terminal Voltage
43. The Voltmeter and Ammeter
44. Resistivity
45. Multiloop Circuits: Kirchhoff’s Rules
46. The Earth’s Magnetic Field
47. Introduction to the Oscilloscope
48. (TI/CI) Phase Measurements and Resonance in AC Circuits
49. (TI/CI) Electromagnetic Induction
50. The Mass of an Electron: e/m Measurement
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Preface
Physics Laboratory Experiments was written for students
of introductory physics—in fact, it was originally written at the request of students. The main purpose of laboratory experiments is to augment and supplement the
learning and understanding of basic physical principles,
while introducing laboratory procedures, techniques, and
equipment.
The seventh edition of Physics Laboratory Experiments has 35 experiments, with 15 additional customized
experiments. All 50 experiments are available for customization at TextChoice.com. (See Experiments Available for
Customized Publishing.) This provides an ample number of experiments to choose from for a two-semester or
three-quarter physics course. Those features that proved
effective in previous editions have been retained, along with
the introduction of a new feature—Guided Learning (GL).
Basically, this is an effort to supplement the “cookbook”
style experiment. For better learning and understanding, an
Experimental Planning section gives a brief introduction
and guides the students though the basics of an experiment
by a series of related questions which they answer.
The GL Experimental Planning is limited to selected
Traditional Instruction (TI) experiments, about which
students should have some knowledge. These are labeled
GL in the table of contents.
graphs are immediately plotted on monitor screens without a
firm understanding of the parameters involved.
Experiments Available for Customized Publishing
These provide a handy, customizable option—a way for
instructors to build their own lab manual that fits the need
of their specific courses. All 35 experiments available
in the printed manual, and an additional 15 experiments
which includes four TI-CI experiments, are available
through TextChoice.
Cengage Learning’s digital library, TextChoice,
enables you to build your custom version of Physics
Laboratory Experiments from scratch. You may pick and
choose the content you want included in your lab manual
and even add your own original materials creating a unique,
all in one learning solution. Visit www.textchoice.com
to start building your book today.
A list of the additional experiments can be seen in the
Table of Contents.
Organization of the Seventh Edition
Both the TI and CI experiments are generally organized
into the following sections:
• (In some instances, TI Experimental Planning for
Guided Learning)
• Advance Study Assignment
• Introduction and Objectives
• Equipment Needed
• Theory
• Experimental Procedure
• Laboratory Report
• Post-lab Questions
Traditional Instruction (TI) and Computerized
Instruction (CI)
The use of computerized instruction and equipment has
become increasingly popular in introductory physics laboratories. To accommodate this, 10 experiments have both TI
and CI sections, the latter of which describes an experiment
using computerized equipment.* The TI and CI components
generally treat the same principles, but from different perspectives. These experiments give the instructor the option
of doing the TI experiment, the CI experiment, or both.
It is suggested that in some instances students do the
hands-on TI experiment first, so as to gain a basic knowledge
of what is being measured. It is here that the physical
parameters of the experiment are clearly associated with principles and results. Once students have this type acquaintance
with experimental concepts, they can better perform the CI
experiment (or view it as a demonstration if limited CI equipment is available). Then the student can better understand the
computer procedure and analysis of electronic recorded data.
This is particularly important in graphical analysis, where
Features include:
Laboratory Safety. Safety is continually stressed and
highlighted in the manual. This critical issue is expanded
upon in the Introduction to the manual.
Advance Study Assignments. Students often come to the
laboratory unprepared, even though they should have read the
experiment before the lab period to familiarize themselves
with it. To address this problem, an Advance Study
Assignment precedes each experiment. The assignment
consists of a set of questions drawn from the Theory and
Experimental Procedures sections of the experiment. To
answer the questions, students must read the experiment
before the lab period; consequently, they will be better prepared. It is recommended that the Advance Study Assignment
be collected at the beginning of the laboratory period.
*Four more TI/CI experiments are available in the customized listing in
the Table of Contents.
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viii
PREFACE
Example Calculations. In the Theory section of
some experiments, sample calculations that involve the
equations and mathematics used in the experiment have
been included where appropriate. These demonstrate to
the student how experimental data are applied.
Illustrations. Over 200 photographs and diagrams illustrate
experimental procedures, equipment, and computer programs. To allow for variation in laboratory equipment, different types of equipment that can be used are often illustrated.
Laboratory Reports. Because a standardized format
for laboratory reports greatly facilitates grading by the
instructor, a Laboratory Report is provided for both
TI and CI experiments. These reports provide a place
for recording data, calculations, experimental results,
and analyses. Only the Laboratory Report and post-lab
Questions that follow it need to be submitted for grading.
The Laboratory Report tables are organized for easy data
recording and analysis. Students are reminded to include
the units of measurement.
Maximum Application of Available Equipment. Laboratory equipment at many institutions is limited, and often
only standard equipment, purchased from scientific suppliers, is available. The TI experimental procedures in this manual are described for different types of common laboratory
apparatus, thus maximizing the application of the manual.
Instructor’s Resource Manual
The Instructor’s Resource Manual is a special feature and
resource for the instructor. It is available online on the instructor
Web site prepared to accompany the seventh edition of Physics
Laboratory Experiments. To view a sampling of instructor
materials, go to www.cengage.com/Physics, and click on the
link for Algebra and Trigonometry Based Lab Manuals. For
the seventh edition of Physics Laboratory Experiments, clicking the About This Product link will allow you to view online
resources including the Instructor’s Resource Manual. You
may contact your Cengage representative if you need new
access to this password-protected material.
Professor Fred B. Otto, previously of the Maine
Maritime Academy, who has over 20 years of teaching and
laboratory experience, has revised this manual. He retained
the general format of the previous edition. For each experiment, there are (1) Comments and Hints, (2) Answers to
post-Experiment Questions, and (3) Post-lab Quiz Questions [completion and multiple-choice (with answers), and
essay]. The Instructor’s Resource Manual also includes
laboratory safety references, lists of scientific equipment
suppliers and physics software suppliers, and graph paper
copy masters.
Of course, the publication of this manual would not
have been possible without a great deal of help. Professor Hernández and I would like to thank the people at
PASCO—in particular, Paul A. Stokstad, Dave Griffith,
and Jon and Ann Hanks—for their support and help. We
thank Fred B. Otto for his in-depth review of the experiments. Thanks also goes to Professor Jerry R. O’Connor,
of San Antonio College, who reviewed and made helpful
suggestions for the Guided Learning feature. We are
grateful to Mary Finch, publisher, Brandi Kirksey, associate developmental editor, Joshua Duncan, editorial assistant, Jill Clark, associate content project manager, Nicole
Mollica, marketing manager, and to Suganya Selvaraj
at Pre-Press PMG. We both hope that you will find the
seventh edition of Physics Laboratory Experiments
helpful and educational. And we urge anyone—student
or instructor—to pass on to us any suggestions that you
might have for improvement.
Jerry D. Wilson
Emeritus Professor of Physics
Lander University
Greenwood, South Carolina
[email protected]
Cecilia A. Hernández-Hall
Professor of Physics
American River College
Sacramento, California
[email protected]
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Introduction
Why We Make Experimental
Measurements
Do not touch or turn on laboratory equipment until it
has been explained and permission has been given by
the instructor.
When you can measure what you are speaking about and
express it in numbers, you know something about it; but
when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in
numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind.
LORD KELVIN
(1824–1907)
Also, certain items used in various experiments can be
particularly dangerous, for example, hot objects, electricity,
mercury lamps, and radioactive sources. In some instances,
such as with hot objects and electricity, basic common
sense and knowledge are required.
However, in other instances, such as with mercury
lamps and radioactive sources, you may not be aware of
the possible dangers. Mercury lamps may emit ultraviolet
radiation that can be harmful to your eyes. Consequently,
some sources need to be properly shielded. Some radioactive sources are solids and are encapsulated to prevent
contact. Others are in liquid form and are transferred
during an experiment, so there is a danger of spillage.
Proper handling is therefore important.
In general, necessary precautions will be given
in the experiment descriptions. Note them well. When
you see the arrow symbol in the margin as illustrated
here, you should take extra care to follow the procedure
carefully and adhere to the precautions described in the
text. As pointed out earlier, experiments are designed
to be done safely. Yet a common kitchen match can be
dangerous if used improperly. Another good rule for the
laboratory is:
As Lord Kelvin so aptly expressed, we measure
things to know something about them—so that we can
describe objects and understand phenomena. Experimental measurement is the cornerstone of the scientific
method, which holds that no theory or model of nature
is tenable unless the results it predicts are in accord with
experiment.
The main purpose of an introductory physics
laboratory is to provide “hands-on” experiences of various
physical principles. In so doing, one becomes familiar
with laboratory equipment, procedures, and the scientific
method.
In general, the theory of a physical principle will be
presented in an experiment, and the predicted results will
be tested by experimental measurements. Of course, these
well-known principles have been tested many times before,
and there are accepted values for certain physical quantities. Basically you will be comparing your experimentally measured values to accepted theoretical or measured
values. Even so, you will experience the excitement of the
scientific method. Imagine that you are the first person to
perform an experiment to test a scientific theory.
If you have any questions about the safety of a
procedure, ask your instructor before doing it.
The physics lab is a place to learn and practice safety.
Equipment Care
The equipment provided for the laboratory experiment is
often expensive and in some instances quite delicate. If
used improperly, certain pieces of apparatus can be damaged. The general rules given above concerning personal
safety also apply to equipment care.
Even after familiarizing oneself with the equipment,
it is often advisable or required to have an experimental
setup checked and approved by the instructor before putting it into operation. This is particularly true for electrical
experiments. Applying power to improperly wired circuits
can cause serious damage to meters and other pieces of
apparatus.
If a piece of equipment is broken or does not function
properly, it should be reported to the laboratory instructor.
General Laboratory Procedures
Safety
The most important thing in the laboratory is your safety
and that of others. Experiments are designed to be done
safely, but proper caution should always be exercised.
A potential danger comes from a lack of knowledge of
the equipment and procedures. Upon entering the physics
lab at the beginning of the lab period, you will probably
find the equipment for an experiment on the laboratory
table. Restrain your curiosity and do not play with the
equipment. You may hurt yourself and/or the equipment.
A good general rule is:
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x
INTRODUCTION
Also, after you complete an experiment, the experimental
setup should be disassembled and left neatly as found,
unless you are otherwise instructed.
If you accidentally break some equipment or the
equipment stops working properly during an experiment,
report it to your instructor. Otherwise, the next time the
equipment is used, a great deal of time may be wasted
trying to get good results.
Laboratory Reports
A laboratory report form is provided for each experiment
in which experimental data are recorded. This should be
done neatly. Calculations of experimental results should
be included. Remember, the neatness, organization, and
explanations of your measurements and calculations in the
laboratory report represent the quality of your work.
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
1
Experimental Uncertainty (Error)
and Data Analysis
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. Do experimental measurements give the true value of a physical quantity? Explain.
2. Distinguish between random (statistical) error and systematic error. Give an example of
each.
3. What is the difference between determinate and indeterminate errors?
4. What is the difference between measurement accuracy and precision? Explain the general
dependence of these properties on the various types of errors.
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
1
Advance Study Assignment
5. What determines how many figures are significant in reported measurement values? What
would be the effect of reporting more or fewer figures or digits than are significant?
6. In expressing experimental error or uncertainty, when should (a) experimental error and
(b) percent difference be used?
7. How could the function y 5 3t2 1 4 be plotted on a Cartesian graph to produce a straight
line? What would be the numerical values of the slope and intercept of the line?
2
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E X P E R I M E N T
1
Experimental Uncertainty (Error)
and Data Analysis
methods of error and data analysis that may be used in
subsequent experiments.
After performing the experiment and analyzing the
data, you should be able to do the following:
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
Laboratory investigations involve taking measurements of
physical quantities, and the process of taking any measurement always involves some experimental uncertainty or
error.* Suppose you and another person independently took
several measurements of the length of an object. It is highly
unlikely that you both would come up with exactly the same
results. Or you may be experimentally verifying the value of
a known quantity and want to express uncertainty, perhaps
on a graph. Therefore, questions such as the following arise:
1. Categorize the types of experimental uncertainty
(error), and explain how they may be reduced.
2. Distinguish between measurement accuracy and precision, and understand how they may be improved
experimentally.
3. Define the term least count and explain the meaning
and importance of significant figures (or digits) in
reporting measurement values.
4. Express experimental results and uncertainty in appropriate numerical values so that someone reading your
report will have an estimate of the reliability of the
data.
5. Represent measurement data in graphical form so as to
illustrate experimental data and uncertainty visually.
• Whose data are better, or how does one express
the degree of uncertainty or error in experimental
measurements?
• How do you compare your experimental result with
an accepted value?
• How does one graphically analyze and report
experimental data?
In this introductory study experiment, types of experimental uncertainties will be examined, along with some
*Although experimental uncertainty is more descriptive, the term error
is commonly used synonymously.
•
•
•
•
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
• Rod or other linear object less than 1 m in length
• Four meter-long measuring sticks with calibrations
of meter, decimeter, centimeter, and millimeter,
respectively†
Pencil and ruler
Hand calculator
3 sheets of Cartesian graph paper
French curve (optional)
†
A 4-sided meter stick with calibrations on each side is commercially
available from PASCO Scientific.
1. Unpredictable fluctuations in temperature or line
voltage.
2. Mechanical vibrations of an experimental setup.
3. Unbiased estimates of measurement readings by the
observer.
THEORY
A. Types of Experimental Uncertainty
Experimental uncertainty (error) generally can be
classified as being of two types: (1) random or statistical
error and (2) systematic error. These are also referred to as
(1) indeterminate error and (2) determinate error, respectively. Let’s take a closer look at each type of experimental
uncertainty.
Repeated measurements with random errors give slightly
different values each time. The effect of random errors
may be reduced and minimized by improving and refining
experimental techniques.
Random (Indeterminate) or Statistical Error
Random errors result from unknown and unpredictable
variations that arise in all experimental measurement situations. The term indeterminate refers to the fact that there is
no way to determine the magnitude or sign (+, too large; –,
too small) of the error in any individual measurement.
Conditions in which random errors can result include:
Systematic (Determinate) Errors
Systematic errors are associated with particular measurement instruments or techniques, such as an improperly
calibrated instrument or bias on the part of the observer.
The term systematic implies that the same magnitude
and sign of experimental uncertainty are obtained when
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EXPERIMENT 1
/ Experimental Uncertainty (Error) and Data Analysis
the measurement is repeated several times. Determinate
means that the magnitude and sign of the uncertainty can
be determined if the error is identified. Conditions from
which systematic errors can result include
1. An improperly “zeroed” instrument, for example, an
ammeter as shown in ● Fig. 1.1.
2. A faulty instrument, such as a thermometer that reads
101 °C when immersed in boiling water at standard
atmospheric pressure. This thermometer is faulty
because the reading should be 100 °C.
3. Personal error, such as using a wrong constant in calculation or always taking a high or low reading of a
scale division. Reading a value from a measurement
scale generally involves aligning a mark on the scale.
The alignment—and hence the value of the reading—
can depend on the position of the eye (parallax).
Examples of such personal systematic error are shown
in ● Fig. 1.2.
Avoiding systematic errors depends on the skill of the
observer to recognize the sources of such errors and to
prevent or correct them.
B. Accuracy and Precision
Accuracy and precision are commonly used synonymously,
but in experimental measurements there is an important
distinction. The accuracy of a measurement signifies how
close it comes to the true (or accepted) value—that is, how
nearly correct it is.
Example 1.1 Two independent measurement
results using the diameter d and circumference c of a
circle in the determination of the value of p are 3.140
and 3.143. (Recall that p 5 c/d.) The second result is
(a) Temperature measurement
Figure 1.1 Systematic error. An improperly zeroed
instrument gives rise to systematic error. In this case
the ammeter, which has no current through it, would
systematically give an incorrect reading larger that the true
value. (After correcting the error by zeroing the meter,
which scale would you read when using the ammeter?)
(b) Length measurement
Figure 1.2 Personal error. Examples of personal error due
to parallax in reading (a) a thermometer and (b) a meter
stick. Readings may systematically be made either too
high or too low.
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EXPERIMENT 1
(a) Good precision, but poor accuracy
/ Experimental Uncertainty (Error) and Data Analysis
(b) Poor precision and poor accuracy
5
(c) Good precision and good accuracy
The true value in this analogy is the bull’s eye. The degree of scattering is an indication
of precision—the closer together a dart grouping, the greater the precision. A group (or symmetric grouping with an average)
close to the true value represents accuracy.
Figure 1.3 Accuracy and precision.
more accurate than the first because the true value of
p, to four figures, is 3.142.
Precision refers to the agreement among repeated
measurements—that is, the “spread” of the measurements
or how close they are together. The more precise a group
of measurements, the closer together they are. However, a
large degree of precision does not necessarily imply accuracy, as illustrated in ● Fig. 1.3.
Example 1.2 Two independent experiments give two
sets of data with the expressed results and uncertainties of 2.5 6 0.1 cm and 2.5 6 0.2 cm, respectively.
The first result is more precise than the second
because the spread in the first set of measurements
is between 2.4 and 2.6 cm, whereas the spread in
the second set of measurements is between 2.3 and
2.7 cm. That is, the measurements of the first experiment are less uncertain than those of the second.
Obtaining greater accuracy for an experimental
value depends in general on minimizing systematic errors.
Obtaining greater precision for an experimental value
depends on minimizing random errors.
uncertainty of a number read from a measurement instrument depends on the quality of the instrument and the
fineness of its measuring scale. When reading the value
from a calibrated scale, only a certain number of figures
or digits can properly be obtained or read. That is, only a
certain number of figures are significant. This depends on
the least count of the instrument scale, which is the smallest subdivision on the measurement scale. This is the unit
of the smallest reading that can be made without estimating. For example, the least count of a meter stick is usually
the millimeter (mm). We commonly say “the meter stick is
calibrated in centimeters (numbered major divisions) with
a millimeter least count.” (See ● Fig. 1.4.)
The significant figures (sometimes called significant digits) of a measured value include all the numbers
that can be read directly from the instrument scale, plus
one doubtful or estimated number—the fractional part of
the least count smallest division. For example, the length
of the rod in Fig. 1.4 (as measured from the zero end) is
2.64 cm. The rod’s length is known to be between 2.6 cm
and 2.7 cm. The estimated fraction is taken to be 4/10 of
Rod
C. Least Count and Significant Figures
In general, there are exact numbers and measured numbers
(or quantities). Factors such as the 100 used in calculating
percentage and the 2 in 2pr are exact numbers. Measured
numbers, as the name implies, are those obtained from
measurement instruments and generally involve some
error or uncertainty.
In reporting experimentally measured values, it is
important to read instruments correctly. The degree of
Figure 1.4 Least count. Meter sticks are commonly calibrated
in centimeters (cm), the numbered major divisions, with a
least count, or smallest subdivision, of millimeters (mm).
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EXPERIMENT 1
/ Experimental Uncertainty (Error) and Data Analysis
the least count (mm), so the doubtful figure is 4, giving
2.64 cm with three significant figures.
Thus, measured values contain inherent uncertainty or
doubtfulness because of the estimated figure. However, the
greater the number of significant figures, the greater the
reliability of the measurement the number represents. For
example, the length of an object may be read as 3.65 cm
(three significant figures) on one instrument scale and as
3.5605 cm (five significant figures) on another. The latter
reading is from an instrument with a finer scale (why?) and
gives more information and reliability.
Zeros and the decimal point must be properly dealt
with in determining the number of significant figures in
a result. For example, how many significant figures does
0.0543 m have? What about 209.4 m and 2705.0 m? In
such cases, the following rules are generally used to determine significance:
1. Zeros at the beginning of a number are not significant.
They merely locate the decimal point. For example,
0.0543 m has three significant figures (5, 4, and 3).
2. Zeros within a number are significant. For example,
209.4 m has four significant figures (2, 0, 9, and 4).
3. Zeros at the end of a number after the decimal point
are significant. For example,
2705.0 has five significant figures (2, 7, 0, 5, and 0).
Some confusion may arise with whole numbers that
have one or more zeros at the end without a decimal point.
Consider, for example, 300 kg, where the zeros (called
trailing zeros) may or may not be significant. In such
cases, it is not clear which zeros serve only to locate the
decimal point and which are actually part of the measurement (and hence significant). That is, if the first zero from
the left (300 kg) is the estimated digit in the measurement,
then only two digits are reliably known, and there are only
two significant figures.
Similarly, if the last zero is the estimated digit (300 kg),
then there are three significant figures. This ambiguity is
be removed by using scientific (powers of 10) notation:
3.0 3 102 kg has two significant figures.
3.00 3 102 kg has three significant figures.
This procedure is also helpful in expressing the
significant figures in large numbers. For example, suppose that the average distance from Earth to the Sun,
93,000,000 miles, is known to only four significant figures. This is easily expressed in powers of 10 notation:
9.300 3 107 mi.
mathematical operations—for example, multiplication or
division. That is, errors are carried through to the results
by the mathematical operations.
The error can be better expressed by statistical methods; however, a widely used procedure for estimating the
uncertainty of a mathematical result involves the use of
significant figures.
The number of significant figures in a measured value
gives an indication of the uncertainty or reliability of a
measurement. Hence, you might expect that the result of
a mathematical operation can be no more reliable than
the quantity with the least reliability, or smallest number of significant figures, used in the calculation. That
is, reliability cannot be gained through a mathematical
operation.
It is important to report the results of mathematical
operations with the proper number of significant figures.
This is accomplished by using rules for (1) multiplication
and division and (2) addition and subtraction. To obtain
the proper number of significant figures, one rounds the
results off. The general rules used for mathematical operations and rounding follow.
Significant Figures in Calculations
1. When multiplying and dividing quantities, leave as
many significant figures in the answer as there are in the
quantity with the least number of significant figures.
2. When adding or subtracting quantities, leave the same
number of decimal places (rounded) in the answer
as there are in the quantity with the least number of
decimal places.
Rules for Rounding*
1. If the first digit to be dropped is less than 5, leave the
preceding digit as is.
2. If the first digit to be dropped is 5 or greater, increase
the preceding digit by one.
Notice that in this method, five digits (0, 1, 2, 3, and
4) are rounded down and five digits (5, 6, 7, 8, and 9) are
rounded up.
What the rules for determining significant figures
mean is that the result of a calculation can be no more
accurate than the least accurate quantity used. That is,
you cannot gain accuracy in performing mathematical
operations.
These rules come into play frequently when doing
mathematical operations with a hand calculator that may
give a string of digits. ● Fig. 1.5 shows the result of the
division of 374 by 29. The result must be rounded off to
two significant figures—that is, to 13. (Why?)
D. Computations with Measured Values
Calculations are often performed with measured values, and error and uncertainty are “propagated” by the
*It should be noted that these rounding rules give an approximation of
accuracy, as opposed to the results provided by more advanced statistical
methods.
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7
E. Expressing Experimental Error and Uncertainty
Percent Error
The object of some experiments is to determine the value
of a well-known physical quantity—for example, the value
of p.
The accepted or “true” value of such a quantity
found in textbooks and physics handbooks is the most
accurate value (usually rounded off to a certain number of
significant figures) obtained through sophisticated experiments or mathematical methods.
The absolute difference between the experimental value E and the accepted value A, written 0 E 2 A 0 ,
is the positive difference in the values, for example,
0 2 2 4 0 5 0 22 0 5 2 and 0 4 2 2 0 5 2. Simply subtract
the smaller value from the larger, and take the result as
positive. For a set of measurements, E is taken as the average value of the experimental measurements.
The fractional error is the ratio of the absolute difference and the accepted value:
absolute difference
accepted value
Fractional error 5
The calculator shows the
result of the division operation 374/29. Because there are
only two significant figures in the 29, a reported result
should have no more than two significant figures, and the
calculator display value should be rounded off to 13.
Figure 1.5 Insignificant figures.
Example 1.3
or
Fractional error 5
0E 2 A0
A
(1.1)
The fractional error is commonly expressed as a
percentage to give the percent error of an experimental
value.*
Applying the rules.
Multiplication:
2.5 m 3 1.308 m 5 3.3 m2
(2 sf)
(4 sf)
(2 sf)
Percent error 5
Division:
absolute difference
3 100%
accepted value
or
(4 sf)
882.0 s
5 3600 s 5 3.60 3 103 s
0.245 s
(3 sf)
Percent error 5
(represented to three
significant figures; why?)
Addition:
46.4
1.37
0.505
48.275
48.3
(rounding off)
(46.4 has the least number of decimal places)
0E 2 A0
3 100%
A
Example 1.4 A cylindrical object is measured to
have a diameter d of 5.25 cm and a circumference
c of 16.38 cm. What are the experimental value of p
and the percent error of the experimental value if the
accepted value of p to two decimal places is 3.14?
Solution
with d 5 5.25 cm and c 5 16.38 cm,
Subtraction:
163
24.5
158.5 S 159
(rounding off)
(163 has the least number of decimal places, none)
(1.2)
c 5 pd
or
p5
c
16.38
5
5 3.12
d
5.25
*It should be noted that percent error only gives a measure of experimental error or uncertainty when the accepted or standard value is highly
accurate. If an accepted value itself has a large degree of uncertainty, then
the percent error does not give a measure of experimental uncertainty.
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EXPERIMENT 1
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Then E 5 3.12 and A 5 3.14, so
Percent difference 5
0E 2 A0
3 100%
A
Percent error 5
5
0 3.12 2 3.14 0
3 100%
3.14
5
0.02
3 100% 5 0.6%
3.14
5
Note: To avoid rounding errors, the preferred order of
operations is addition and subtraction before multiplication and division.*
If the uncertainty in experimentally measured values
as expressed by the percent error is large, you should check
for possible sources of error. If found, additional measurements should then be made to reduce the uncertainty. Your
instructor may wish to set a maximum percent error for
experimental results.
Percent Difference
It is sometimes instructive to compare the results of two
measurements when there is no known or accepted value.
The comparison is expressed as a percent difference,
which is the ratio of the absolute difference between the
experimental values E2 and E1 and the average or mean
value of the two results, expressed as a percent.
Percent difference 5
absolute difference
3 100%
average
or
0 5.0 2 4.6 0
3 100%
(5.0 1 4.6)/2
0.4
3 100% 5 8%
4.8
As in the case of percent error, when the percent difference
is large, it is advisable to check the experiment for errors
and possibly make more measurements.
In many instances there will be more than two measurement values.
When there are three or more measurements, the percent
difference is found by dividing the absolute value of the
difference of the extreme values (that is, the values with
greatest difference) by the average or mean value of all the
measurements.
Average (Mean) Value
Most experimental measurements are repeated several
times, and it is very unlikely that identical results will be
obtained for all trials. For a set of measurements with predominantly random errors (that is, the measurements are
all equally trustworthy or probable), it can be shown mathematically that the true value is most probably given by
the average or mean value.
The average or mean value x of a set of N measurements is
x5
x1 1 x2 1 x3 1 c1 xN
1 N
5 a xi
N
N i51
(1.4)
(1.3)
where the summation sign S is a shorthand notation indicating the sum of N measurements from x1 to xN. ( x is commonly referred to simply as the mean.)
Dividing by the average or mean value of the experimental values is logical, because there is no way of deciding which of the two results is better.
Example 1.6 What is the average or mean value of
the set of numbers 5.42, 6.18, 5.70, 6.01, and 6.32?
Percent difference 5
0 E2 2 E1 0
3 100%
(E2 1 E1)/2
Example 1.5 What is the percent difference between
two measured values of 4.6 cm and 5.0 cm?
Solution With E1 5 4.6 cm and E2 5 5.0 cm,
Percent difference 5
0 E2 2 E1 0
3 100%
(E2 1 E1)/2
*Although percent error is generally defined using the absolute difference
|E 2 A|, some instructors prefer to use (E 2 A), which results in positive
(1) or negative (2) percent errors, for example, 20.6% in Example 1.4.
In the case of a series of measurements and computed percent errors, this
gives an indication of systematic error.
x5
5
1 N
a xi
N i51
5.42 1 6.18 1 5.70 1 6.01 1 6.32
5
5 5.93
There are other, more advanced methods to express the
dispersion or precision of sets of measurements. Two of
these are given in the appendices. Appendix C: “Absolute Deviation from the Mean and Mean Absolute Deviation,” and Appendix D: “Standard Deviation and Method
of Least Squares.”
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/ Experimental Uncertainty (Error) and Data Analysis
9
most of the graph paper is used. The graph in ● Fig. 1.6B
shows data plotted with more appropriate scales.*
Also note in Fig. 1.6A that scale units on the axes are
not given. For example, you don’t know whether the units
of displacement are feet, meters, kilometers, or whatever.
Scale units should always be included, as in Fig. 1.6B. It is
also acceptable, and saves time, to use standard unit abbreviations, such as N for newton and m for meter. This will
be done on subsequent graphs.
With the data points plotted, draw a smooth line
described by the data points. Smooth means that the line
does not have to pass exactly through each point but
connects the general areas of significance of the data points
(not connecting the data points as in Fig. 1.6A). The graph
F. Graphical Representation of Data
It is often convenient to represent experimental data in
graphical form, not only for reporting but also to obtain
information.
Graphing Procedures
Quantities are commonly plotted using rectangular
Cartesian axes (X and Y ). The horizontal axis (X) is called
the abscissa, and the vertical axis (Y ), the ordinate. The
location of a point on the graph is defined by its coordinates x and y, written (x, y), referenced to the origin O, the
intersection of the X and Y axes.
When plotting data, choose axis scales that are easy to
plot and read. The graph in ● Fig. 1.6A shows an example
of scales that are too small. This “bunches up” the data, making the graph too small, and the major horizontal scale values
make it difficult to read intermediate values. Also, the dots or
data points should not be connected. Choose scales so that
*As a general rule, it is convenient to choose the unit of the first major
scale division to the right or above the origin or zero point as 1, 2, or 5
(or multiples or submultiples thereof, for example, 10 or 0.1) so that the
minor (intermediate) scale divisions can be easily interpolated and read.
40
Force F
30
20
10
1.5
3.0
4.5
6.0
Displacement x
Figure 1.6A Poor graphing.
An example of an improperly labeled and plotted graph. See text for description.
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Force (F ) versus displacement (x ) of a spring
3.5
3.0
2.5
Force (N)
10
2.0
1.5
1.0
0.50
Name
Date
0
0.10
0.20
0.30
Displacement (m)
Jane Doe
Sept. 21, 2009
0.40
0.50
0.60
Figure 1.6B Proper graphing. An example of a properly labeled and plotted graph. See text for description.
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EXPERIMENT 1
Table 1.1
Data for Figure 1.7
Mass (kg)
Period (s)
6
d
0.025
0.050
0.10
0.15
0.20
0.25
1.9
2.7
3.8
4.6
5.4
6.0
6
6
6
6
6
6
0.40
0.30
0.25
0.28
0.18
0.15
in Fig. 1.6B with an approximately equal number of points
on each side of the line gives a “line of best fit.”†
In cases where several determinations of each experimental quantity are made, the average value is plotted and
the mean deviation or the standard deviation may be plotted
as error bars. For example, the data for the period of a
mass oscillating on a spring given in Table 1.1 are plotted
in ● Fig. 1.7, period (T) versus mass (m). (The d is the mean
deviation, shown here for an illustration of error bars. See
Appendix C.)* A smooth line is drawn so as to pass within
the error bars. (Your instructor may want to explain the use
of a French curve at this point.)
Graphs should have the following elements (see
Fig. 1.7):
1. Each axis labeled with the quantity plotted.
2. The units of the quantities plotted.
3. The title of the graph on the graph paper (commonly
listed as the y-coordinate versus the x-coordinate).
4. Your name and the date.
Straight-Line Graphs
Two quantities (x and y) are often linearly related; that is,
there is an algebraic relationship of the form y 5 mx 1 b,
where m and b are constants. When the values of such
quantities are plotted, the graph is a straight line, as shown
in ● Fig. 1.8.
The m in the algebraic relationship is called the slope
of the line and is equal to the ratio of the intervals Dy/Dx.
Any set of intervals may be used to determine the slope of
a straight-line graph; for example, in Fig. 1.8,
Dy1
15 cm
5
5 7.5 cm/s
Dx1
2.0 s
Dy2
45 cm
m5
5 7.5 cm/s
5
Dx2
6.0 s
m5
†The straight line of “best fit” for a set of data points on a graph can
be determined by a statistical procedure called linear regression, using
what is known as the method of least squares. This method determines
the best-fitting straight line by means of differential calculus, which is
beyond the scope of this manual. The resulting equations are given in
Appendix D, along with the procedure for determining the slope and
intercept of a best-fitting straight line.
*The mean deviation and standard deviation are discussed in Appendix C and
D, respectively. They give an indication of the dispersion of a set of measured
values. These methods are optional at your instructor’s discretion.
/ Experimental Uncertainty (Error) and Data Analysis
11
Points should be chosen relatively far apart on the line. For
best results, points corresponding to data points should not
be chosen, even if they appear to lie on the line.
The b in the algebraic relationship is called the y-intercept
and is equal to the value of the y-coordinate where the graph
line intercepts the Y-axis. In Fig. 1.8, b 53 cm. Notice from the
relationship that y 5 mx 1 b, so that when x 5 0, then y 5 b.
If the intercept is at the origin (0, 0), then b 5 0.
The equation of the line in the graph in Fig. 1.8 is d 5
7.5t 1 3. The general equation for uniform motion has the
form d = vt 1 do. Hence, the initial displacement do 5 3 cm
and the speed v 5 7.5 cm/s.
Some forms of nonlinear functions that are common
in physics can be represented as straight lines on a
Cartesian graph. This is done by plotting nonlinear values.
For example, if
y 5 ax2 1 b
is plotted on a regular y-versus-x graph, a parabola would be
obtained. But if x2 5 x' were used, the equation becomes
y 5 ax' 5 b
which has the form of a straight line.
This means plotting y versus x', would give a straight
line. Since x' 5 x2, the squared values of x must be plotted.
That is, square all the values of x in the data table, and plot
these numbers with the corresponding y values.
Other functions can be “straightened out” by this procedure, including an exponential function:
y 5 Aeax
In this case, taking the natural logarithm of both sides:
ln y 5 ln A 1 ln eax
or
ln y 5 ax 1 ln A
(where ln ex 5 x)
Plotting the values of the natural (base e) logarithm versus
x gives a straight line with slope a and an intercept ln A.
Similarly, for
y 5 axn
using the common (base 10) logarithm,
log y 5 log a 1 log xn
and
log y 5 n log x 1 log a
(where log xn 5 n log x).
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EXPERIMENT 1
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Period (T ) of spring oscillation
Vs mass (m ) suspended on a spring
6.0
5.0
Period (S)
4.0
3.0
2.0
1.0
Name
Date
0
0.025
0.050
0.10
0.15
Jane Doe
October. 15, 2009
0.20
0.25
3.0
Mass (kg)
An example of graphically presented data with error bars. An error bar indicates the precision of a
measurement. In this case, the error bars represent mean deviations.
Figure 1.7 Error bars.
Plotting the values of log y versus log x gives a straight
line with slope n and intercept log a. (See Appendix E.)
this experiment and throughout, attach an additional sheet
for calculations if necessary.)
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
Complete the exercises in the Laboratory Report, showing
calculations and attaching graphs as required. (Note: In
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13
90
Displacement (d) vs time (t) for uniform motion
80
70
Δy2 = 85 − 40 = 45 cm
Displacement (cm)
60
Slope =
Δy 45
=
= 7.5 cm/s
Δx 6.0
50
Δx2
40
Δx2 = 11.0 − 5.0 = 6.0 s
30
20
Δy1 = 25 − 10 = 15 cm
Slope =
Δx1
10
Δy 15
=
= 7.5 cm/s
Δx 2.0
Δx1 = 3.0 − 1.0 = 2.0 s
0
2.0
4.0
6.0
Time (s)
8.0
10.0
Figure 1.8 Straight-line slope. Examples of intervals for determining the slope of a straight line. The slope is the ratio of
Dy/Dx (or Dd/Dt). Any set of intervals may be used, but the endpoints of an interval should be relatively far apart, as
for Dy2/Dx2.
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Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
1
Experimental Uncertainty (Error)
and Data Analysis
Laboratory Report
1. Least Counts
(a) Given meter-length sticks calibrated in meters, decimeters, centimeters, and millimeters,
respectively. Use the sticks to measure the length of the object provided and record with
the appropriate number of significant figures in Data Table 1.
DATA TABLE 1
Purpose: To express least counts and measurements.
Object Length
m
dm
cm
mm
Actual length
(Provided by instructor after measurements)
Comments on the measurements in terms of least counts:
(b) Find the percent errors for the four measurements in Data Table 1.
DATA TABLE 2
Purpose: To express the percent errors.
Object Length
Least Count
% Error
Comments on the percent error results:
2. Significant Figures
(a) Express the numbers listed in Data Table 3 to three significant figures, writing the
numbers in the first column in normal notation and the numbers in the second column
in powers of 10 (scientific) notation.
(continued)
15
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Laboratory Report
DATA TABLE 3
Purpose: To practice expressing significant figures.
0.524
__________
5280
__________
15.08
__________
0.060
__________
1444
__________
82.453
__________
0.0254
__________
0.00010
__________
83,909
__________
2,700,000,000
__________
(b) A rectangular block of wood is measured to have the dimensions 11.2 cm 3 3.4 cm 3
4.10 cm. Compute the volume of the block, showing explicitly (by underlining) how
doubtful figures are carried through the calculation, and report the final answer with the
correct number of significant figures.
Calculations
(show work)
Computed volume
(in powers of 10 notation) ___________________
(units)
(c) In an experiment to determine the value of p, a cylinder is measured to have an average
value of 4.25 cm for its diameter and an average value of 13.39 cm for its circumference. What is the experimental value of p to the correct number of significant figures?
Calculations
(show work)
Experimental value of p ___________________
(units)
16
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Experimental Uncertainty (Error) and Data Analysis
Laboratory Report
3. Expressing Experimental Error
(a) If the accepted value of p is 3.1416, what are the fractional error and the percent error
of the experimental value found in 2(c)?
Calculations
(show work)
Fractional error ___________________
Percent error ___________________
(b) In an experiment to measure the acceleration g due to gravity, two values, 9.96 m/s2
and 9.72 m/s2, are determined. Find (1) the percent difference of the measurements,
(2) the percent error of each measurement, and (3) the percent error of their mean.
(Accepted value: g 5 9.80 m/s2.)
Calculations
(show work)
Percent difference ___________________
Percent error of E1 ___________________
Percent error of E2 ___________________
Percent error of mean ___________________
(continued)
17
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Laboratory Report
(c) Data Table 4 shows data taken in a free-fall experiment. Measurements were made of
the distance of fall (y) at each of four precisely measured times. Complete the table.
Use only the proper number of significant figures in your table entries, even if you
carry extra digits during your intermediate calculations.
DATA TABLE 4
Purpose: To practice analyzing data.
Time t
(s)
0
0.50
0.75
1.00
1.25
y1
y2
Distance (m)
y3
0
1.0
2.6
4.8
8.2
0
1.4
3.2
4.4
7.9
0
1.1
2.8
5.1
7.5
y4
y5
0
1.4
2.5
4.7
8.1
0
1.5
3.1
4.8
7.4
y
(Optional)
d
t2
(
)
(d) Plot a graph of y versus t (optional: with 2d error bars) for the free-fall data in part (c).
Remember that t 5 0 is a known point.
(e) The equation of motion for an object in free fall starting from rest is y 5 12 gt2, where
g is the acceleration due to gravity. This is the equation of a parabola, which has the
general form y 5 ax2.
Convert the curve into a straight line by plotting y versus t2. That is, plot the square
of the time on the abscissa. Determine the slope of the line and compute the experimental value of g from the slope value.
Calculations
(show work)
Experimental value of g from graph _____________________
(units)
18
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Experimental Uncertainty (Error) and Data Analysis
Laboratory Report
(f) Compute the percent error of the experimental value of g determined from the graph in
part (e). (Accepted value: g 5 9.8 m/s2.)
Calculations
(show work)
Percent error ________________
(g) The relationship of the applied force F and the displacement x of a spring has the general form F 5 kx, where the constant k is called the spring constant and is a measure
of the “stiffness” of the spring. Notice that this equation has the form of a straight line.
Find the value of the spring constant k of the spring used in determining the experimental data plotted in the Fig. 1.6B graph. (Note: Because k 5 F/x, the units of k in the
graph are N/m.)
Calculations
(show work)
Value of spring constant of
spring in Fig. 1.6B graph ____________________
(units)
(h) The general relationship of the period of oscillation T of a mass m suspended on a
spring is T 5 2p!m/k, where k is the spring constant. Replot the data in Fig. 1.7 so as
to obtain a straight-line graph, and determine the value of the spring constant used in
the experiment. [Hint: Square both sides of the equation, and plot in a manner similar
to that used in part (e).] Show the final form of the equation and calculations.
Calculations
(show work)
Value of spring constant of
spring in Fig. 1.7 ____________________
(units)
(i) The data in sections (g) and (h) above were for the same spring. Compute the percent difference for the values of the
spring constants obtained in each section.
(continued)
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Laboratory Report
QUESTIONS
1. Read the measurements on the rulers in ● Fig. 1.9, and comment on the results.
Ruler 1
cm
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
Ruler 2
cm
Ruler 3
cm
Figure 1.9
2. Were the measurements of the block in part (b) of Procedure 2 all done with the same
instrument? Explain.
3. Referring to the dart analogy in Fig. 1.3, draw a dart grouping that would represent poor
precision but good accuracy with an average value.
4. Do percent error and percent difference give indications of accuracy or precision? Discuss
each.
5. Suppose you were the first to measure the value of some physical constant experimentally.
How would you provide an estimate of the experimental uncertainty?
20
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
2
Measurement Instruments
(Mass, Volume, and Density)
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. What is the least count of a measurement instrument, and how is it related to the number
of significant figures of a measurement reading?
2. Does a laboratory balance measure weight or mass? Explain.
3. What is the function of the vernier scale on the vernier caliper? Does it extend accuracy
or precision? Explain.
4. Distinguish between positive and negative zero errors and how corrections are made for
such errors. For what kind of error does a zero correction correct?
(continued)
21
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E X P E R I M E N T
2
Advance Study Assignment
5. What is the purpose of the ratchet mechanism on a micrometer caliper?
6. Explain how readings from 0.00 through 1.00 mm are obtained from the micrometer thimble scale when it is calibrated only from 0.00 through 0.50 mm.
7. If the density of one object is greater than that of another, what does this indicate? Do the
sizes of the objects affect their densities? Explain.
8. Explain how the volume of a heavy, irregularly shaped object may be determined
experimentally. Are there any limitations?
22
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E X P E R I M E N T
2
Measurement Instruments
(Mass, Volume, and Density)
be considered, and the densities of several materials will
be determined experimentally.
After performing this experiment and analyzing the
data, you should be able to do the following:
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
Common laboratory measurements involve the determination of the fundamental properties of mass and length.
Most people are familiar with the use of scales and rulers
or meter sticks. However, for more accurate and precise
measurements, laboratory balances and vernier calipers or
micrometer calipers are often used, particularly in measurements involving small objects.
In this initial experiment on measurement, you will
learn how to use these instruments and what advantages
they offer. Density, the ratio of mass to volume, will also
1. Use the vernier caliper and read the vernier scale.
2. Use the micrometer caliper and read its scale.
3. Distinguish between mass and density, and know how
to determine experimentally the density of an object
or substance.
• Sphere (metal or glass, for example, a ball bearing or
marble)
• Short piece of solid copper wire
• Rectangular piece of metal sheet (for example,
aluminum)
• Irregularly shaped metal object
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
•
•
•
•
•
•
Laboratory balance
Vernier caliper
Micrometer caliper (metric)
Meter stick
Graduated cylinder
Cylindrical metal rod (for example, aluminum, brass,
or copper)
Before making a mass determination, a balance should
be checked without a mass to make sure the scale is zeroed
(reads zero). Adjustments can be made by various means
on different scales.
Balances with digital readouts are common (Fig.
2.1c). These have the advantages of accuracy and ease
of operation. However, electronic balances are much
more delicate (Fig. 2.1d). The mass value is displayed
automatically, and the accuracy or number of significant
figures depends on the particular balance. Some electronic
balances have autocalibration and other have a keypad
for calibration by the user. Most electronic balances are
zeroed by pressing a “tare” button. This has the advantage
that one can place an empty dish on the balance before
pressing the “tare” button, and then, when the material is
added to the dish, the balance displays the mass of the
contents alone.
Because of the wide variety of electronic balances
available, if you are using one in this experiment you
should first familiarize yourself with its operation. Your instructor may brief you, or an operation manual should be
available. (When first using an electronic instrument, it is
always advisable to read the operation manual supplied by
the manufacturer.)
THEORY
A. Laboratory Balances
Some common types of laboratory balances are shown in
● Fig. 2.1. Mechanical balances or “scales” are used to balance
the weight of an unknown mass m against that of a known
mass m1 (that is, mg 5 m1g or m 5 m1). The mass of the
unknown is then read directly in mass units, usually grams.
The weight w of an object is its mass m times a constant g,
the acceleration due to gravity; g 5 9.80 m/s2 5 980 cm/s2
(that is, w 5 mg or m 5 w/g). Some scales, such as bathroom scales, are commonly calibrated in weight (force) units,
such as pounds, rather than in mass units.
A set of known masses is used to balance an unknown
mass on a platform balance (Fig. 2.1a). On a beam balance,
the riders on the beams are used to balance the unknown
mass on the platform (Fig. 2.1b). The common laboratory
beam balance is calibrated in grams. In this case, the least
count is 0.1 g and a reading can be estimated to 0.01 g.*
(See Experiment 1 for a review of least count.)
*The official abbreviation of the gram unit is g (roman). The standard
symbol for acceleration due to gravity is g (italic), where weight is given
by mg, which is not to be confused with mg for milligram. Look closely
so as to avoid confusion with these symbols.
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24
EXPERIMENT 2
/ Measurement Instruments (Mass, Volume, and Density)
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
Figure 2.1 Laboratory balances. (a) A double-beam, double-platform Harvard trip balance, which is also called an equal-arm
balance. (b) A single-platform, triple-beam balance. (c) High-form beam balances. The balance on the left has a dial mechanism that
replaces the lower-mass beams. (d) A digital electronic balance. (Courtesy of Sargent-Welch.)
B. The Vernier Caliper
In 1631, a French instrument maker, Pierre Vernier, devised
a way to improve the precision of length measurements.
The vernier caliper ( ● Fig. 2.2), commonly called a
vernier, consists of a rule with a main engraved scale and
a movable jaw with an engraved vernier scale. The span of
the lower jaw is used to measure length and is particularly
convenient for measuring the diameter of a cylindrical
object. The span of the upper jaw is used to measure
distances between two surfaces, such as the inside diameter
of a hollow cylindrical object.
A good instrument for measuring rectangular dimensions and circular diameters. This
caliper has scales for both metric and British measurements.
See text for description. (Courtesy of Sargent-Welch.)
Figure 2.2 A vernier caliper.
The main scale is calibrated in centimeters with a
millimeter least count, and the movable vernier scale has
10 divisions that cover 9 divisions on the main scale. When
making a measurement with a meter stick, it is necessary to
estimate, or “eyeball,” the fractional part of the smallest scale
division (tenth of a millimeter). The function of the vernier
scale is to assist in the accurate reading of the fractional part
of the scale division, thus increasing the precision.
The leftmost mark on the vernier scale is the zero
mark (lower scale for metric reading and upper scale for
inches). The zero mark is often unlabeled. A measurement
is made by closing the jaws on the object to be measured
and reading where the zero mark on the vernier scale falls
on the main scale (See ● Fig. 2.3.) Some calipers, as the
one in Fig. 2.2, have vernier scales for both metric and
British units.
In Fig. 2.3, the first two significant figures are read
directly from the main scale. The vernier zero mark is
past the 2-mm line after the 1-cm major division mark,
so there is a reading of 1.2 cm for both (a) and (b). The
next significant figure is the fractional part of the smallest
subdivision on the main scale. This is obtained by referring
to the vernier scale markings below the main scale.
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EXPERIMENT 2
/ Measurement Instruments (Mass, Volume, and Density)
25
Figure 2.3 The vernier scale. An example of reading the vernier scale on a caliper. See text for description.
If a vernier mark coincides with a mark on the main
scale, then the vernier mark number is the fractional part
of the main-scale division (see Fig. 2.3a). In the figure,
this is the third mark to the right of the vernier zero, so
the third significant figure is 3 (0.03 cm). Finally, since the
0.03-cm reading is known exactly, a zero is added as the
doubtful figure, for a reading of 1.230 cm or 12.30 mm.
Note how the vernier scale gives more significant figures
or extends the precision.
However, a mark on the vernier scale may not always
line up exactly with one on the main scale (Fig. 2.3b). In
this case, there is more uncertainty in the 0.001-cm or
0.01-mm figure, and we say there is a change of “phase”
between two successive vernier markings.
Notice how in Fig. 2.3b the second vernier mark after
the zero is to the right of the closest main-scale mark, and the
third vernier mark is to the left of the next main-scale mark.
Hence, the marks change “phase” between the 2 and 3 marks,
which means the reading is between 1.22 cm and 1.23 cm.
Most vernier scales are not fine enough for us to make an
estimate of the doubtful figure, so a suggested method is to
take the middle of the range. Thus a 5 would be put in the
thousandth-of-a-centimeter digit, for a reading of 1.225 cm.*
Zeroing
Before making a measurement, one should check the zero
of the vernier caliper with the jaws completely closed. It
is possible that through misuse the caliper is no longer
zeroed and thus gives erroneous readings (systematic
*E. S. Oberhofer, “The Vernier Caliper and Significant Figures,” The
Physics Teacher, Vol. 23 (November 1985), 493.
error). If this is the case, a zero correction should be made
for each reading.
In zeroing, if the vernier zero lies to the right of the
main-scale zero, measurements will be too large and the
error is taken to be positive. In this case, the zero correction
is made by subtracting the zero reading from the measurement reading. For example, the “zero” reading in ● Fig. 2.4
is +0.05 cm, and this amount must be subtracted from each
measurement reading for more accurate results.
The zero of the vernier
caliper is checked with the jaws closed. (a) Zero error.
(b) Positive error, 10.05 cm.
Figure 2.4 Zeroing and error.
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EXPERIMENT 2
/ Measurement Instruments (Mass, Volume, and Density)
Similarly, if the error is negative, or the vernier zero
lies to the left of the main-scale zero, measurements will
be too small, and the zero correction must be added to the
measurement readings.
Summarizing these corrections in equation form,
Corrected reading 5 actual reading 2 zero reading
For example, for a positive error of 10.05 cm as in Fig. 2.4,
Corrected reading 5 actual reading 2 0.05 cm
If there is a negative correction of 20.05 cm, then
Corrected reading 5 actual reading 2 (20.05) cm
5 actual reading 1 0.05 cm
C. The Micrometer Caliper
The micrometer caliper (● Fig. 2.5a), commonly called
a mike, provides for accurate measurements of small
lengths. A mike is particularly convenient in measuring the
diameters of thin wires and the thicknesses of thin sheets.
It consists of a movable spindle (jaw) that is advanced
toward another, parallel-faced jaw (called an anvil) by
rotating the thimble. The thimble rotates over an engraved
sleeve (or “barrel”) mounted on a solid frame.
Most micrometers are equipped with a ratchet (ratchet
handle is to the far right in the figure) that allows slippage
of the screw mechanism when a small and constant force is
exerted on the jaw. This permits the jaw to be tightened on
an object with the same amount of force each time. Care
should be taken not to force the screw (particularly if the
micrometer does not have a ratchet mechanism), so as not
to damage the measured object and/or the micrometer.
The axial main scale on the sleeve is calibrated in
millimeters, and the thimble scale is calibrated in 0.01 mm
(hundredths of a millimeter). The movement mechanism of
the micrometer is a carefully machined screw with a pitch
of 0.5 mm. The pitch of a screw, or the distance between
screw threads, is the lateral linear distance the screw moves
when turned through one rotation (Fig. 2.5b).
The axial line on the sleeve main scale serves as a
reading line. Since the pitch of the screw is 0.5 mm and
there are 50 divisions on the thimble, when the thimble
is turned through one of its divisions, the thimble moves
(and the jaws open or close) 501 of 0.5 mm, or 0.01 mm
(501 3 0.5 mm 5 0.01 mm).
One complete rotation of the thimble (50 divisions)
moves it through 0.5 mm, and a second rotation moves it
through another 0.5 mm, for a total of 1.0 mm, or one scale
division along the main scale. That is, the first rotation
moves the thimble from 0.00 through 0.50 mm, and the
second rotation moves the thimble from 0.50 through
1.00 mm.
It is sometimes instructive to think of the 1-mm mainscale divisions as analogous to dollar ($) divisions and
of the thimble scale divisions as cents ($0.01). The first
rotation of the thimble corresponds to going from $0.00 to
$0.50 (50 cents), and the second rotation corresponds to
Figure 2.5 A micrometer caliper and an example of a
micrometer reading. (a) This particular mike has the 1.0-mm
and 0.5-mm scale divisions below the reading line. (b) In
this diagram, as on some mikes, the 1.0-mm divisions are
above the reading line and the 0.5-mm divisions are below
it. The thimble in the diagram is in the second rotation of
millimeter movement, as indicated by its being past the
0.5-mm mark. The reading is 5.500 1 0.285 mm, or
5.785 mm, where the last 5 is the estimated figure. (Photo
courtesy of Sargent-Welch.)
going from $0.50 to $1.00, so that two complete rotations
go through 100 cents, or $1.00, of the main scale.
Some micrometers have a scale that indicates the 0.5-mm
marks of the main-scale divisions and hence tells which
rotation the thimble is in (see Fig. 2.5). Cheaper mikes do not
have this extra graduation, and the main scale must be closely
examined to determine which rotation the thimble is in.
If a mike does not have the 0.5-mm scale, you must determine whether the thimble is in its first rotation, in which
case the thimble reading is between 0.00 and 0.50 mm (corresponding to the actual engraved numbers on the thimble),
or in the second rotation, in which case the reading is between 0.50 and 1.00 mm (the actual thimble scale reading plus 0.50). This can be done by judging whether the
edge of the thimble is in the first or the second half of the
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EXPERIMENT 2
main-scale division. Notice that the zero mark on the thimble is used to indicate both 0.00 mm (beginning of the first
rotation) and 0.50 mm (beginning of the second rotation).
Measurements are taken by noting the position of the
edge of the thimble on the main scale and the position of
the reading line on the thimble scale. For example, for the
drawing in Fig. 2.5, the mike has a reading of 5.785 mm. On
the main scale is a reading of 5.000 mm plus one 0.500-mm
division (scale below reading line), giving 5.500 mm.
That is, in the figure, the thimble is in the second rotation of a main-scale division. The reading on the thimble
scale is 0.285 mm, where the 5 is the estimated or doubtful
figure. That is, the reading line is estimated to be midway
between the 28 and the 29 marks. (Some mikes have vernier
scales on the sleeves to help the user read this last significant figure and further extend the precision.)
As with all instruments, a zero check should be made
and a zero correction applied to each reading if necessary, as described in Section B. A zero reading is made
by rotating the screw until the jaw is closed or the spindle
comes into contact with the anvil. The contacting surfaces
of the spindle and anvil should be clean and free of dust.
(Micrometers can be adjusted to zero readings by means of
a spanner wrench. Do not attempt to do this without your
instructor’s permission or supervision.)
D. Density
The density 1 r 2 of a substance is defined as the mass m
per unit volume V (that is, r 5 m/V). Thus, the densities
of substances or materials provide comparative measures
of the amounts of matter in a particular (unit) space. Note
that there are two variables in density—mass and volume.
Hence, densities can be affected by the masses of atoms
and/or by their compactness (volume).
As can be seen from the defining equation (r 5 m/V),
the SI units of density are kilogram per cubic meter (kg/m3).
However, measurements are commonly made in the smaller
metric units of grams per cubic centimeter (g/cm3), which
can easily be converted to standard units.*
Density may be determined experimentally by measuring the mass and volume of a sample of a substance and calculating the ratio m/V. The volume of regularly shaped objects
may be calculated from length measurements. For example,
Rectangle
V5l3w3h
(length 3 width 3 height)
Cylinder
V 5 Al 5 1 pr2 2 l
(circular cross-sectional
area A 5 pr2, where r is the
radius and l is the length of
the cylinder)
*In the British fps (foot–pound–second) system, density is expressed
in terms of weight rather than mass. For example, the weight density of
water is 62.4 lb/ft3.
/ Measurement Instruments (Mass, Volume, and Density)
27
The marble and the
Styrofoam ball have equal masses but different densities
(r 5 m/V). Because the volume of the ball is greater than
that of the marble, its density is less. (Cengage Learning.)
Figure 2.6 Density, mass, and volume.
Sphere
V 5 43 pr3
(where r is the radius of the sphere)
To illustrate how density provides a measure of
compactness of matter, consider the marble and Styrofoam
ball in ● Fig. 2.6. Both have the same mass (5.0 g), but the
marble has greater density. (Why?) With measured radii
of rm 5 0.75 cm and rb 5 6.0 cm for the marble and ball,
respectively, the calculated densities are
rm 5
5.0 g
mm
mm
54 3 54
5 2.8 g/ cm3
3
Vm
3 prm
3 p(0.75 cm)
rb 5
5.0 g
mb
mb
54 354
5 0.0055 g/ cm3
3
Vb
pr
p(6.0
cm)
b
3
3
(Notice that the calculated results have only two
significant figures. Why?) In standard SI units, these results
are 2.8 3 103 kg/m3 and 5.5 kg/m3, respectively.
But how does one find the volume of an irregularly
shaped object? This may be done by immersing it in water
(or some other liquid) in a graduated container. Since the
object will displace a volume of water equal to its own
volume, the difference in the container readings before
and after immersion is the volume of the object. Cylinders
commonly have scale divisions of milliliters (mL) and
1 mL 5 1 cm3.* [cm 3 (cubic centimeter) is sometimes
written on glassware as cc.]
*Milliliter is abbreviated both ml and mL. The mL abbreviation is generally preferred in order to avoid confusion of a lowercase l (“ell”) with the
number 1.
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EXPERIMENT 2
/ Measurement Instruments (Mass, Volume, and Density)
The physical property of density can be used to
identify substances in some cases. If a substance is not
pure or is not homogeneous (that is, its mass is not evenly
distributed), an average density is obtained, which is
generally different from that of a pure or homogeneous
substance.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
A. Least Count of an Instrument Scale
1. List the least count and the estimated fraction of the
least count for each of the measuring instruments in
Data Table 1 of the laboratory report. For example,
for a meter stick, these would be 1 mm and 0.1 mm,
respectively. (Review Experiment 1C if necessary.)
B. Thickness Measurements
2. Using the micrometer caliper, take a zero reading
and record it in Data Table 2. Then take several
measurements of a single page of this manual, incorporating the zero correction if necessary, to determine
the average thickness per page. Record the data and
result in Data Table 2.
3. With the micrometer, take thickness measurements of a
group of several pages together [for example, 10 pages
(sheets of paper)], and record the data in Data Table 2.
Calculate the average thickness per page.
4. With the vernier caliper, take several measurements of
the total thickness of the manual (excluding covers).†
Record the data in Data Table 2, and compute the average overall thickness of the manual. (Did you remember to take a zero reading and record in Data Table 2?)
5. Using the values of the average thickness per page
determined in Procedures 2 and 3 and the overall
average thickness of the manual from Procedure 4,
compute the number of pages (sheets of paper) in
†
Be sure the pages are compacted as much as possible before you take the
measurements.
your manual. For example, if the average thickness
per page is 0.150 mm and the average overall thickness is 35.5 mm (3.55 cm), the calculated number of
papers is
35.5 mm
5 236.6666 5 237 pages
0.150 mm/page
6. Determine the actual number of pages (sheets of
paper) in the manual. (Remember to subtract any
pages handed in from Experiment 1, the Advance
Study Assignment for this experiment, and any others
that might be missing.) Compute the percent error for
each of the two experimentally determined values.
C. Density Determinations
7. The densities of the materials of the various objects
are to be determined from mass and volume (length)
measurements. Taking the mass and length measurements will give you experience in using the laboratory
balance and the vernier and micrometer calipers.
8. Using the appropriate measuring instrument(s),
take several measurements to determine the average
dimensions of the regularly shaped objects so that
their volumes can be calculated. Record the data in
Data Table 3. Remember to make a zero correction for
each reading if necessary.
9. Calculate the volume of each of the objects, and record
in Data Table 4.
10. Determine the volume of the irregularly shaped metal
object by the method described in Theory section D.
Record the volume in Data Table 4.
11. Using a laboratory balance, determine the mass of
each object, and record the results in Data Table 4.
12. Calculate the density of the material of each object,
and find the percent error of each experimental result.
(Accepted density values are given in Appendix A,
Table A1.)
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
2
Measurement Instruments
(Mass, Volume, and Density)
Laboratory Report
A. Least Count of an Instrument Scale
DATA TABLE 1
Purpose: To practice determining least count and estimated fraction of least count.
Instrument
Least count
Estimated fraction
Meter stick
Vernier caliper
Micrometer caliper
Balance
Graduated cylinder
Calculations
(show work)
Don’t forget units
(continued)
29
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E X P E R I M E N T
2
Measurement Instruments (Mass, Volume, and Density)
Laboratory Report
B. Thickness Measurements
DATA TABLE 2
Zero reading: Micrometer ____________________ Caliper ____________________
Purpose: To practice using calipers. (Indicate units in the parentheses.)
Reading
Thickness of single
page (
)
Thickness of __________
pages (
)
Average page thickness
(
)
Thickness of manual,
excluding covers (
)
1
2
3
4
Average
Actual number of pages (sheets)
in manual
____________________
Percent error
Computed number of pages
(from single-page measurement)
____________________
____________________
(from multiple-page measurement)
____________________
____________________
Calculations
(show work)
30
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E X P E R I M E N T
2
Laboratory Report
Measurement Instruments (Mass, Volume, and Density)
C. Density Determination
DATA TABLE 3
Purpose: To record dimensional measurements.
Zero reading: Vernier caliper ____________________ Micrometer caliper ____________________
Rod
Wire
Sphere
Rectangular sheet
Instrument
used
Reading
Diameter
(
)
Length
(
)
Diameter
(
)
Length
(
)
Diameter
(
)
Length
(
)
Width
(
)
Thickness
(
)
1
2
3
4
Average
Calculations
(show work)
(continued)
31
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E X P E R I M E N T
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Measurement Instruments (Mass, Volume, and Density)
Laboratory Report
DATA TABLE 4
Purpose: To compare experimental and accepted density values.
Object
Mass
(
)
Volume
(
)
Experiment
density (
)
Accepted density
(from Table A1)
Percent error
Rod
Type of material:
____________________
Wire
Type of material:
____________________
Sphere
Type of material:
____________________
Rectangular sheet
Type of material:
____________________
Irregularly shaped
object
Type of material:
____________________
Calculations
(attach additional sheet if necessary)
32
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
2
Measurement Instruments (Mass, Volume, and Density)
Laboratory Report
QUESTIONS
1. Explain the probable source of error(s) in the experimental determination of the number of
manual pages.
2. In the first four density determinations in Data Table 4, what major factors might account
for the experimental errors that were obtained?
3. In determining the volume of the irregularly shaped object, any air bubbles sticking to the
surface of the object when it is submerged cause systematic errors. Will this error give an
experimental density that is too high or too low? Explain.
4. Suppose that you were given an irregularly shaped object that floats. Describe how you
would experimentally determine its volume.
(continued)
33
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E X P E R I M E N T
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Measurement Instruments (Mass, Volume, and Density)
Laboratory Report
5. A thin circular sheet of aluminum has a radius of 20 cm and a thickness of 0.50 mm. Find
the mass of the sheet.
6. Archimedes, a famous Greek scientist, was given a problem by King Hieron II of Syracuse
(Sicily). The king suspected that his crown, which was supposed to be made of pure gold,
contained some silver alloy, and he asked Archimedes to prove or disprove his suspicion.
(It turned out that the crown did contain silver.) How would you experimentally determined
whether or not the crown was pure gold? (Hint: the method came to Archimedes when
getting into a full bathtub. See the footnote in Experiment 18 for Archimedes’ solution.)
34
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E X P E R I M E N T
3
The Scientific Method:
The Simple Pendulum
Experimental Planning
The Simple Pendulum
1. Scientists use models and theories to describe physical phenomena. When a new model is developed, it must be
tested to find out if it is an accurate representation. No theory or model of nature is valid unless its predictions are
in agreement with experimental results. The laboratory provides an environment where extraneous factors can be
minimized and specific predictions can be tested. The process of making, testing, and refining models is usually
called the scientific method.
An example of this method will be demonstrated in this experiment for a simple pendulum. A “simple” pendulum is
one in which a small but substantial mass is suspended on a relatively light string, like the one pictured in Fig. 3.1. If one
were to observe the motion of the mass swinging back and forth, which of the following statements do you think would
be the most accurate? (It is understood that the motion takes place in a single plane.)
The time for the mass to swing back and forth (from point A to B, and back to A in Fig. 3.1.)
(a) changes randomly from one swing to the next.
(b) gets consistently bigger from one swing to the next.
(c) gets consistently smaller from one swing to the next.
(d) stays about the same from one swing to the next.
2. The time for the mass to swing back and forth is called the period (T) of the pendulum. If your physics lab has the
appropriate equipment available, you could verify that statement (d) above is the most accurate (negligible friction).
Now consider what might affect the pendulum’s period. Look at Fig. 3.1 again and list the physical parameters that
could be changed.
3. Did you find three things? Let’s consider the length (L) first. How do you think the pendulum’s length might affect the
period? If the length of the pendulum were doubled, would the period (T) also double (directly proportional)? Or would
it be half of what it was before (inversely proportional)? Or could it be larger or smaller by some other proportion? Write
down the relationship that you think is most appropriate.
4. The mass (m) of the pendulum bob may be varied. The effect this would have on the period might possibly depend on
air resistance, so let’s suppose there isn’t any. If the pendulum were swinging in a vacuum would the mass make any
difference?
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
Experimental Planning
3
To verify your response, look at the forces acting on the bob. Draw a free-body diagram (one showing the forces) for
the bob when it would be in the position shown in Fig. 3.1. What is the component of the weight force (mg) that acts in
the direction of motion?
5. Check with one of your fellow students (or your instructor) to see if the results agree. Notice that there are no other
forces acting in the direction of motion (remember, no air resistance). Then, use this force component in Newton’s
second law and solve for a. Does your result for the acceleration of the bob (and ultimately its pattern of motion) include
the mass?
6. Finally, you probably listed the initial (release) angle u as a factor that would affect the period. Your result for the
acceleration above should include this factor (in the form of sin u). Since the acceleration depends on sin u instead of u, the
situation is more complicated than those usually encountered in this course. Advanced mathematics is needed to derive the
theoretical equation for the period of a simple pendulum oscillating in a plane. This equation includes the factors discussed
previously, as well as one (constant factor) you probably wouldn’t expect.
L
1
u
9
u
T 5 2p
sin4 1 c b
a1 1 sin2 1
Åg
4
2
64
2
This equation predicts that the period will be longer if the length is longer and if the angle is larger, but the relation
is not directly proportional. Does this agree with your predictions?
A major problem in using this theoretical equation to make predictions that can be tested by experiment is the
1
u
9
u
sin4 1 c b. If we could find an approximation of this equation, it would be
infinite series a1 1 sin2 1
4
2
64
2
more useful. Since sin u 5 0 if u 5 0, if the angle is small enough, the terms with u might be negligible. Test this by
calculating the resultant sum of the first three terms in the series for an angle of 5o. Is it bigger than 1.0 by very much?
At what angle u would the first three terms add up to 1.05 (a 5% difference)?
Do you think it is reasonable to say that as long as the angle u is less than a certain value, then to a very good
1
u
9
u
L
? That is, a sin2 1
sin4 1 c,,1). Why or why not?
approximation, T 5 2p
4
2
64
2
Åg
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E X P E R I M E N T
3
The Scientific Method:
The Simple Pendulum
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. Describe what is meant by the scientific method and how it is applied.
2. What are the physical parameters in the investigation of a simple pendulum?
3. A period is an interval of time. How is this applied to a pendulum?
4. What is the difference between an independent variable and a dependent variable?
Give an example of each.
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
3
Advance Study Assignment
5. How does the period of a pendulum vary theoretically with (a) length, (b) mass of bob,
(c) angular displacement?
6. How will you experimentally check the theoretical predictions in the preceding question?
7. What is meant by a small-angle approximation?
8. How can the parabolic form y 5 ax2 be plotted as a straight line on Cartesian graph paper?
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E X P E R I M E N T
3
The Scientific Method:
The Simple Pendulum
description of certain physical phenomena (until some
other results demonstrate otherwise).
To illustrate the scientific method, in this experiment
a theoretical expression or equation that describes the
behavior of a simple pendulum is given. The validity of
this relationship will then be tested experimentally. In the
process, you will learn what variables influence the period
of a simple pendulum and how the physical relationship
and experimental data can be used to find other useful
information (for example, the value of the acceleration due
to gravity).
After performing this experiment and analyzing the
data, you should be able to do the following:
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
The laboratory is a place for the investigation of physical
phenomena and principles. In the process, new discoveries
may be made and technology advanced. In some instances,
while trying to invent things in the laboratory, scientists
make various investigations at random. This might be
called the trial-and-error approach.
Edison’s invention of the lightbulb is an example. He
kept trying until he found something that worked—a carbonized thread for a filament. Today, the physics laboratory is used in general to apply what is called the scientific
method: No theory or model of nature is valid unless its
predictions are in agreement with experimental results.
Rather than applying the somewhat haphazard
trial-and-error approach, scientists try to predict physical
phenomena theoretically, and then test the theories
against planned experiments in the laboratory. If repeated
experimental results agree with the theoretical predictions,
the theory is considered to be valid and an accurate
1. Apply the scientific method to theoretical predictions
to check their validity.
2. Understand how physical parameters are varied so as
to investigate theoretical predictions.
3. Appreciate the use of approximations to facilitate
experimental investigations and analyses.
• Three or more pendulum bobs of different masses
• Pendulum clamp (if available)
• 1 sheet of Cartesian graph paper
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
•
•
•
•
Meter stick
Laboratory timer or stopwatch
Protractor
String
THEORY
A simple pendulum consists of a “bob” (a mass) attached
to a string that is fastened such that the pendulum
assembly can swing or oscillate freely in a plane
(● Fig. 3.1). For a simple or ideal pendulum, all the mass
is considered to be concentrated at a point at the center
(of mass) of the bob.
Some of the physical properties or parameters of a
simple pendulum are (1) the length L of the pendulum,
(2) the mass m of the pendulum bob, (3) the angular
distance u through which the pendulum swings, and (4) the
period T of the pendulum, which is the time it takes for the
pendulum to swing through one complete oscillation (for
example, from A to B and back to A in Fig. 3.1).
From experience or preliminary investigation, it is
found that the period of a pendulum depends on its length
(the longer the length, the greater its period). How do you
think the other parameters (m and u) affect the period?
Figure 3.1 The simple pendulum. The physical parameters
of a simple pendulum are its length L, the mass m of the bob,
and the angle of swing u. The period T of a pendulum is the
time it takes for one completed oscillation—for example,
the time it takes to swing from A to B and back to A.
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EXPERIMENT 3
/ The Scientific Method: The Simple Pendulum
From physical principles and advanced mathematics,
the theoretical expression for the period of a simple pendulum oscillating in a plane is
L
1
u
u
9
T 5 2p
sin4 1 c b
a1 1 sin2 1
Åg
4
2
64
2
(3.1)
where g is the acceleration due to gravity and the terms
in parentheses are part of an infinite series. In calculating
T for a given angular distance u, the more terms of the
series that are evaluated, the greater the accuracy of the
theoretical result.
For small angles (u ( 20°), the u terms in the series
are small compared to unity that is, (14 sin2 u2 1 649 sin4 u2 1
c,,1), and in this case, to a good approximation:
L
T 5 2p
Åg
(3.2)
(This is called a first-order approximation. If the second
term in the series is retained, the approximation is to second order, and so on.)
Notice that even without an approximation [Eq. (3.1)],
the period is theoretically independent of the mass of the
pendulum bob. Also, within the limits of the small-angle
approximation [Eq. (3.2)], the period is independent of the
displacement angle.
It is sometimes helpful to visualize a physical system
as a “black box” with inputs and outputs.* The black box
is the relationship between the input and output parameters. The term parameter refers to anything in the physical
system that can be measured.
The input parameters are the physical variables
that may control or influence the behavior of the output
parameters (the physical quantities that are measured
and describe the resulting behavior of the system). The
input parameters are often called independent variables
because they can be varied independently of each other.
The output parameters, on the other hand, may be called
dependent variables because their values depend on the
inputs. In any given system, some of the inputs may have
little or no effect on the outputs (● Fig. 3.2).
You may find that drawing black box diagrams will
help you understand the physical systems investigated in
later experiments.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
1. Set up a simple pendulum arrangement. If a pendulum
clamp is not available, the string may be tied around
something such as a lab stand arm. Make sure that the
string is secure and does not slip on the arm.
2. Experimentally investigate the small-angle approximation [Eq. (3.2)] and the theoretical prediction
[Eq. (3.1)] that the period increases with larger angles.
Do this by determining the pendulum period for the
several angles listed in Data Table 1, keeping the
length and mass of the pendulum constant. Measure
the angles with a protractor. (Note: u is the initial
angular distance of the bob before release.)
Rather than timing only one oscillation, time
several (four or five) and determine the average period.
Timing is generally more accurate if you start the
pendulum oscillating before the timing begins. Also,
it is usually best to take the timing reference point as
the lowest point of the swing.
Measure and record the pendulum length. The
length should be measured to the center of the pendulum bob. (Why?)
Compute the percent error of the period for each
angle u, using Eq. (3.2) to calculate the theoretical
value. (In this case, do not use the absolute difference,
so that each percent error will have a sign, 1 or 2.
Further analysis will be done in the Questions section.
Proceed to the next step.
3. Experimentally investigate whether the period is
independent of the mass of the pendulum bob. Using
the three masses provided, determine the periods of a
pendulum with each mass as the bob (keeping length
L and the small angle of oscillation constant). Record
your results in Data Table 2, and draw a conclusion
from the data.
For a simple
pendulum, the input parameters (m, u, and L) influence the
output parameter (T ).
Figure 3.2 Input and output parameters.
*Suggested by Professor I. L. Fischer, Bergen Community College, New
Jersey.
4. Experimentally investigate the relationship between
the length and period of the pendulum. Using four different lengths (such as, 0.20, 0.40, 0.60, and 0.80 m),
determine the average period of a pendulum of each
length (keeping mass and the small angle of oscillation constant). Record the data in Data Table 3.
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EXPERIMENT 3
/ The Scientific Method: The Simple Pendulum
5. Compute the theoretical period for each pendulum
length [Eq. (3.2)], and enter the results in Data Table 3
(g 5 9.80 m/s2 5 980 cm/s2).
Squaring both sides of Eq. (3.2),
T2 5
6. Compute the percent error between the experimental and the theoretical values of the period for each
pendulum length, and record in Data Table 3. Draw
conclusions about the validity or applicability of
Eq. (3.2).
7. The object of the preceding experimental procedures
was to determine the validity or applicability of
Eq. (3.2)—that is, whether the experimental results
agree with the theoretical predictions as required
by the scientific method. Once found acceptable, a
theoretical expression can then be used to determine
experimentally other quantities occurring in the
expression.
For example, Eq. (3.2) provides a means for
experimentally determining g, the acceleration due
to gravity, by measuring the pendulum parameters of
length and period, as was done previously.
41
4p2
L
g
(3.3)
or
L5
g
T2
4p2
Hence, the equation has the form y 5 ax2, that of
a parabola. This can be plotted as a straight line with
the general form y 5 ax by letting L 5 y and x 5 T 2,
that is, plotting T 2 on the X-axis. The line will have a
slope of a 5 g/4p2.
8. Plot L versus T 2 for the best experimental data (lowest
percent error) in Data Table 3 and determine the
slope of the graph. Compute the experimental value of g.
Record this in the Laboratory Report and compute the
percent error of the result.
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E X P E R I M E N T
3
The Scientific Method:
The Simple Pendulum
Laboratory Report
DATA TABLE 1
Purpose: To investigate the small-angle approximation.
Mass, m ____________________ Pendulum length, L ____________________
Angle u
Period T (
Experimental
)
Percent
error
Theoretical
Conclusion:
5º
10 º
20 º
30 º
45 º
DATA TABLE 2
Purpose: To investigate period dependence on mass.
u ____________________ L ____________________
T(
m
(
)
Experimental
)
Percent
error
Theoretical
Conclusion:
Don’t forget units
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Laboratory Report
The Scientific Method: The Simple Pendulum
DATA TABLE 3
Purpose: To investigate period dependence on length.
u ____________________ m ____________________
T(
L
(
)
Experimental
)
Theoretical
Percent
error
T2
(
)
Conclusion:
Value of g from experimental ____________________
data (slope of graph)
(units)
Percent error
____________________
QUESTIONS
1. It was suggested that you measure the time for several periods and determine the average
period, rather than timing only one period.
(a) What are the advantages of this method?
(b) How and why would the result be affected if a very large number of periods were timed?
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Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
3
The Scientific Method: The Simple Pendulum
Laboratory Report
2. In general, the results of Procedure 2 may not have shown clear-cut evidence that the
period increases as dramatically with the angle as Eq. (3.1) might suggest. To understand
why, write Eq. (3.1) as
T 5 T1 a1 1
1 2u
9
u
sin 1
sin4 b
4
2
64
2
L
and compute T in terms of T1 awhere T1 5 2p
b for angles of 5°, 20°, and 60°.
Åg
Comment on the theoretical predictions and experimental accuracy in relation to your
results in Data Table 1.
3. Is air resistance or friction a systematic or a random source of error? Would it cause the
period to be larger or smaller than the theoretical value? (Hint: Consider what would
happen if the air resistance were much greater—for example, as though the pendulum were
swinging in a liquid.)
4. Thomas Jefferson once suggested that the period of a simple pendulum be used to define the
standard unit of length. What would be the period of a pendulum with a length of 1.0 m?
5. Suppose the 1.0 m pendulum were operated on the Moon. What would its period be there?
(gM 5 g/6)
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E X P E R I M E N T
4
Uniformly Accelerated Motion
Experimental Planning
GL Figure 4.1 A daring experimenter.
See Experi-
mental Planning text for description.
A. Object in Free Fall
An object in free fall falls under the influence of gravity only; resistance is neglected. A good
approximation to free fall in the laboratory is when dense objects fall for relatively short
distances. Use the following equipment to determine the acceleration due to gravity (g).
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
4
Experimental Planning
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
•
•
•
•
3 objects of different masses (for example, steel balls and/or lead weights)
Meter stick
Laboratory timer or stopwatch
One sheet of graph paper
Review the definition of acceleration. Which of the quantities involved can be directly measured
with the given equipment?
The defining equation is not practical to use in many cases. However, the units for acceleration
are distance and time (m/s2), and these quantities can be measured with the equipment given.
Can you give a kinematic equation for an object that is dropped (no initial velocity) that only
involves length, time, and acceleration? (Use y for length and g for acceleration.)
Hence we have a simple equation that involves only length, time, and acceleration, along with
the equipment to measure length and time for a falling object to find g. Solve the equation for t,
which is the time of fall that will be measured.
Answer the following questions.
1. What effect might the distance of fall have on your experimental measurements and
results? (Hint: Consider the following “extreme” cases.)
(a) How long would it take the object to reach the floor if you dropped it from a height of
0.50 m? Could you measure this accurately with a stopwatch?
(b) What if an object were dropped from a height of 10 m? Could you measure this
distance accurately with a meter stick? Would the acceleration remain constant?
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Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
4
Advance Study Assignment
2. From the preceding calculation it should be obvious that to experimentally time the
distance of fall for a dropped object is critical. To gain an appreciation of how the distance
of fall varies with time, consider the daring experimenter shown in ● GL Fig. 4.1. Jo-Jo
will illustrate the time-distance relationship of free fall by stepping off a high, vertical cliff
with a timer in one hand and a marker in the other. For each second of fall, he makes a
mark on the cliff face.
But wait. Jo-Jo wants you to determine how far he would fall during each second for
the first 5 seconds. He requests you plot the results on a distance versus time graph for a
visual display.
Oh, one other thing. He wants to open his parachute when reaching 60 mi/h. At what
time, or between which seconds, should he do this?
3. Given three objects with same size and shape, but different masses, when dropped, would
the heaviest fall the fastest? If so, would this mean that the acceleration due to gravity
depends on mass? Or could there be another factor involved? (Hint: Take a look at the
opening sentence of this experimental planning.)
4. Suppose that the initial height of the object were measured from the top of the object at
the release point to the floor. How would this affect your experimental result for g, that is,
would it be too high or too low? Is this a random or a systematic error?
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
B. Linear Air Track
1. How is the acceleration of a car traveling on an elevated air track related to (a) the angle of
elevation; (b) the height of elevation?
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
4
Advance Study Assignment
2. What is the equation describing the instantaneous velocity of a car on an elevated air track,
and what is the shape of the graph of the instantaneous velocity versus time?
3. Will the graph of instantaneous velocity versus time have a y-axis intercept of zero?
Explain.
4. Describe how the instantaneous velocity of a car traveling on an elevated air track can be
calculated from displacement and time data.
Advance Study Assignment
1. What precautions need to be taken when working with a fan-propelled car?
2. For an object moving with constant acceleration, what will be the shape of a graph of
position versus time? What will be the shape of a graph of velocity versus time?
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E X P E R I M E N T
4
Uniformly Accelerated Motion
The CI procedures extend the investigation by considering not only the linear relationship for uniformly accelerated motion, v 5 at, but also the parabolic relationship,
x 5 12 at 2. This is done using a fan car and a rotary motion
sensor.
OVERVIEW (TI, CI)
Experiment 4 examines uniformly accelerated motion using
complementary TI and CI approaches. The TI procedures
investigate the accelerations of (1) an object in free fall,
and (2) a car on a linear air track for both horizontal and
inclined motions.
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES (TI, CI)
OBJECTIVES
An important case in kinematics is that of an object in uniformly accelerated motion—one having a uniform or constant acceleration. Probably the most common example is a
falling object near the surface of the Earth. An object falling
solely under the influence of gravity is said to be in free fall,
and that object falls with an acceleration g (the acceleration
due to gravity). Near the Earth’s surface, the acceleration
due to gravity is approximately constant, with a common
value of
1. Analyze the motion of an object that moves with constant acceleration.
2. Understand what it means to say that the position
varies with the square of the time.
GENERAL THEORY (TI, CI)
When an object moves with a uniform or constant acceleration, the position of the object at a time t is given by
g 5 9.80 m/s2 5 980 cm/s2 5 32.2 ft/s2
x 5 xo 1 vo t 1 12 at 2
Of course, air resistance affects the acceleration of a
falling object. But for relatively dense objects over short distances of fall, the effects of air resistance are negligible, and
objects fall with an acceleration of g.
In this experiment the acceleration due to gravity is used
to investigate an object undergoing uniformly accelerated
motion to see how its velocity and displacement change with
time. Conversely, with displacement and time measurements,
the value of g can be determined. The experimental data and
their analyses will yield a better understanding of the kinetic
equations describing the motion.
(4.1)
where vo is the initial velocity and a is the constant acceleration. For an initial position arbitrarily chosen to be
xo 5 0, and for an object starting from rest (vo 5 0), the
position at any time reduces to
x 5 12 at 2
(4.2)
Or for an object in free fall, y 5 12 gt 2, where y is taken
as the vertical direction (downward taken as positive to
avoid minus signs). Hence by measuring the time t it takes
for an object to fall a distance y, the acceleration due to
gravity g can be easily calculated.
Note that for any case where the acceleration is
constant, the relationship between position and time is not
linear: The position is proportional to the square of the
time (t2), not just to the time (t). A graph of x versus t will
be a parabola, not a straight line.
On the other hand, if the object has constant acceleration, then the velocity is changing at a steady rate. The
velocity of the object at any time after it starts from rest
(vo 5 0), is given by
OBJECTIVES
After performing this experiment and analyzing the data,
you should be able to do the following:
1. Clearly distinguish between average and instantaneous velocity.
2. Express how the velocity of a uniformly accelerated
object changes with time.
3. Express how the distance traveled by a uniformly
accelerated object changes with time.
4. Explain how the uniform acceleration of an object may
be determined from distance and time measurements.
v 5 at
(4.3)
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EXPERIMENT 4
/ Uniformly Accelerated Motion
which is a linear function of time. A graph of v versus t
will be a straight line.
The motion of an object undergoing constant acceleration is analyzed to better understand what it means to
say that the position varies with the square of the time.
This is compared to the velocity function, which is directly
proportional to the time. The results apply to any type of
uniformly accelerated motion.
and from the geometry, sin u 5 h/L (side opposite the
angle over the hypotenuse). Hence,
a5
gh
L
(TI 4.2)
The magnitude of the instantaneous velocity v of the
uniformly accelerating glider at a time t is given theoretically by
B. Linear Air Track
Types of linear air tracks are shown in ● TI Fig. 4.2. Air
is supplied to the interior of the hollow track and emerges
through a series of small holes in the track. This provides
a cushion of air on which a car or glider travels along the
track with very little friction (an example of the use of a
gaseous lubricant).
To have the car move under the influence of gravity, one
end of the air track is elevated on a block. The acceleration of
the car along the air track is then due to a component of the
force due to gravity, F 5 ma 5 mg sin u (● TI Fig. 4.3). The
acceleration a of the glider along the air track is
a 5 g sin u
v 5 vo 1 at
(TI 4.3)
Hence, a graph of v versus t is a straight line (y 5
mx 1 b) with a slope m 5 a 5 Dv/Dt and an intercept
b 5 vo. If the car starts from rest, the initial velocity vo is
zero, and
v 5 at
(TI 4.4)
(TI 4.1)
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T I
E X P E R I M E N T
4
Uniformly Accelerated Motion
B. Linear Air Track
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
•
•
•
•
A. Object in Free Fall
(see TI Experimental Planning at the beginning of the
experiment.)
Linear air track
Several laboratory timers or stopwatches
Wooden blocks of two different heights
1 sheet of Cartesian graph paper
(Optional A TI 4A experiment for the free-fall spark timer
is given near the end of the experiment.)
(a)
TI Figure 4.3 Accelerating car on air track. When one end
of an air track is elevated, the acceleration of the car is due
to the component of the (weight) force mg, and a 5 g sin u.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
A. Object in Free Fall
1. One person should drop the object and do the timing.
Lab partners should alternate.
2. Distinguish the objects as m1, m2, and m3. Drop one of
them from a fixed height y above the floor and measure
its time of fall. Drop it with the arm held horizontally
or held upward. (Depending on your height, it may be
advantageous to stand on a small step stool. (Why?)
Do a couple of practice runs to become familiar with
the procedure. Record the data for four trials in TI Data
Table 1. Repeat this procedure for the other two objects.
(b)
TI Figure 4.2 Air tracks. (a) A blower supplies air to the
track through the hose on the right. The cars or gliders travel
on a thin cushion of air, which greatly reduces friction.
(b) An air track may be equipped with photogates for
automatic timing. (Photos Courtesy of Sargent-Welch.)
3. Compute the acceleration g due to gravity from,
using the times of fall. Find the average (mean) value.
Note: The results obtained by this procedure may have
very poor accuracy and precision. (Why?)
It can be shown that the instantaneous velocities of the
car can be found from the experimental data of the measured
displacements xi of the glider along the air track at times ti
(with vo 5 0) by
vi 5
2xi
ti
B. Linear Air Track
4. The air track should be set up and leveled by the instructor or laboratory assistant. Do not attempt to make
any adjustments to the air track. Ask your instructor
for assistance if you need it.
(TI 4.5)
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EXPERIMENT 4
/ Uniformly Accelerated Motion
5. Turn on the air supply, and place the car in motion
by applying a small force on the car in a direction
parallel to the air track. Do not attempt to move the
car on the air track if the air supply is not turned on.
Use the same small force for each trial—for example,
by compressing a spring attached to the car.
6. Using laboratory timers or stopwatches, determine the
times required for the car to travel several convenient
distances, such as 0.20 m, 0.40 m, 0.50 m, 0.75 m,
and so on. Record the times and distances in TI Data
Table 2.*
Several students should work together, each with
a timer, taking a time reading as the car passes his or
her assigned distance mark. Make several practice
trials before taking actual data. (Remember that the
distances are length intervals and need not be measured from the end of the air track. Make use of as
much of the air track as is conveniently possible.)
7. After completing Procedure 6, ask the instructor to
elevate one end of the air track on a block, or obtain
permission to do so. Measure h and L (see TI Fig. 4.3)
and enter your results in TI Data Table 2.
8. Start the car from rest near the elevated end of the air
track. (To minimize error, it is better to put a block or
pencil in front of the car and pull this away smoothly
rather than releasing the car by hand.) Measure and
record the times required for the car to travel the
distances listed, and record your results in TI Data
Table 2. Use the experimental method described in
Procedure 6.
9. Have the end of the air track elevated to a different
height, and repeat the time measurements for this
height.
10. Using Eq. (TI 4.5), compute the instantaneous velocity of the car for each of the times in the three experimental sets of data in TI Data Table 2.
11. Plot v versus t for each case on the same graph and
determine the slope of each line.
12. Using Eq. (TI 4.2), compute an experimental value of
the acceleration due to gravity (a 5 g) for each of the
elevated-air-track cases. Compute the percent error
for each experimental result.
* If electronic photogate timers are available, your instructor will give
you instruction in their use. Electronic timing greatly improves the
accuracy and precision of the results. (Why?)
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Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
T I
E X P E R I M E N T
4
Uniformly Accelerated Motion
Laboratory Report
A. Object in Free Fall
DATA TABLE 1
Purpose: To determine g experimentally (and check mass dependence).
y ____________________
m1
Trial
Time of fall, t
(
)
Calculated g
(
)
1
2
3
4
Average (mean) value
m2
Trial
Time of fall, t
(
)
Calculated g
(
)
1
2
3
4
Average (mean) value
m3
Trial
Time of fall, t
(
)
Calculated g
(
)
1
2
3
4
Average (mean) value
Calculations
(show work, attach page to report)
(continued)
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4
Laboratory Report
Uniformly Accelerated Motion
B. Linear Air Track
DATA TABLE 2
Purpose: To determine g experimentally
Distances (
)
1. Time ti (
)
1
Level air track
2
3
Average
Computed vi (
2. Time ti (
)
)
1
Elevated air track
2
h1 ______________
3
Average
Computed vi (
3. Time ti (
)
)
1
Elevated air track
2
h2 ______________
3
Average
Computed vi (
)
Calculations
(show work)
Length of air track L
Slopes of graphs 1.
2.
Experimental values of g
(computed from data) 1.
2.
3.
Percent error 1.
2.
3.
3.
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
4
Uniformly Accelerated Motion
Laboratory Report
QUESTIONS
A. Object in Free Fall
1. Objects of different mass were used to see whether the acceleration due to gravity depends
on the mass of a falling object. In other words, does a heavier object fall faster than a
lighter object? What do your experimental results show?
2. What is probably the greatest source of error in the experimental procedure?
B. Linear Air Track
3. What are the major sources of error in this procedure?
4. What would be the shapes of the curves for a graph of y versus t of the data in each
experimental case? How would you determine the value of the car’s acceleration from
a graph using only y and t values (that is, not computing vi)?
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
4
Uniformly Accelerated Motion
Laboratory Report
5. What is the physical significance of the slope of the graph for the case of the
level air track?
6. What is the maximum possible value of the slope of a v-versus-t curve for a car released
from rest on an air track elevated at one end? Describe the experimental setup in this case.
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C I
E X P E R I M E N T
4
Uniformly Accelerated Motion
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
• 1 collision (or plunger) cart Pasco Collision Cart ME-9454 (or ME-9430) (Any of the classic carts or the
Pascars will work fine.)
• 1 fan accessory Pasco ME-9491
• 1 dynamics track
• 1 rotary motion sensor (RMS) CI-6538
• Brackets and pulley mounts:
1 cart-string bracket CI-6569
1 dynamics track mount accessory CI-6692 (to mount the RMS to the track)
1 RMS/IDS adapter ME-6569 (track pulley bracket)
• String
• Optional:
Track end-stop
SETTING UP DATA STUDIO
THEORY (See TI, CI General Theory at the
beginning of the experiment.)
1. Open Data Studio and choose Create Experiment.
2. The Experiment Setup window will open and you will
see a picture of the Science Workshop interface. There
are seven channels to choose from. (Digital channels
1, 2, 3 and 4 are the small buttons on the left; analog channels A, B and C are the larger buttons on the
right, as shown in ● CI Figure 4.2.)
3. Click on the Channel 1 button in the picture. A window with a list of sensors will open.
4. Choose the Rotary Motion Sensor from the list and
press OK.
5. The diagram now shows you the properties of the
RMS sensor directly under the picture of the interface.
(See CI Fig. 4.2.)
6. Connect the sensor to the interface as shown on the
computer screen, to channels 1 and 2.
7. Adjust the properties of the RMS as follows:
First Measurements tab: select Position, Ch 1&2.
Deselect all others.
EQUIPMENT SETUP
1. The cart-string bracket and the fan accessory are
mounted on top of the cart.
2. The rotary motion sensor (RMS) is mounted to one
side of the track, with the small pulley of the RMS/IDS
adapter mounted on the opposite end of the same side of
the track. ● CI Fig. 4.1 is a diagram of the setup.
3. The string makes a full loop connecting the cart-string
bracket with the large pulley of the RMS sensor and
the small pulley on the opposite bracket. That string
should be tense, but not tight.
4. Adjust the height of the string so that the fan blade
clears the string as it spins. The RMS and the small
pulley can be moved as far down as needed for the
blades to clear the string.
Fan accessory
RMS/IDS
Adapter
RMS
String
Small
pulley
Track
Cart-string
bracket
To computer
Mount
accessory
A string makes a full loop from the cart-string bracket, to the RMS pulley, to the small pulley on the opposite end of the track, and back to the cart. The height of the RMS and the pulley must be
adjusted so that the fan blades do not touch the string as they spin.
CI Figure 4.1 Rotary motion sensor and cart setup.
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EXPERIMENT 4
/ Uniformly Accelerated Motion
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
WARNING! Be careful not to touch the fan blades while
they are spinning.
1. Turn the fan on, but hold on to the car so that it does
not yet move.
2. Have a partner press the START button. Let go of the
car. Your partner must press the STOP button before
the car reaches the end of the track, to prevent data
being taken of collisions and rebounds with pulleys or
end-stops. You may need to do a few practice runs to
become familiar with the procedure.
Top of the
screen: the Science Workshop interface and the seven available channels. Once a sensor is chosen, an icon for the
sensor appears under the appropriate channel. Here, for
example, is the RMS icon directly under Channels 1 and 2.
Bottom of the window: the properties of the selected sensor
can be adjusted as needed. (Reprinted courtesy of PASCO
Scientific.)
CI Figure 4.2 The Experiment Setup Window.
Second Measurements tab: select Velocity,
Ch 1&2. Deselect all others.
The Data list on the left of the screen should now have
two icons: one for the position data, the other for the
velocity data.
8. Create a graph by dragging the position data icon from
the data list and dropping it on top of the graph icon of
the displays list. A graph of position versus time will
open in a window called “Graph 1.”
9. Now drag the velocity data icon and drop it somewhere in the middle of the graph. The graph display
will split into two graphs: one of position, the other of
velocity, as shown in ● CI Fig. 4.3.
Note: If the graphs show negative values, reverse
the fan so that it is facing in the opposite direction,
and start again from the opposite side of the track.
3. Carefully turn off the fan.
4. You should have two graphs on the screen. Use the
Scale-to-fit button on the graph toolbar to display the
data clearly. Notice that the graph of position versus
time is a smooth parabola. The graph of velocity versus time is a straight line.
5. Click anywhere on the position-versus-time graph to
make it active. Use the Smart Tool (a button on the
graph toolbar, labeled “xy”) to choose a data point that
is close to the beginning of the motion but for which
the position is not zero. Record the position and the
time of this point in CI Data Table 1 as the first data
points, x1 and t1.
6. Find the position at a time t2 5 2t1. That is, where was
the car when the previous time doubled? Record x2.
7. Repeat for times t3 5 3t1, t4 5 4t1, . . . as many multiples of t1 as you can get from the graph. (The longer
the track you use, the more you can get.)
Data icons →
← Position
graph
Graph display
option →
← Velocity
graph
CI Figure 4.3 Graph displays. The graph display in this picture has been maximized to occupy most of the screen. (Reprinted
courtesy of PASCO Scientific.)
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EXPERIMENT 4
8. Determine by what factor the distance traveled at time
t2 is greater than the distance at time t1. Then determine by what factor the distance traveled at time t3 is
greater than the distance at time t1. Continue until CI
Data Table 1 is complete.
9. Now click anywhere on the velocity-versus-time graph
to activate it. Use the Smart Tool to find the velocity of
the cart at each of the times t1, t2, . . . , tn. Record the
/ Uniformly Accelerated Motion
61
velocities in CI Data Table 2, and calculate by how much
the velocity increases as the times double, triple, etc.
10. Use the Fit Tool to determine the slope of the velocity graph. (The fit tool is on the graph toolbar; it is
a drop menu called “Fit.”) Choose a “Linear Fit” for
your graph. Report the slope in CI Data Table 2. What
is the slope of a velocity-versus-time plot measuring?
(Hint: Think of the units!)
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
C I
E X P E R I M E N T
4
Uniformly Accelerated Motion
Laboratory Report
DATA TABLE 1
Purpose: To investigate a position function that is proportional to the square of the time.
Time
Position
t1
x1
t2
x2
t3
x3
t4
x4
How many times larger
is xn than x1?
xn yx1
DATA TABLE 2
Purpose: To investigate a velocity function that is proportional to the time.
Time
Velocity
t1
v1
t2
v2
t3
v3
t4
v4
How many times larger
is vn than v1?
vn yv1
Slope of the graph: ___________________
(units)
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
4
Uniformly Accelerated Motion
Laboratory Report
QUESTIONS
1. In CI Data Table 1 you measured the position of the car at different times. When the time
doubled, did the distance from the origin double also? When the time tripled, did the
distance from the origin triple also? Can you see the pattern?
2. Discuss what it means to say that the position function is not directly proportional to the
time (t), but to the time squared (t 2).
3. Judging on the basis of the observed pattern, and without using theoretical equations,
predict the position of the car when the time is 10t1. What will the position be at 20t1?
4. In CI Data Table 2 you repeated the procedure for the velocities. What is the pattern now?
5. On the basis of the observed pattern, predict the velocity of the car for times 10t1 and 20t1.
6. A graph of x versus t is a parabola, because x ~ t2. But if you plot x versus t2, the resulting
graph will be a straight line, with slope 12 a, as shown below. Make a graph with your values
of xn on the vertical axis and your times squared on the horizontal. Determine the slope,
and use it to find the acceleration of the car. (Attach a graph to Lab Report.)
x
T
y
5
1
2
5
T
m
a
t2
T
x
7. By determining a percent difference, compare the acceleration of the car determined from
your graph to that measured as the slope of the velocity graph.
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
T I
E X P E R I M E N T
4 A
(OPTIONAL)
Uniformly Accelerated Motion:
Free-Fall Spark-Timer
Apparatus
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. How are data recorded on the tape strip, and what information does the data tape give?
2. What precautions should be taken in using the apparatus? What could happen if this is
not done?
3. What equation describes the instantaneous velocity of an object in free fall, and what is the
shape of the graph of the instantaneous velocity versus time?
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
4 A
Advance Study Assignment
4. Should the graph of instantaneous velocity versus time have a y-axis intercept
of zero? Explain.
5. Describe how the instantaneous velocity of an object in free fall can be calculated from
displacement and time data.
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T I
E X P E R I M E N T
4 A
Uniformly Accelerated Motion
See the previous Introduction and Objectives.
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
• Free-fall apparatus
• Meter stick
the other. However, as the metal object falls between the
wires, the spark (electrical current) jumps from one wire
to the metal object, travels through the object, and jumps
to the other wire. In so doing, the spark burns a spot on the
paper tape strip.
The spots on the tape are, then, a certain time interval apart, as selected and usually preset on the spark timer.
The series of spots on the tape gives the vertical distance
of fall as a function of time, from which can be measured
the distance yi that the object falls in a time ti.
The instantaneous velocity v of a free-falling object
(neglecting air resistance) at a time t is given theoretically by
THEORY
Some free-fall timer apparatuses are shown in ● TI
Fig. 4.1A. The free-fall spark-timer assembly consists of
a metal object that falls freely between two wires with a
tape strip of specially treated paper between the object and
one of the wires. The spark timer is a fast timing device
that supplies a high voltage across the wires periodically
at preset time intervals (for example, a frequency of 60 Hz,
or time interval of 601 s, since t 5 1/f ). The free-fall apparatus is equipped with an electromagnet that releases the
metal object when the spark timer is activated.
A high voltage causes a spark to jump between two
electrical conductors in close proximity. The wires are
too far apart for a spark to jump directly from one wire to
TI Figure 4.1A Spark timers.
v 5 vo 1 gt
(TI 4.1A)
Types of free-fall spark timer apparatuses. (Photos (left and center) Photo Courtesy of
Sargent-Welch. (right) Harvard)
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EXPERIMENT 4A
/ Uniformly Accelerated Motion
(where downward is taken as the positive direction).
Hence, a graph of v versus t is a straight line (y 5 mx 1 b)
with a slope m 5 Dv/Dt 5 g and an intercept b 5 vo, the
initial velocity. Recall that t in TI Eq. 4.1A is really a time
interval measured from an arbitrary starting time to 5 0.
At this time, the velocity of the object is vo, which may or
may not be zero.
The motion of the falling object as recorded on the
experimental data tape is analyzed as follows. The average
velocity v of an object traveling a distance yi in a time ti is
defined as
v5
yi
ti
(TI 4.2A)
Keep in mind that y i and t i are really length and time
intervals, or the differences between corresponding instantaneous lengths and times. Referenced to an initial position and time (yo and to), Dyi 5 yi 2 yo and Dti 5 ti 2 to,
arbitrarily taking yo 5 0 and Dti 5 ti. (It is these intervals
that will be measured from the data tape.)
For a uniformly accelerated object (moving with a
constant acceleration), as in the case of free fall, the average velocity is given by
v5
vi 1 vo
2
(TI 4.3A)
where vi and vo are the instantaneous velocities at times ti
and to, respectively. (Why is this? Consult your textbook.)
Then, equating the expressions for v, given by TI Eq. (4.2A)
and TI Eq. (4.3A) and solving for vi, we have
vi 1 vo
yi
5
2
ti
and
vi 5
2yi
2 vo
ti
(TI 4.4A)
If vo 5 0 (that is, the object falls from rest), then
vi 5
2yi
ti
(TI 4.5A)
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
1. Your laboratory instructor will make a data tape for
you or assist and direct you in obtaining one. Care
must be taken in aligning the apparatus.
Caution: When working with high voltages, one
must be careful not to receive an electrical shock. Do
not touch metal parts when the spark timer is on.
2. Record the time interval of the spark timer used on the
data tape, and draw small circles around the burn spots
so that their locations can be easily seen. Occasionally,
a spot of the sequence may be missing (for example,
due to local misalignment of the wires). However, it is
usually easy to tell that a spot is missing by observation of the tape. Do not try to guess where the spot
should be. Simply make a mark on the tape to indicate
that a spot is missing.
3. Through each spot, draw a straight line perpendicular
to the length of the tape. Using the line through the
beginning spot as a reference (yo 5 0), measure the
distance of each spot line from the reference line (y1,
y2, y3, etc.). Write the measured value of the distance
on the tape by each respective spot line.
Making use of the known spark-timer interval, write the time taken for the object to fall a
given distance on the tape by each spot line, taking
to 5 0 at yo 5 0. For example, if the timer interval
is 601 s, the time interval between the reference line
(yo 5 0) and the first spot line (y 1) is t1 5 601 s and
the time taken to fall to the second spot line (y2) is
t2 5 601 1 601 5 602 5 301 s. (Do not forget to account
for the time intervals associated with missing spots,
if any.)
4. Record the data measured from the tape in TI Data
Table 1. Using TI Eq. (4.5A), compute the instantaneous velocity of the falling object at each spot line
from the experimental data, and record.
5. At this point, you should realize that the instantaneous
velocities given by TI Eq. (4.5A) (vi 5 2yi/ti) are not
the actual instantaneous velocities of the falling object, since it had a nonzero initial velocity or was in
motion at the first spot line (yo). TI Eq. (4.4A) really
applies to the situation, and 2yi/ti 5 vi 5 vo. Note that
the instantaneous velocities you computed (2y i /t i)
included vo.
Even so, plot the computed vi’s on a v-versust graph and determine the slope. This will still be
an experimental value of g. Compute the percent
error of your experimental result. (Accepted value,
g 5 9.80 m/s2 5 980 cm/s2.)
6. You will notice on your graph that the line does not
intercept the y-axis at the origin (t 5 0). This is because
t 5 0 usually was measured not at the actual time of
release, but at some time later. From TI Eqs. (4.4A)
and (4.1A) we see that at t = 0 in the measurement
time frame
2yo
5 2vo B5 vi(t 5 0) R
to
where y o and t o are, respectively, the distance and
time measured by the zero values from the point of
release.
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EXPERIMENT 4A
The initial velocity at the first line spot is then
vo 5 yo /to. This gives you the extra bonus of being
able to determine vo from your graph, since
vi(t 5 0)
vo 5
2
/ Uniformly Accelerated Motion
69
where vi(t 5 0) is the intercept value. Compute the initial
velocity that the falling object had at your first line
spot, and record in TI Data Table 1.
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
T I
E X P E R I M E N T
4 A
Uniformly Accelerated Motion
Laboratory Report
Free-Fall Timer Apparatus
DATA TABLE 1
Purpose: To determine g experimentally.
Spark-timer interval ____________________
Distance yi (
Time ti (
)
)
Computed velocity vi 5 2yi/ ti (
y1
t1
v1
y2
t2
v2
y3
t3
v3
y4
t4
v4
y5
t5
v5
y6
t6
v6
y7
t7
v7
y8
t8
v8
y9
t9
v9
y10
t10
v10
y11
t11
v11
y12
t12
v12
y13
t13
v13
y14
t14
v14
y15
t15
v15
Calculations
(show work)
)
Value of g from graph
(attach graph to lab report) ____________________
(units)
Percent error ____________________
Initial velocity at yo ____________________
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
4 A
Uniformly Accelerated Motion
Laboratory Report
QUESTIONS
1. Suppose that a different spark-timer interval were used. How would this affect the slope of
the graph of v versus t?
2. What would be the shape of the curve of a y-versus-t graph of the experimental data?
3. If t 5 0 were taken to be associated with some line spot other than yo (for example, y3
instead), how would this affect the v-versus-t graph?
4. Calculate vo directly from the first two measurement entries in TI Data Table 1, using
the equation vo 5 2y1 /t1 2 y2 /t2. (Your instructor can derive this for you.) How does this
compare with the value determined from your graph?
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
5
The Addition and Resolution
of Vectors: The Force Table
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. Distinguish between scalar and vector quantities, and give an example of each.
2. How are vectors represented graphically, and how are scalars and vector quantities
distinguished when written as symbols?
3. What is meant by drawing a vector to scale? Give a numerical example.
4. Why is the triangle method called the head-to-tail (or tip-to-tail) method?
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
5
Advance Study Assignment
5. How may the resultant of two vectors be computed analytically from a vector triangle?
6. How many vectors may be added by the polygon method? Are other methods of vector
addition limited to the number of vectors that can be added? Explain.
7. What is meant by resolving a vector into components? Give an example.
8. Briefly describe the steps in the component method of vector addition.
9. On a force table, what is the difference between the equilibrant and the resultant?
Why is only one of these actually determined experimentally?
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E X P E R I M E N T
5
The Addition and Resolution
of Vectors: The Force Table
analytical. The chief methods of these will be described,
and the addition of force vectors will be investigated. The
results of graphical and analytical methods will be compared with the experimental results obtained from a force
table. The experimental arrangements of forces (vectors)
will physically illustrate the principles of the methods of
vector addition.
After performing this experiment and analyzing the data,
you should be able to do the following:
1. Add a set of vectors graphically to find the resultant.
2. Add a set of vectors analytically to find the resultant.
3. Appreciate the difference in convenience between using
graphical and using analytical methods of vector
addition.
Vectors will be indicated by bold-face, roman letters.
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
Physical quantities are generally classified as either scalar
or vector quantities. The distinction is simple. A scalar
quantity (or scalar) is one with magnitude only (including units)—for example, speed (15 m/s) and temperature
(20 °C). A vector quantity (or vector), on the other hand,
has both magnitude and direction. Such quantities include
displacement, velocity, acceleration, and force—for example, a velocity of 15 m/s north or a force of 10 N along
the 1x-axis.
Because vectors have the property of direction, the
common method of addition, that is scalar addition, is
not applicable to vector quantities. To find the resultant
or vector sum of two or more vectors, special methods of
vector addition are used, which may be graphical and/or
•
•
•
•
•
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
• Force table with four pulleys
• Four weight hangers
• Set of slotted weights (masses), including three of
50 g and three of 100 g
String
Protractor
Ruler
Level
3 sheets of Cartesian graph paper
The magnitude of R is proportional to the length of
the vector arrow, and the direction of R may be specified
as being at an angle u relative to A.
THEORY
A. Methods of Vector Addition: Graphical
Triangle Method
Vectors are represented graphically by arrows (● Fig. 5.1).
The length of a vector arrow is proportional to the magnitude of the vector (drawn to scale on graph paper), and the
arrow points in the direction of the vector.
The length scale is arbitrary and is usually selected
for convenience and so that the vector graph fits nicely on
the graph paper. A typical scale for a force vector might be
1 cm:10 N. That is, each centimeter of vector length represents 10 newtons. The scaling factor in this case in terms of
force per unit length is 10 N/cm. (Note the similarity with the
common food cost factor of price/lb—for example, 10¢/lb.)
When two vectors are added by the triangle method
A 1 B, the vectors are placed “head-to-tail” (or “tip-to-tail”),
that is, the head of A and the tail of B (Fig. 5.1a). Vector
arrows may be moved around as long as they remain pointed
in the same direction. Then, drawing a vector from the tail
of A to the head of B gives the vector R and completes the
triangle. R is the resultant or vector sum of A 1 B; in other
words, by vector addition, R 5 A 1 B.
Polygon Method
If more than two vectors are added, the head-to-tail method
forms a polygon (Fig. 5.1b). For three vectors, the resultant
R 5 A 1 B 1 C is the vector arrow from the tail of the A
arrow to the head of the C vector. The length (magnitude)
and the angle of orientation of R can be measured from the
vector diagram. Note that this is equivalent to applying the
head-to-tail method twice—the head of A to the tail of B,
and the head of B to the tail of C.
The magnitude (length) R and the orientation angle
u of the resultant vector R in a graphical method can be
measured directly from the vector diagram using a ruler
and a protractor.
Example 5.1 To illustrate scaling and the graphical triangle method, let A and B represent forces at
angles of 0° and 60°, respectively, with magnitudes of
A 5 2.45 N and B 5 1.47 N.
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EXPERIMENT 5
/ The Addition and Resolution of Vectors: The Force Table
Figure 5.1 Vector addition.
Methods of vector addition. Vectors are represented graphically by arrows. See text for
description.
Then, choosing a scaling factor (say, 0.50 N/cm), a
vector length is found by dividing its magnitude by
the scaling factor (magnitude/scaling factor). Note the
unit cancellation:
A: 2.45 N/ 1 0.50 N/cm 2 5 4.9 cm
B: 1.47 N/ 1 0.50 N/cm 2 5 2.9 cm
Here, the 0.50-N/cm scaling factor was chosen so
as to keep ● Fig. 5.2 an appropriate size. In drawing
your vector diagrams, you should choose a scaling factor that will use most of the allotted space on the graph
paper—much as in plotting a graph in Experiment 1.
Also, a factor with two significant figures was chosen
because graph paper grids are usually not fine enough
to plot more digits accurately.
The triangle has been drawn in Fig. 5.2, where
R 5 A 1 B. The R vector is measured (with ruler and
protractor) to have a length of 6.8 cm and a direction
angle of u 5 22° relative to the A vector. The magnitude of R in newtons is found using the scaling factor:
R 5 1 scaling factor 2 1 measured length 2
5 1 0.50 N/cm 2 1 6.8 cm 2 5 3.4 N
B. Methods of Vector Addition: Analytical
Triangle Method
A resultant vector R is determined by using the head-totail method as shown in Fig. 5.2. When not a simple right
triangle, the magnitude of R can be computed from the law
of cosines if the angle g (the angle opposite R) is known:
R2 5 A2 1 B2 2 2AB cos g
(5.1)
The angle u (between R and A) can then be computed using
the law of sines with the magnitudes of sides B and R known:
B
R
5
sin u
sin g
(5.2)
From Example 5.1, the magnitudes of A and B are 2.45 N and
1.47 N, respectively, and, as can be seen directly from Fig. 5.2,
g 5 120°. (Why?) Using the law of cosines [Eq. (5.1)]:
R2 5 A2 1 B2 2 2AB cos g
5 (2.45 N)2 1 (1.47 N)2
2 2(2.45 N)(1.47 N) cos 120°
5 6.00 N2 1 2.16 N2 2 2(3.60 N2)(20.500)*
5 11.76 N2
and taking the square root:
R 5 3.43 N
The directional angle u may be found using the law of
sines [Eq. (5.2)]:
u 5 sin21 a
B sin g
b
R
5 sin21 a
1.0
2.0 A 3.0
4.0
5.0
6.0
(cm)
Figures are often scaled
down so as to maintain a convenient size. Here the vector
triangle is shown to scale, with a scaling factor of 0.50 N/cm.
See text for description.
Figure 5.2 Drawing to scale.
1.47 N (sin 120°)
b 5 21.8°
3.43 N
Remember that this is the angle between vectors R and A.
Note that the results are the same as in Example 5.1 to two
significant figures.
*Value obtained by calculator or from trig table with cos 120° 5
cos(180° 2 120°) 5 2 cos 60° u s i n g t h e t r i g o n o m e t r i c i d e n t i t y
cos (A 2 B) 5 cos A cos B 1 sin A sin B.
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EXPERIMENT 5
/ The Addition and Resolution of Vectors: The Force Table
Component Method
If two vectors A and B are at right (90°) angles (● Fig. 5.3a),
then the magnitude of their resultant is given by the
Pythagorean theorem, R 5 "A2 1 B2 (the hypotenuse
of a right triangle is equal to the square root of the sum
of the squares of the legs of the triangle). Notice that
the law of cosines reduces to this formula with g 5 90°
(because cos 90° 5 0). The angle of orientation is given by
tan u 5 B/A, or u 5 tan21 (B/A).
By the inverse process, a vector may be resolved into x
and y components (Fig. 5.3b). That is, the vector R is the resultant of Rx and Ry, and R 5 Rx 1 Ry, where Rx 5 R cos u
and Ry 5 R sin u. The magnitude of R is given by
R 5 "R2x 1 R2y
(5.3)
and
tan u 5
Ry
(5.4)
Rx
or
u 5 tan21 a
Ry
Rx
b
(resultant, magnitude, and angle)
77
The vector sum of any number of vectors can be
obtained by using the component method. This is conveniently done by having all the vectors originate from the
origin and resolving each into x and y components, as
shown in ● Fig. 5.4 for R 5 A 1 B 1 C.
The procedure is to add vectorially all of the x components together and all of the y components together. The
Rx and Ry resultants are then added together to get the total
resultant R. To illustrate this for the vectors in Fig. 5.4,
Rx 5 Ax 1 Bx 1 Cx
5 6.0 cos 60° N 1 0 2 10 cos 30° N
5 25.7 N
Ry 5 Ay 1 By 1 Cy
5 6.0 sin 60° N 1 5.0 N 2 10 sin 30° N
5 5.2 N
where the component directions are indicated by the positive and negative signs (arbitrary units). Note that B has no
x component and that Cx and Cy are in the negative x and y
directions, as indicated by the minus signs. Then the magnitude of R is [Eq. (5.3)]:
R 5 "R2x 1 R2y 5 "(5.7 N)2 1 (5.2 N)2 5 7.7 N
and, by Eq. (5.4),
u 5 tan21 `
Ry
Rx
` 5 tan21 a
5.2 N
b 5 42°
5.7 N
relative to the 2x-axis (or 180° 2 42° 5 138° relative to the
1x-axis). It is convenient to measure all component angles
as acute angles from the x-axis. The minus Rx and positive Ry
indicate that the resultant is in the second quadrant.*
Figure 5.3 Vector resultant and components. (a) The vector addition of A and B gives the resultant R. (b) A vector,
such as R, can be resolved into x and y (rectangular) components: Rx and Ry respectively.
Figure 5.4 Component method. Rather than using the
head-to-tail method of vector addition, it is generally more
convenient to use the component method, in which all vectors are drawn originating from the origin and resolved
into components.
*Although it is customary to measure angles counterclockwise from
the positive x-axis, this procedure of measuring angles from the nearest
x-axis is convenient in eliminating the need for double-angle equations.
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78
EXPERIMENT 5
/ The Addition and Resolution of Vectors: The Force Table
C. Methods of Vector Addition: Experimental
The Force Table
The force table is an apparatus that makes possible the
experimental determination of the resultant of force vectors (● Fig. 5.5). The rim of the circular table is calibrated
in degrees. Forces are applied to a central ring by means of
strings running over pulleys and attached to weight hangers. The magnitude (mg) of a force (vector) is varied by
adding or removing slotted weights, and the direction is
varied by moving the pulley.
The resultant of two or more forces (vectors) is found
by balancing the forces with another force (weights on a
hanger) so that the ring is centered around the central pin.
The balancing force is not the resultant R but rather the
equilibrant E, or the force that balances the other forces
and holds the ring in equilibrium.
The equilibrant is the vector force of equal magnitude, but in the opposite direction, to the resultant (that is,
R 5 2E). See ● Fig. 5.6. For example, if an equilibrant
has a magnitude of (0.30)g N in a direction of 225° on the
circular scale, the resultant of the forces has a magnitude of
(0.30)g N in the opposite direction, 225° 2 180° 5 45°. It
should be evident that the resultant cannot be determined
directly from the force table. (Why?)*
(b)
(a)
Figure 5.5 Force tables. Various types of force tables.
The table in (c) may be used vertically for demonstration
(b), or horizontally in the laboratory. (Photos Courtesy of
Sargent-Welch.)
*The magnitude of the (weight) force vectors is in general given in the
form R 5 mg 5 1 0.150 2 g N, for example, where it is understood that the
mass is in kilograms and g is the acceleration due to gravity. It is convenient to leave g in symbolic form so as to avoid numerical calculations
until necessary. This is similar to carrying along p in symbolic form in
equations. Also, note that the masses of the laboratory “weights” usually
have values stamped in grams. Don’t forget to change grams to kilograms
when working in the SI: for example, 150 g 5 0.150 kg.
(c)
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EXPERIMENT 5
/ The Addition and Resolution of Vectors: The Force Table
79
as the ring vibrates up and down so that it can settle
into an equilibrium position involving only the applied forces. When the forces are balanced, the pin
may be carefully removed to see whether the ring
is centered on the central hole.)
Figure 5.6 Resultant and equilibrant. On a force table, the
magnitude and direction of the equilibrant E are measured,
rather than those of the resultant R, and R 5 2E.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
1. Set up the force table with strings and suspended weights,
and perform the following cases of vector addition.
2. Vector addition I. Given two vectors with magnitudes
F1 5 (0.200)g N and F2 5 (0.200)g N at 30° and
120°, respectively, find their vector sum or resultant
F 5 F1 1 F2 by each of the following procedures.
(Note: Orientation angles of vectors are given relative
to the 0° reference line or positive x-axis.)
(a) Graphical. Using the triangle method of vector
addition, draw a vector diagram to scale. Use a
scale such that the finished vector diagram fills
about half a sheet of graph paper. Measure the
magnitude and direction of the resultant (with
ruler and protractor), and record the results in the
data table. Save your graphical sheets to attach to
the Laboratory Report.
(b) Analytical. Compute the magnitude of the resultant
force. Also, compute the angle of orientation from
the relationship tan u 5 F2 /F1. (Why can you use
tan u? Remember that u is the angle between F
and F1.) Record the results in the data table.
(c) Experimental. On the force table, clamp pulleys
at 30° and 120° and add enough weights to each
weight hanger to total 0.200 kg, so as to give
weight forces of F1 5 F2 5 (0.200)g N in these
directions. (The weight hangers usually have
masses of 50 g, or 0.050 kg.)
Using a third pulley and weights, determine
the magnitude and direction of the equilibrant
force that maintains the central ring centered in
equilibrium around the center pin. Record the
magnitude and direction of the resultant of the
two forces in the data table. Remember, the resultant has the same magnitude as the equilibrant but
is in the opposite direction.
(Note: The string knots on the central ring
should be of a nontightening variety so that the
strings will slip freely on the ring and allow the
strings to pull directly away from the center. Pulling the center ring straight up a short distance and
releasing it helps adjust the friction in the pulleys
3. Vector addition II. Repeat Procedure 2 for F1 5
(0.200)g N at 20° and F2 5 (0.150)g N at 80°. Use
the other half of the sheet of graph paper used in Procedure 2(a) for the graphical analysis. Be careful in
the analytical analysis. Can you use tan u 5 F2 /F1 in
this case?
4. Vector addition III. Repeat Procedure 2 with F1 5 Fx 5
(0.200)g N at 0° and F2 5 Fy 5 (0.150)g N at 90°. In
this case, F 5 Fx 1 Fy, where Fx and Fy are the x and
y components of F, respectively. That is, the resultant
can be resolved into these components. Use half of another sheet of graph paper for the graphical method.
5. Vector resolution. Given a force vector of F 5 (0.300) g N
at 60°, resolve the vector into its x and y components
and find the magnitudes of Fx and Fy by the following
procedures:
(a) Graphical. Draw a vector diagram to scale (on
the other half of the sheet of graph paper used
in Procedure 4) with the component vectors
(see Fig. 5.3b), and measure the magnitudes of
Fx and Fy. Record the results in the data table.
(b) Analytical. Compute the magnitudes of Fx and Fy
(see the Theory section). Record the results in the
data table.
(c) Experimental. Clamp pulleys at 240°, 90°, and 0°
on the force table. Place a total of 0.300 kg on
the 240° pulley string using a weight hanger. This
force is then the equilibrant of F 5 (0.300)g N at
60° (since 60° 1 180° 5 240°), which must be
used on the force table rather than the force itself.
Add weights to the 0° and 90° hangers until the
system is in equilibrium. The 0° and 90° forces
are then the Fx and Fy components, respectively,
of F. Record their magnitudes in the data table.
6. Vector addition IV. Given the force vectors F1 5
(0.100)g N at 30°, F2 5 (0.200)g N at 90°, and F3 5
(0.30)g N at 225°, find the magnitude and direction
of their resultant F 5 F1 1 F2 1 F3 by the following
procedures:
(a) Graphical. Use the polygon method.
(b) Analytical. Use the component method.
(c) Experimental. Use the force table. Record the
results in the data table.
7. Vector addition V. Instructor’s choice (optional). Your
instructor will give you a set of vectors to add. Record
the results in the data table as you did for previous
procedures.
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
5
The Addition and Resolution
of Vectors: The Force Table
Laboratory Report
Note: Attach graphical analyses to Laboratory Report.
DATA TABLE
Purpose: To analyze results of different methods of vector addition.
Forces (
Resultant R (magnitude and direction)
)
Graphical
Vector addition I
F1 5 (0.200)g N, u 1 5 30°
F2 5 (0.200)g N, u 2 5 120°
Vector addition II
F1 5 (0.200)g N, u 1 5 20°
F2 5 (0.150)g N, u 2 5 80°
Vector addition III
F1 5 Fx 5 (0.200)g N, u 1 5 0°
F2 5 Fy 5 (0.150)g N, u 2 5 90°
Vector resolution
F 5 (0.300)g N, u 5 60°
Vector addition IV
F1 5 (0.100)g N, u 1 5 30°
F2 5 (0.200)g N, u 2 5 90°
F3 5 (0.300)g N, u 3 5 225°
Analytical*
Experimental
Fx
Fx
Fx
Fy
Fy
Fy
Vector addition V
*Show analytical calculations below.
Calculation
(attach additional sheet if necessary)
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
5
The Addition and Resolution of Vectors: The Force Table
Laboratory Report
QUESTIONS
1. Considering the graphical and analytical methods for obtaining the resultant, which method
is more accurate? Give the probable sources of error for each method.
2. Vector subtraction (A 2 B) is a special case of vector addition, since A 2 B 5 A 1 (2B).
Suppose that the cases of vector addition I, II, and III in this experiment were vector subtraction (F1 2 F2).
(a) What effect would this have on the directions of the resultants? (Do not calculate explicitly.
Simply state in which quadrant the resultant would be in each case.)
(b) Would the magnitude of the resultant be different for vector subtraction than for vector
addition in each case? If so, state whether the subtractive resultant would be greater or
less than the additive resultant.
3. A picture hangs on a nail as shown in ● Fig. 5.7. The tension T in each string segment is
3.5 N.
(a) What is the equilibrant or the upward reaction force of the nail?
(b) What is the weight of the picture?
Figure 5.7 See Question 3.
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
6
Newton’s Second Law:
The Atwood Machine
Experimental Planning
Newton’s second law expresses a relationship between the net force acting on a specific mass and the resulting acceleration of
that mass. This relation is often written in magnitude form, Fnet 5 ma (force 5 mass 3 acceleration).
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
•
•
•
•
•
Pulley (preferably low-inertia, precision ball bearing type, with support)
Two weight hangers and weights (masses)
String
Laboratory timer or stopwatch
Meter stick
Take a look at the apparatus shown in Fig. 6.1a. Consider how you could use it to experimentally investigate the validity of
Newton’s second law. Note that the equation F 5 ma has three independent variables and can be written in different ways,
m 5 F/a and a 5 F/m. In order to find out how any one of the three variables affects motion, it is essential to hold the other
two constant.
From the figure and given equipment, how could the acceleration (a of the mass hangers be determined from direct measurements? (Hint: Think of a kinematic equation that includes the three variables.)
In case you missed it, the kinematic equation that applies to this situation is y 5 vot 1 12 at 2. In this equation, there is a condition on the acceleration. What is it?
The apparatus shown in Fig. 6.1a is called an “Atwood machine,” and it allows for all of the variables of Fnet 5 ma to be
controlled. If the system with loaded masses is released from rest, what quantity in the kinematic equation could be eliminated?
For this case, solve the kinematic equation for the acceleration.
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
6
Experimental Planning
Did you get 2y/t2 ? Here the meter stick and stopwatch come into play, and the distance traveled (y) and the elapsed time (t) of
fall are measured variables for determining acceleration.
Now consider the other two variables in Newton’s second law, F and m. For the Atwood machine, can you think of how
the net force can be expressed in terms of both masses (weights) on the hangers? Remember, the m in Fnet 5 ma represents the
total mass of the system that moves with acceleration a. A free-body diagram may be helpful here.
Substitute your expression for the net force in Newton’s second law (Fnet 5 ma) and solve for a.
1 m2 2 m1 2 g
?
m1 1 m2
Note for the Atwood machine how both hanging masses can be varied. How could you (1) vary the total mass while
keeping the (net) force F constant, and (2) vary the net force while keeping the total mass constant? Think about it.
Did you get: a 5
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Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
6
Newton’s Second Law:
The Atwood Machine
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. Write Newton’s second law in mathematical form, and describe how the acceleration of an
object or system varies with a net force and mass of the system.
2. What are F and m in Newton’s second law in terms of the Atwood machine?
3. Explain how F and m are individually varied while the other is held constant.
Why is this done?
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
6
Advance Study Assignment
4. How can the frictional force be experimentally determined, and how is it used
in the calculations?
5. What is measured in the experiment, and how is this used to compute the acceleration
of the system?
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. When the Atwood machine is moving, what is the shape of a velocity-versus-time plot
for the motion? Why?
2. The photogate will measure the tangential speed of the pulley. Why is this speed the same
as the speed of the ascending and descending masses?
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E X P E R I M E N T
6
Newton’s Second Law:
The Atwood Machine
The TI procedure determines the accelerations of the
system using distance-time measurements. In the CI procedure, speed-time measurements are used by electronically observing the motion of the pulley.
OVERVIEW
Experiment 6 examines Newton’s second law using the
Atwood machine by TI procedures and/or CI procedures.
Both procedures apply the second law by (1) varying the
total mass while keeping the unbalanced force constant
and (2) varying the unbalanced force while keeping the
total mass constant.
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
OBJECTIVES
Newton’s second law of motion states that the acceleration, a, of an object or system is directly proportional to
the vector sum of the forces acting on the object, the unbalanced or net force Fnet 5 SFi, and inversely proportional
to the total mass, m, of the system (a ~ Fnet/m). In equation
form with standard units, a 5 Fnet/m or, more commonly,
Fnet 5 ma.
This relationship will be investigated using an Atwood
machine, which consists of two masses connected by a
string looped over a pulley (● TI Fig. 6.1a). The Atwood
machine is named after the British scientist George
Atwood (1746–1807), who used the arrangement to study
motion and measure the value of g, the acceleration due to
gravity.
In this experiment, the relatively slow, uniform acceleration of the masses will be used to investigate Newton’s
second law. Since the acceleration a of the system depends
on two variables (Fnet and m, where a 5 Fnet /m), one of the
variables will be held constant while the other is varied.
This is common experimental procedure. By varying the
net (weight) force and the total mass of the system, the
resulting accelerations can be experimentally determined
from distance and time measurements and compared with
the predictions of Newton’s second law.
After performing this experiment and analyzing the data,
you should be able to do the following:
1. Tell how the acceleration of a system varies with
changes in the net force or mass—in particular, for
a. mass variations with a constant net force, and
b. force variations with constant mass.
2. Articulate the precise meanings of the variables (F, m,
and a) in Newton’s second law.
3. Explain how the acceleration of the masses of an
Atwood machine may be determined experimentally.
OBJECTIVES
Experimentally verify Newton’s second law of motion in
two ways:
1. By keeping the net force on a system constant and
varying the mass, and
2. By keeping the mass of the system constant and varying the net force.
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EXPERIMENT 6
/ Newton’s Second Law: The Atwood Machine
(a)
(b)
(c)
TI Figure 6.1 The Atwood machine. (a) A single (or
double) pulley system is simply a “direction changer,” and
it is sometimes convenient to draw a horizontal diagram
for analysis. (b) A double-pulley system eliminates the
possibility of the passing weights hitting each other, which
may occur with a single pulley of small diameter. (c) A wallmounted precision Atwood machine. A trip platform supports the upper weight before the start of each run and is
released and reset by control cords. (Photos courtesy of
Sargent-Welch.)
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T I
E X P E R I M E N T
6
Newton’s Second Law:
The Atwood Machine
•
•
•
•
•
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
• Pulley (preferably low-inertia, precision ball bearing
type)
• Clamps and support rods
• Two weight hangers
• Set of slotted weights, including small 5-, 2-, and 1-g
weights
or
THEORY
The light string is considered to be of negligible mass.
Masses m1 and m2 are taken as the ascending and descending sides of the system, respectively (Fig. TI 6.1). Taking
the more massive hanger (m2) to be moving in the positive
direction, the unbalanced or net force is
Fnet 5 m2g 2 m1g 5 (m2 2 m1)g
a5
Fnet 5 ma 5 (m1 1 m2)a
(TI 6.1)
a505
(TI 6.4)
1 m 2 2 m1 2 g 2 f
m1 1 m2 1 meq
Solving for f, and equating to mfg (with f 5 mf g),
(TI 6.2)
where m 5 m1 1 m2 is the total mass of the moving system. Then, equating Eqs. (TI6.1) and (TI6.2),
f 5 (m2 2 m1)g 5 mfg
(TI 6.5)
(uniform speed)
(m2 2 m1)g 5 (m2 1 m1)a
which provides a method for determining the magnitude of
the frictional force of the pulley, or the mass mf needed to
provide the weight to balance the frictional force.
Hence, the expression for the theoretical acceleration
of the system [Eq. (TI 6.4)] may be written
and solving for a:
1 m2 2 m1 2 g
Fnet
5
1 m1 1 m2 2
Mtotal
1 m 2 2 m1 2 g 2 f
m1 1 m2 1 meq
If the masses of the Atwood machine move with a
constant speed, the magnitude a of the acceleration of the
system is zero, and
where the friction and inertia of the pulley are neglected.
By Newton’s second law,
a5
Paper clips
String
Laboratory timer or stopwatch
Meter stick
2 sheets of Cartesian graph paper
(TI 6.3)
(acceleration, theoretical)
(Optional) In the experimental arrangement, there
may be an appreciable frictional force f associated with
the pulley that opposes the motion. Also, the pulley has
inertia. In an attempt to take this inertia into account, an
equivalent mass meq may be added to the total mass in calculations (not physically added in the experiment). Hence,
for better accuracy, the equation for the acceleration of the
system should be modified as follows:
at 5
1 m2 2 m1 2 mf 2 g
m1 1 m2 1 meq
(TI 6.6)
(acceleration, theoretical)
where at is used to distinguish the theoretical acceleration
from the experimentally measured acceleration am.
Thus, part of the weight of m2 goes into balancing or
canceling the frictional force of the pulley. In the experimental acceleration trials, the mf determined in each case
is left on the descending hanger as part of m2 to compensate for the opposing frictional force.
Fnet 5 ma
F 2 f 5 1 m1 1 m2 1 meq 2 a
1 m2 1 m1 2 g 2 f 5 1 m1 1 m2 1 meq 2 a
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90
EXPERIMENT 6
/ Newton’s Second Law: The Atwood Machine
3. Make three independent measurements of the time it
takes for m2 to travel the distance y from rest. Record
the time in TI Data Table 1.†
To determine the acceleration of the system experimentally so that it may be compared to that predicted
by theory, the time t for the descending mass to fall a
given distance y is measured. Then, using the kinematic
equation,
4. Add 100 g to each hanger. Repeat Procedure 3 (measurement of time with a 10-g mass imbalance). Record
the data in the Trial 2 column. Note: The distance y
should be remeasured for each trial. The length of the
string (and y distance) may vary noticeably because of
stretching.
y 5 vo t 1 12 at 2
with the mass starting from rest, vo 5 0 (and yo 5 0, to 5 0),
y 5 12 at 2
5. Repeat Procedure 3 for two more trials with another
100 g being added for each trial.
or
am 5
2y
t2
(Procedure using inertia and friction corrections).
(TI 6.7)
(acceleration, measured)
where am is the experimentally measured acceleration.
When a m is determined experimentally using distance and time measurements, friction and pulley inertia
are involved. These are taken into account in the theoretical expression [Eq. (TI 6.6)] so that the experimental and
theoretical values of a will be more comparable. Even so,
keep in mind that these are approximations and the percent
differences may be large. The main purpose of the experiment is to demonstrate how the acceleration of a system
depends on the net force and total mass.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE*
1. Set up the Atwood machine as shown in Fig. TI 6.1.
Use enough string so that the distance of travel (y) is
slightly less than 1 m for convenient measuring. (To
measure y, hold one hanger against the floor and measure from the floor to the bottom of the other hanger.)
Measure and record y in TI Data Table 1.
A. Varying the Total Mass (Net Force Constant)
2. (If using inertia and friction corrections, go to Procedure 2a below.) Begin by placing a 10-g mass on the
descending hanger so as to create an unbalanced or net
force that should cause the system to accelerate from
rest. Make a trial run to see if the system moves at an
acceleration suitable for timing. If not, adjust the mass
accordingly. (See Suggestions 1–3 in the “Comments
on Experimental Technique” at the end of the Procedure section.)
Taking the descending mass as m2, record m1 and
m2 in TI Data Table 1 as Trial 1. (Ignore the columns
headed with asterisks and the meq and mf symbols.)
2a. As noted in the Theory section, the pulley contributes
to the inertia of the system as though an “equivalent
mass” meq were part of the total mass being accelerated. For better results, a meq will be added in the calculations. The instructor will provide the value of meq
or tell you how to measure it (Instructor’s Resource
Manual). Record the value of meq in the data tables.
3a. Begin with the descending mass (m2) and the ascending mass (m1), each equal to 50 g (that is, the masses
of the hangers alone). With m1 5 m2, the system is in
equilibrium—equal forces, m1g = m2g. In the absence
of friction, a slight tap or momentary force applied to
m2 should set the system in uniform motion (constant
speed). (Why?) However, because of the opposing
frictional force, the motion will not persist.
4a. Add small masses to m2 until a downward push causes
m2 to descend with a uniform (constant) velocity. (See
Comment 4 in the “Comments on Experimental Technique” at the end of the Procedure section.) Apply a
sufficient push so the masses move at a reasonable
speed; they should not move too slowly. You may find
it easier to recognize uniform motion by observing the
rotating pulley rather than the masses.
Record m1 and m2 in TI Data Table 1 in the first
column marked with an asterisk. These values are
used to calculate the frictional mass, mf 5 m2 2 m1,
needed in the theoretical calculation of the acceleration of the system [Eq. (TI 6.6)].
5a. (i) Add 10 g to m2, leaving mf in place. This creates an unbalanced force that should cause the
system to accelerate from rest. Measure the distance y. Record y, m1, and the new value of m2
in TI Data Table 1, Trial 1. (See “Comments on
†
*Refinements in the Experimental Procedure section were developed by
Professor I. L. Fischer, Bergen Community College, New Jersey.
The data tables are arranged to facilitate data taking and analysis. The
upper (seven) rows include all the experimental measurements, and the
lower (six) rows are for calculations based on these measurements.
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EXPERIMENT 6
Experimental Technique” at the end of the Procedure section.)
(ii) Make three independent measurements of the time
it takes for m2 to travel the distance y from rest.
Record the data as Trial 1.
(iii) Remove mf and the 10-g mass before proceeding
to the next trial.
6a. (i) Add 100 g to each hanger for a total of 150 g
each.
(ii) Repeat Procedure 4a (measurement of frictional
mass), and record data in the next asterisked
column in TI Data Table 1.
(iii) Repeat timing measurements, Procedure 5a
(measurement of acceleration with a net 10-g
mass imbalance). Record the data in the Trial 2
column. The calculations for Trial 2 should utilize
the value of mf obtained for the immediately preceding asterisked column. Note: The values of mf
and y should be remeasured for each of the trials
in TI Data Table 1. As the total mass is changed,
the friction will change likewise. The length of
the string (y distance) may vary noticeably because of stretching.
7a. Repeat Procedures 4a and 5a for two more trials with
another 100 g being added for each trial.
B. Varying the Unbalanced Force (Total Mass
Constant)
1. (If using inertia and friction corrections, go to Procedure 1b below.) Begin with an ascending mass of 260 g
(50-g hanger 1 200 1 5 1 2 1 2 1 1-g masses) and
a similar descending mass m2 5 260 g (50-g hanger 1
200 1 10-g masses.)*
2. Transfer 1 g from m 1 to m 2 in order to create an
unbalanced force without affecting the total mass.
Make three measurements of the travel time as done
previously in Procedure A3. Record the data as Trial 5
in TI Data Table 2.
3. Leaving the previously transferred 1-g mass in place,
(a) transfer an additional 2 g for Trial 6,
(b) transfer an additional 2 g for Trial 7,
(c) transfer an additional 5 g for Trial 8,
(Procedure using inertia and friction corrections).
/ Newton’s Second Law: The Atwood Machine
91
2b. Measure the frictional mass as done previously in
Procedure A4a. Record the data in the asterisked
column in TI Data Table 2. The value of mf from these
data may be used in the calculations for all trials in TI
Data Table 2, since the total mass (and presumably the
friction) will now be constant.
3b. Leaving mf in place, transfer 1 g from m1 to m2 in order
to create a net unbalanced force without affecting the
total mass. Make three measurements of the travel
time as in Procedure 5a. Record all pertinent data in
the Trial 5 column.
4b. Leaving mf and the previously transferred 1-g mass in
place,
(a) transfer an additional 2 g for Trial 6,
(b) transfer an additional 2 g for Trial 7,
(c) transfer an additional 5 g for Trial 8.
C. Comments on Experimental Technique
1. The masses must start from rest during the acceleration trials. A good technique is as follows:
(a) Hold m1 down against the floor.
(b) Simultaneously release m1 and start the timer.
(c) Stop the timer at the instant m2 strikes the floor.
The best results are obtained when the same person releases m1 and operates the timer. (Why?)
2. Some of the masses may be jolted off the hangers by
the impact on hitting the floor. It may be helpful to
place a shock-absorbing pad on the floor. Also, one
lab partner should attend to the upper weight to prevent it, or some of it, from falling.
3. Take turns at each task.
4. Measure the frictional mass to a precision of 612 g.
Fine adjustment of the descending mass may be made
by using small “custom” masses (paper clips) as
needed. These paper clips can be attached to the cord
just above the m2 hanger. Good precision is necessary
for good results because the frictional force is comparable in magnitude to the accelerating force. Small
errors in the frictional masses may create large experimental errors.
1b. Begin with an ascending mass m1 5 260 g (50-g hanger 1
200 1 5 1 2 1 2 1 1-g masses) and a similar descending mass m2 5 260 g (50-g hanger 1 200 1 10-g
masses).*
* Mass increments larger than 1 and 2 g may have to be used, depending
on the pulley friction. Friction may not be uniform, so a greater mass
difference may be needed to initiate motion.
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Date
Lab Partner(s)
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6
Newton’s Second Law:
The Atwood Machine
Laboratory Report
DATA TABLE 1
Purpose: To investigate a 5 F/m by holding F constant. (If not considering pulley inertia and friction, ignore (*) columns and
meq and mf symbols.)
meq
(
Trial
)
*
1
*
2
*
3
*
4
Descending mass
)
m2 (
Ascending mass
m1 (
)
Distance of travel
y(
)
Run 1
Time of travel
t(
)
Run 2
Run 3
Average
Measured acceleration
am 5 2y/t2 (
)
Total mass
5 m1 1 m2 1 meq (
)
Measured frictional mass
m f 5 m2 2 m1
Net force
5 (m2 2 m1 5 mf)g (
)
Theoretical acceleration
net force
at 5 total
mass
Percent different
between am and at
*Measurement of frictional mass mf. Masses move with constant velocities when given an initial push.
Calculations
(show work)
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
6
Laboratory Report
Newton’s Second Law: The Atwood Machine
DATA TABLE 2
Purpose: To investigate a 5 F/m by holding m constant. (If not considering pulley inertia and friction, ignore (*) columns and
meq and mf symbols.)
meq
(
Trial
)
*
5
6
7
8
Descending mass
)
m2 (
Ascending mass
m1 (
)
Distance of travel
y(
)
Run 1
Time of
travel
t(
)
Run 2
Run 3
Average
Measured acceleration
am 5 2y/t2 (
)
Total mass
5 m1 1 m2 1 meq (
)
Measured frictional mass
mf 5 m2 2 m1
Net force
5 (m2 2 m1 2 mf)g (
)
Theoretical acceleration
net force
at 5 total
mass
Percent different
between am and at
* Measurement of frictional mass mf. Masses move with constant velocities when given an initial push.
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Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
6
Laboratory Report
Newton’s Second Law: The Atwood Machine
Calculations
(show work)
QUESTIONS
1. In the experiment, should the mass of the string be added to the total mass moved by the
unbalanced force for better accuracy? Explain.
2. Complete the following sentences:
(a) When the unbalanced force increases (total mass remaining constant), the acceleration
of the system
.
(b) When the total mass that is accelerating increases (unbalanced force remaining
constant), the acceleration of the system
.
3. How can the value of g, the acceleration due to gravity, be determined using an Atwood machine?
4. Using the data in TI Data Table 2 (constant total mass), plot am versus (m2 2 m1) for each
Trial, and draw a straight line that best fits the data. Find the slope and intercept of the line,
and enter the values below.
Rewrite Eq. (TI 6.6) in slope-intercept form (y 5 mx 1 b), and, using the data in Trial 6,
compute the slope and intercept. (Show calculations.) Compare and comment on your
results.
From graph
From Eq. (TI 6.6)
Slope
____________________
(units)
____________________
(units)
Intercept
____________________
(units)
____________________
(units)
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C I
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6
Newton’s Second Law:
The Atwood Machine
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
• 2 mass hangers
• Clamps and support rods
• Graph paper
• Photogate/Pulley System (PASCO ME-6838) (Smart
Pulley)
• Mass set that includes 1-g, 2-g, and 5-g weights
(Suggested: PASCO ME-8967)
point on the rim. The sensor detects how many revolutions
per second the pulley is making (the angular speed). For a
known radius of pulley, the linear speed on the rim is easily determined:
THEORY
When an Atwood machine is unbalanced, the masses
move, one ascending and the other descending. (See
Fig. TI 6.1.) As the masses move, the string causes the
pulley to rotate. With m 1 and m 2 as the ascending and
descending masses, respectively, the magnitude of their
acceleration is given by
a5
1 m2 2 m1 2 g
Fnet
5
Mtotal
m2 1 m1
v 5 rv
where v is the angular speed.
The sensor performs this calculation automatically. Notice
that by measuring the linear speed of the pulley, the
ascending speed of mass m1 and the descending speed of
mass m2 are also measured.
The measured speeds will then be plotted as a function
of time. Because the acceleration of the system is constant,
the plot of speed versus time will be a straight line with
slope equal to the acceleration of the system. The experimental acceleration of the system will be determined by
finding the slope of the graph. It will then be compared to
the theoretical value predicted by Eq. (CI 6.1).
(CI 6.1)*
where the friction and inertia of the pulley have been
ignored.
In this part of the experiment, the motion of the
ascending and descending masses is analyzed by using
a motion sensor to look at the motion of the pulley. The
main idea is that all the objects in the system—the ascending mass, the descending mass, and the pulley—must be
moving with the same linear speed at any moment. The
linear speed of the pulley is measured as the speed of a
*See Eq. (TI 6.3) development.
5. Connect the sensor to the interface as shown on the
computer screen.
6. The Data list on the left of the screen should now have
one icon for velocity.
7. Create a graph by dragging the velocity data icon from
the data list and dropping it on top of the graph icon of
the displays list. A graph of velocity versus time will
open. The window will be called Graph 1.
8. ● CI Fig. 6.2 shows what the screen should look like
once the setup is complete.
SETTING UP DATA STUDIO
1. Open Data Studio and choose Create Experiment.
2. The Experiment Setup window will open, and you
will see a picture of the Science Workshop interface.
There are seven channels to choose from. (Digital
channels 1, 2, 3 and 4 are the small buttons on the left;
analog channels A, B, and C are the larger buttons on
the right, as shown in ● CI Fig. 6.1.)
3. Click on the Channel 1 button in the picture. A window with a list of sensors will open.
4. Choose the Smart Pulley from the list, and press OK.
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EXPERIMENT 6
/ Newton’s Second Law: The Atwood Machine
CI Figure 6.1 The Experiment Setup window. The seven available channels are numbered 1 through 4 and A, B, or C. The
Smart Pulley is connected to Channel 1 of the Science Workshop Interface. (Reprinted courtesy of PASCO Scientific.)
A graph of velocity versus time was created by dragging the “Velocity” icon from the data
list and dropping it on the “Graph” icon in the displays list below. In this picture, the graph window has been resized to occupy
most of the screen. (Reprinted courtesy of PASCO Scientific.)
CI Figure 6.2 Data Studio setup.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
A. Varying the Total Mass (Unbalanced Force
Constant)
1. Set up the Atwood machine using the Photogate/
Pulley System (Smart Pulley) instead of a conventional pulley. The ascending mass should begin close
to, but not touching, the floor. The descending mass
will start at the top ● CI Fig. 6.3 shows the experimental setup. Make the string long enough, and install
the pulley high enough, so that the masses can move
at least half a meter.
2. If using the PASCO ME-8967 mass and hanger set, begin by placing 50 g on each hanger. This added weight
will prevent the system from moving too fast, and data
collection will be easier. If you are using a conventional
mass and hanger set, a 50-g hanger will work fine with
no added mass. For all data collection and calculations,
keep track of the total ascending and descending masses,
including the mass of the hanger.
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EXPERIMENT 6
Photogate
Smart
Pulley
Rod
and
clamps
Descending
mass
/ Newton’s Second Law: The Atwood Machine
99
other, try making the strings longer and pressing
STOP just before they collide.
7. A straight-line graph should have appeared on the
screen. To see it better, press the Scale-to-Fit button
on the graph toolbar. (It is the leftmost button of the
toolbar.)
8. On the graph toolbar there is also a drop menu called
Fit. Choose to do a “Linear Fit” for the graph. A box
will pop up with information about the fit. Make a
note of the slope of the line. This is the measured,
experimental acceleration. Enter it in CI Data Table 1.
9. Clear the fit information by going to the Fit menu and
deselecting the linear fit.
Ascending
mass
10. Trial 2: Add 10 g to each hanger. The descending
mass should still have the 5-g unbalance. Note that
this increases the overall total mass of the system but
keeps the unbalanced force the same. Repeat the data
collection process and enter the data in CI Data Table 1.
11. Trials 3 and 4: Repeat two more times, each time adding an extra 10 g to each hanger.
A Photogate/Pulley
System (Smart Pulley) is used instead of a conventional
pulley to set up the Atwood machine. The ascending mass
starts near the bottom, close to, but not touching, the floor.
The descending mass starts from rest at the top. The Smart
Pulley measures the speed of the system as it moves.
CI Figure 6.3 Experimental setup.
3. When the ascending and descending masses are equal,
the system should not move. If it does, check that the
pulley is level.
4. Trial 1: Add a 5-g piece to the descending mass to
unbalance the system. Make a note of the ascending
and descending masses in CI Data Table 1. Do not
forget to account for the mass of the hangers.
5. Place the ascending mass at the bottom and the
ascending mass at the top, as shown in CI Fig. 6.3.
Gently hold the pulley to prevent the system from
moving.
6. Let the system start from rest by letting go of the pulley. Once it starts moving, press the START button.
Keep your eyes on the system, and press the STOP
button before the masses reach the end of their line
and bounce. If the hangers collide while passing each
12. Clear the graph window of all fit information and then
print the graph. Label each of the plots with the total
mass of the system corresponding to each trial. Paste
the graph to the laboratory report.
13. Calculate the net unbalanced force, in newtons.
14. Calculate the theoretical acceleration for each trial,
using Eq. (CI 6.1). Compare the theoretical value with
the experimental value by taking a percent error.
B. Varying the Unbalanced Force (Total Mass
Constant)
1. Erase all previous data by going to the main menu and,
under “Experiment,” choosing “Delete all data runs.”
2. Place the following mass pieces on the ascending
hanger: 5 g, 2 g, 2 g, 1 g. If you are using the PASCO
mass and hanger set, the hangers should also have a
50-g piece, as discussed previously. If you are using a
conventional 50-g hanger, no extra weight is needed.
● CI Fig. 6.4 shows the ascending and descending
masses for the PASCO mass and hanger set.
3. Place a 10-g piece on the descending hanger. Again,
with the PASCO mass and hanger set, the hanger
should also have a 50-g piece, but with a conventional
50-g hanger, no extra weight is needed.
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EXPERIMENT 6
/ Newton’s Second Law: The Atwood Machine
Descending mass
Ascending mass
1g
2g
2g
5g
10 g
50 g
50 g
5-g hanger
5-g hanger
Added to slow the
system down
CI Figure 6.4 Ascending and descending masses using PASCO mass and hanger set ME-8967. A 50-g piece is added to each of
the small 5-g hangers to prevent them from moving too fast. The ascending mass has a combination of small pieces (5 g, 2 g,
2 g, 1 g) that add to 10 g. A 10-g piece is placed in the descending mass hanger. To unbalance the system, small pieces from the
ascending hanger are moved to the descending hanger.
4. Trial 1: Unbalance the system by transferring the
1-g piece from the ascending to the descending
hanger. At this time make a note of the ascending
and the descending masses and enter the values in CI
Data Table 2. Do not forget to include the mass of the
hangers!
8. Trial 4: Move the 5-g piece from the ascending to
the descending hanger, and repeat the data collection
process.
5. Collect the data as before and determine the experimental acceleration.
10. Clear the graph window of any fit information and
print the graph. Label each of the plots with the
unbalanced force corresponding to each trial. Paste
the graph to the laboratory report.
6. Trial 2: Move one of the 2-g pieces from the ascending to the descending hanger, and repeat the data
collection process. Note that this changes the amount
of unbalanced force without changing the total mass
of the system.
9. Calculate the net unbalanced force, in newtons, of
each trial, and enter the results in CI Data Table 2.
11. Calculate the theoretical acceleration for each trial,
using Eq. (CI 6.1). Compare the theoretical value with
the experimental value by taking a percent error.
7. Trial 3: Move the other 2-g piece from the ascending
to the descending hanger, and repeat the data collection
process.
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E X P E R I M E N T
6
Newton’s Second Law:
The Atwood Machine
Laboratory Report
DATA TABLE 1
Purpose: To investigate how the acceleration of a system varies as the mass of the system increases, without changing the net
applied force.
Trial
Ascending
m1
Descending
m2
Total mass
m1 1 m2
Measured acceleration (from
graph)
Unbalanced force
(m2 – m1)g
Theoretical
acceleration
% error
1
2
3
4
DATA TABLE 2
Purpose: To investigate how the acceleration of a system varies as the net applied force on the system increases, while the
mass remains constant.
Trial
Ascending
m1
Descending
m2
Total mass
m2 1 m1
Measured acceleration (from
graph)
Unbalanced force
(m2 – m1)g
Theoretical
acceleration
% error
1
2
3
4
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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Newton’s Second Law: The Atwood Machine
Laboratory Report
QUESTIONS
1. What happens to the acceleration of a system when the mass of the system increases but
the net force stays constant?
2. What happens to the acceleration of a system when the net applied force increases but the
mass of the system does not change?
3. Refer to the data in CI Data Table 2. Make a one-page graph of unbalanced force versus
measured acceleration, and draw the best-fitting straight line. Determine the slope of this
line. Show the details of the calculation on the graph, and attach the graph to the lab report.
4. What are the units of the slope of your graph?
5. What physical quantity of the system is represented by the slope of the force-versusacceleration graph? How well does it match the experimental setup?
6. From the results, was there a good agreement between the experimental acceleration and
the theoretical (expected) acceleration? What causes the difference? Discuss sources of
experimental uncertainty for this experiment.
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E X P E R I M E N T
7
Conservation of Linear
Momentum
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. What is meant when we say that a quantity, such as linear momentum, is conserved?
2. What is the condition for the conservation of linear momentum of a system?
3. Show that Newton’s second law can be written in the form F 5 Dp/Dt.
4. Is the conservation of linear momentum consistent with Newton’s first and third laws of
motion? Explain.
(continued)
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Advance Study Assignment
5. In a system of particles for which the total linear momentum is conserved, is the linear
momentum of the individual particles constant? Explain.
6. Suppose that a particle of mass m1 approaches a stationary mass m2 and that m2 .. m1.
What would you expect to happen on collision?
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. What mechanism will be used to make the collision between the cars an elastic collision?
2. What mechanism will be used to make the collision between the cars an inelastic collision?
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7
Conservation of Linear
Momentum
OVERVIEW
The CI procedure measures the velocities electronically and graphs the data. The velocities, total momentum,
and total kinetic energy are obtained from the graphs.
Experiment 7 examines the conservation of linear
momentum by TI procedures and/or CI procedures. The
TI procedure uses distance-time measurements to determine the velocities of air track cars before and after collisions in the investigation of the conservation of linear
momentum.
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
OBJECTIVES
The conservation of linear momentum (p 5 mv) is an
important physical concept. However, the experimental
investigation of this concept in an introductory physics
laboratory is hampered by ever-present frictional forces.
An air track provides one of the best methods to
investigate linear momentum (see TI Fig. 4.2). Aluminum
cars or gliders riding on a cushion of air on the track approximate frictionless motion—a necessary condition for
the conservation of linear momentum.
In the absence of friction (and other external forces),
the total linear momentum of a system of two cars will be
conserved during a collision. That is, the total linear momentum of the system should be the same after collision
as before collision. By measuring the velocities of cars of
the same and different masses before and after collision,
the total momentum of a system can be determined and the
conservation of linear momentum investigated.
After performing this experiment and analyzing the data,
you should be able to do the following:
1. Explain when linear momentum is conserved and
what this means in terms of force and motion.
2. Apply the conservation of linear momentum to a
system.
3. Describe two-body collisions in terms of the conservation of linear momentum.
OBJECTIVES
1. Understand that momentum is conserved for both
elastic and inelastic collisions.
2. Distinguish between elastic and inelastic collisions in
terms of the conservation of kinetic energy.
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7
Conservation of Linear
Momentum
• Masking tape
• Meter stick (if no length scale on air track)
• Velcro (optional)
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
•
•
•
•
Air track
Three cars (two of similar mass)
Four laboratory timers or stopwatches*
Laboratory balance
*If electronic photogates/timers and computer-assisted data analysis are
available, your instructor will give you instruction on their use.
and
THEORY
The linear momentum p of a particle or object is defined as
vf 5 vi
p 5 mv
That is, an object remains at rest (vi 5 0) or in uniform
motion (vi 5 vf) unless acted on by some external force.
The previous development also applies to the total momentum of a system of particles or objects. For example,
the total linear momentum (P) of a system of two objects
m1 and m2 is P 5 p1 1 p2, and if there is no net external
force acting on the system, then
(TI 7.1)
where m is the mass of the object and v its velocity. Since
velocity is a vector quantity, so is linear momentum.
Newton’s second law of motion, commonly expressed in the form F 5 ma, can also be written in terms
of momentum:
†
F 5
Dp
Dt
(TI 7.2)
DP 5 0
In the case of a collision between two objects of a system
(with only internal forces acting), the initial total momentum before the collision is the same as the final total momentum after the collision. That is,
(Recall a 5 Dv/t.)
If there is no net or unbalanced external force acting on the
object (F 5 0), then
F 5
Dp
5 0
Dt
1 before 2
1 after 2
p1 i 1 p2 i 5 p1 f 1 p2 f
and
(TI 7.4)
or
Dp 5 0
m1v1i 1 m2v2i 5 m1v1f 1 m2v2f
That is, the change in the momentum is zero, or the momentum is conserved. Conserved means that the momentum remains constant (in time). Expanding Dp,
In one dimension, the directions of the velocity and
momentum vectors are commonly indicated by plus and
minus signs, that is, 1v and 2v.†
The internal forces of a system do not change the total
momentum, because, according to Newton’s third law,
F12 5 –F21 [the force on object 1 due to object 2 is equal to
and opposite in direction (minus) to the force on object 2 due
to object 1]. Thus the change in momentum for one object
will be equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to the
change in momentum for the other object, and the total momentum will be unchanged.
Dp 5 pf 2 pi 5 0
and
pf 5 pi
(TI 7.3)
and the “final” momentum pf at any time tf is the same as
the initial momentum pi at time ti. Notice that this is consistent with Newton’s first law of motion, since
p f 5 pi
or
mvf 5 mvi
†
In two (or three) dimensions, the momentum is conserved in both (or
all) directions. That is, p 5 px 1 py 5 0, and px 5 0 and py 5 0 (Why?)
Note: px 5 Spx and py 5 Spy.
†
Boldface symbols indicate vectors (see Expt. 5).
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EXPERIMENT 7
/ Conservation of Linear Momentum
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURES
(Review the operation of the air track in Experiment 4
if necessary.)
1. Determine the mass of each car and record it in the
TI Trial Data Table. Let the masses of the two cars
of nearly equal mass be m1 and m2 and the mass of
the third car be m3.
2. Mark off two equal and convenient lengths (for
example, 12 or 1 m) on both sides of the center position of the air track. Make full use of the length
of the track, but leave some space near the ends of
the track. Place the four tape reference marks at the
lower edges of the track so as not to interfere with
the car motion. Do not mark the air track surface
itself with tape or anything else.
3. Time trials. By measuring the time interval Dt it takes
a car to move the reference mark length d, one can
determine the magnitude of the velocity v 5 d/Dt of
the car, where Dt 5 t2 2 t1. The actual timing of the
motion of a car moving between the two sets of reference marks is done by either method. In (A), involving four observers, each has a timer and is assigned
to an individual reference mark. In (B), involving two
observers, each has a timer and is assigned to one set
of reference marks, as described below. Time trials
will be done to determine the better method.*
In addition to giving timing practice and determining the better method of timing, the time trials
check out the experimental setup for possible systematic errors. The time intervals for the individual cars to
travel the equal distances between the reference marks
should be very similar for any one trial. If not, the air
track may need leveling and/or there may be some
frictional problem with part of the track. Should this
be the case, notify your instructor. Do not attempt to
level the air track on your own.
Experimentally carry out each of the following
timing methods to determine which is better.
Method A—Four Timers. Set one of the cars in
motion with a slight push so that it moves with moderate speed up and down the track. (A few practice
starts help.) As the car hits the bumper at one end of
the track, all four observers should start their timers.
As the leading edge of the car passes the assigned reference marks, each respective observer stops his or her
timer. (Making a dry run or two to become familiar
with the timing sequence is helpful.) Carry out this
*If electronic photogate timers are available, your instructor will give you
instruction in their use. Electronic timing greatly improves the accuracy
and precision of the results. (Why?)
procedure twice for each of the three cars, and record
the data in the TI Trial Data Table.
Method B—Two Timers. Set the car in motion.
The two observers should start and stop their individual timers as the leading edge of the car passes
their respective reference mark set. Carry out this
procedure twice for each of the three cars, and record the data in the TI Trial Data Table.
4. Compute the Dt’s for each trial and calculate the
percent difference for each trial set. From the data,
decide which timing method should be used on the
basis of consistency or precision.
Case 1: Collision Between Two Cars of
(Nearly) Equal Mass, With One Initially
at Rest
5. With one of the cars (m2) of nearly equal mass stationary at the center position of the air track, start
the other car (m1) moving toward the stationary car.
See ● TI Fig. 7.1. (It may be more convenient to start
m1 moving away from m2 and take measurements as
m1 returns from rebounding from the end of the track.)
A trial run should show that m 1 remains at rest,
or nearly at rest, after collision and that m 2 is in
motion.
Determine the time it takes for m1 to travel between the reference marks as it approaches m2 and
the time it takes for m2 to travel between the other
set of reference marks after collision. Carry out this
procedure three times and record the data in TI Data
Table 1.
Compute the velocities and the total momentum
before and after collision and the percent difference in
these values for each trial.
T1 Figure 7.1 Experimental collision cases.
See text for
descriptions.
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EXPERIMENT 7
/ Conservation of Linear Momentum
109
Case 2: Collision Between Two Cars of
Unequal Mass, With the More Massive Car
Initially at Rest
6. Repeat Procedure 5 with m2 replaced by m3 (more
massive than m1 and m2). See TI Fig. 7.1. In this case,
m1 will travel in the opposite direction after collision,
as a trial run will show. Make appropriate adjustments in the timing procedure to measure the velocity of m1 before and after collision. Record the data
and the required calculations in TI Data Table 2. Be
careful with the directional signs of the velocities and
momenta.
(Optional Procedure)
Another procedure, which may be done at the instructor’s
option, is as follows:
Case 3: Collision Between Two Cars of (Nearly)
Equal Mass Initially Traveling in Opposite
Directions
7. With m1 and m2 initially moving toward each other
(TI Fig. 7.1), determine the total momentum before
8. Attach pieces of Velcro to the collision bumpers of both
cars, and repeat one or more of the preceding cases as
directed by your instructor. Make up a data table, and
analyze your results as done previously. (Hint: Read in
your textbook about elastic and inelastic collisions—in
particular, completely inelastic collisions.)
and after collision. (Note: Speeds do not have to be,
and probably won’t be, equal.)
Make appropriate adjustments in the timing procedure to measure the velocities of m1 and m2 before
and after collision. Carry out the procedure three
times, and record the data in TI Data Table 3.
Compute the percent difference for the total momentum before and after collision for each trial.
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Date
Lab Partner(s)
T I
E X P E R I M E N T
7
Conservation of Linear
Momentum
Laboratory Report
Distance between marks _____________________
TRIAL DATA TABLE
Purpose: To determine the better method of timing.
Method A
Car mass
(
)
t2
t1
(
)
(
t3
Δt12
)
(
Method B
)
(
t4
)
(
Δt34
)
(
)
Percent
diff.
Δt12
(
Δt34
)
(
)
Percent
diff.
m1
m2
m3
DATA TABLE 1
Purpose: To analyze m1 5 m2 case, with v2i 5 0.
Before collision
(
m2
m1
v1i
Δt1
Trial
After collision
)
(
p1i
)
(
v2f
Δt2
)
(
)
(
p2f
)
(
)
Percent
diff.
1
2
3
Don’t forget units
(continued)
111
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E X P E R I M E N T
Laboratory Report
Conservation of Linear Momentum
7
DATA TABLE 2
Purpose: To analyze m3 . m1 case, with n3i 5 0.
Before collision
After collision
m1
m2
Trial
(
Dt1i
Total
momentum
(
)
n 1i
)
(
)
(
Dt1f
m3
p1f
n 1f
)
(
)
(
)
(
Dt3f
)
(
Total
momentum
(
)
p3f
n 3f
)
(
)
Percent
diff.
1
2
3
DATA TABLE 3
Purpose: To analyze the m1 5 m2 case, initial motions in opposite directions.
Before collision
m1
Trial
p1i
n 1i
Dt1i
(
m2
(
)
)
(
)
(
p2i
n 2i
Dt2i
(
)
)
(
)
Total
momentum
(
)
1
2
3
After collision
m2
m1
Trial
Dt1f
(
)
(
v1f
p1f
)
(
)
(
p2f
n 2f
Dt2f
)
(
)
(
)
Total
momentum
(
)
Percent
diff.
(
)
1
2
3
112
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
7
Conservation of Linear Momentum
Laboratory Report
QUESTIONS
1. Do the results of the experiment support the conservation of linear momentum? Consider
possible sources of error.
2. Was it necessary to have equal length intervals in the experiment to investigate properly the
conservation of momentum? Explain.
3. In Cases 1 and 2, one of the cars was initially at rest, so it must have received an
acceleration. Is the car accelerating as it passes between the reference marks? Explain.
4. In each of the three cases, was kinetic energy conserved? Justify your answers with a
sample calculation for a trial from each case. If the kinetic energy is not conserved, where
did it go?
113
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C I
E X P E R I M E N T
7
Conservation of Linear
Momentum
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
• 2 rotary motion sensors (PASCO CI-6538)
• Brackets and pulley mounts:
2 cart-string brackets (CI-6569)
2 dynamics track mount accessories (CI-6692, to mount the RMS to the track)
2 RMS/IDS adapters (ME-6569, track pulley bracket)
• 2 collision carts (PASCO Classic Cars, ME-9454)
• 1 track
• Clay or Velcro strips
• String
• Optional: track end stop
a positive velocity, and an object moving away from the
sensor is assigned a negative velocity.
An object in motion also has kinetic energy. The total
kinetic energy in a system can be determined by adding
the kinetic energies of all objects in the system:
THEORY
The purpose of this experiment is to investigate the momentum and kinetic energy for elastic and inelastic collisions. The momentum and kinetic energy before the
collision of two cars are compared with the momentum
and kinetic energy after the collision by looking at a plot
of these quantities versus time.
In a collision between two objects, the total momentum at any time is found by adding the momentum of one
of the objects to that of the other:
PTotal 5 P1 1 P2 5 m1v1 1 m2v2
KTotal 5 K1 1 K2 5 12 m1v21 1 12 m2v22
(CI 7.2)
The total momentum and the total kinetic energy just
before and just after a collision are determined and
compared. First, an elastic collision between two cars is
considered. The cars have magnets that make them repel
each other when they get close enough. The effect is that
the cars bounce off each other (collide) without touching.
Next, an inelastic collision is considered. The magnets are
replaced by a piece of clay (or Velcro) that will make the
cars stick to each other after the collision.
(CI 7.1)
This is vector addition, which means the directions of
motion of both objects must be taken into account. The
sensor used to measure the speeds of the objects will also
assign a positive or negative sign, depending on direction.
In general, an object moving toward the sensor is assigned
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
Cart-string bracket
1. Install a cart-string bracket on each of the collision
carts. The cart-string bracket is mounted on the side of
the cart, as shown in ● CI Fig. 7.1.
2. Choose one cart to be Car 1 and measure its mass, in
kilograms, including the cart-string bracket. Report
the mass of Car 1 in the laboratory report.
3. The other cart will be Car 2. Measure its mass and
also record that mass in the laboratory report.
4. Do not lose track of which is Car 1 and which is Car 2.
If needed, put a small tape label on the cars so that you
will not confuse them later.
IDS cart
IDS track
CI Figure 7.1 Installing cart-string brackets. The cart-string
brackets are installed on top of the collision carts, secured with
a side screw. The top screw is used to tie a string. When measuring the mass of the car, include the cart-string bracket.
This information will be needed during the setup of Data
Studio.
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116
EXPERIMENT 7
/ Conservation of Linear Momentum
SETTING UP DATA STUDIO
1. Open Data Studio and choose “Create Experiment.”
2. The Experiment Setup window will open, and you will
see a picture of the Science Workshop interface. There
are seven channels to choose from. (Digital channels
1, 2, 3, and 4 are the small buttons on the left; analog channels A, B, and C are the larger buttons on the
right, as shown in CI Fig.7.2.)
3. Click on the Channel 1 button in the picture. A window with a list of sensors will open.
4. Choose the Rotary Motion Sensor from the list, and
press OK.
5. Click on the Channel 3 button in the picture, and again
choose a Rotary Motion Sensor from the list and press
OK.
6. Connect the sensors to the interface as shown on the
computer screen: one goes to Channels 1 and 2, the
other goes to Channels 3 and 4.
7. The properties of each RMS sensor are shown directly
under the picture of the interface. (See CI Fig. 7.2.)
8. Click on the icon of the first sensor and adjust the
properties as follows:
First Measurements tab: deselect all options.
Second Measurements tab: select Velocity and
deselect all others.
Rotary Motion Sensor tab: set the Resolution to
high (1440 divisions/rotations); and set the Linear
Scale to Large Pulley (Groove).
Set the Sample Rate to 100 Hz.
9. Click on the icon of the second sensor, and repeat the
process of adjusting the properties, as done in step 8.
10. Open the program’s calculator by clicking on the
Calculate button, on the top main menu. Usually,
a small version of the calculator opens, as shown in
● CI Fig. 7.3. Expand the calculator window by clicking on the button marked “Experiment Constants.”
11. The expanded window (shown in ● CI Fig. 7.4) is
used to establish values of parameters that will remain
constant throughout the experiment. In this case, these
are the masses m1 and m2 of the carts, which have already been measured. This is how to do it:
a. Click on the lower New button (within the “Experiment Constants” section of the calculator window)
and enter the name of the constant as m1, the value
as the mass of Car 1 measured before, and the units
as kg.
CI Figure 7.2 The Experiment Setup window. The seven available channels are numbered 1 through 4 and A, B, or C. One
rotary motion sensor is connected to Channels 1&2, and the other is connected to Channels 3&4. The sensor properties are
adjusted by selecting appropriate tabs. Make sure the properties of both sensors are adjusted equally. (Reprinted courtesy of
PASCO Scientific.)
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EXPERIMENT 7
/ Conservation of Linear Momentum
117
CI Figure 7.3 The calculator window. This small version of the calculator window opens when the Calculate button is pressed.
The calculator will be used to enter formulas that handle the values measured by the sensor. The computer will perform the
calculations automatically as the sensor takes data. (Reprinted courtesy of PASCO Scientific.)
(a)
(1) Press New.
Experiment Constants
(2) Enter
constant
symbol.
m1
Value 0.55
New
Remove
Accept
Units kg
(3) Enter the value
of this constant
and the units.
(b)
(4) Accept.
CI Figure 7.4 The expanded calculator window. (a) After the Experiment Constants button is pressed, the calculator window
expands to full size. (b) The “Experiment Constants” section is the lower part of the expanded calculator. This section is used
to define parameters that are to remain constant during the experiment. The diagram shows the steps needed to enter experimental constants into the calculator. (Reprinted courtesy of PASCO Scientific.)
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118
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
EXPERIMENT 7
/ Conservation of Linear Momentum
b. Click the lower Accept button.
c. Click on the New button again and enter the name
of the constant as m2, the value as the mass of
Car 2 measured before, and the units as kg.
d. Click the lower Accept button.
e. Close the experiment constants portion of the
calculator window by pressing the button marked
“Experiment Constants” again.
Calculation of the total momentum of the system:
a. In the same calculator window, clear the definition
box and enter the following equation: TotalP 5
m1 * smooth (10,v1) 1 m2 * smooth (10,v2)
This is the calculation of the total momentum,
PTotal 5 m1v1 1 m2v2 , that we will call TotalP.
The smooth function will help produce a cleaner
graph.
b. Press the top Accept button after entering the formula. Notice that the variables m1, m2, v1, and
v2 will appear in a list. The masses were already
assigned values, but v1 and v2 are waiting to be
defined.
c. To define variables v1 and v2, do them one at a
time by clicking on the drop menu button on the
left side of each variable. A list of options appears,
asking what type of variable this is.
• Define v1 as a Data Measurement and, when
prompted, choose Velocity(Ch1&2).
• Define v2 as a Data Measurement and, when
prompted, choose Velocity(Ch3&4).
d. Press the Accept button again.
Please notice that Channels 1&2 will keep track of
Car 1 and that Channels 3&4 will track Car 2. Make
sure the equipment is set up accordingly.
Calculation of the total kinetic energy of the system:
a. Still in the same calculator window, press the top
New button again to enter a new equation.
b. Clear the definition box and enter the following
equation: TotalKE 5 0.5 * m1 * smooth (10,v1)^2 1
0.5 * m2 * smooth (10, v2)^2
This is the calculation of the total kinetic energy,
KTotal 5 12m1v21 1 12m2v22, that we will call TotalKE.
c. Press the Accept button after entering the formula.
Notice that the variables will again appear in a list.
Define them exactly as before.
d. Press the Accept button again.
Close the calculator window.
The data list at the top left of the screen should now
have four items: Velocity from Ch1&2, Velocity from
Ch3&4, TotalP, and TotalKE. A small calculator icon
identifies the quantities that are calculated.
Create a graph by dragging the “Velocity Ch1&2”
icon from the data list and dropping it on the “Graph”
icon on the displays list. A graph of velocity versus
time will open, in a window titled Graph 1.
17. Double-click anywhere on the graph. The Graph
Settings window will open. Make the following
changes and selections:
Under the tab Appearance:
Data:
Connect data points in bold;
deselect the buttons marked “Show Data Points”
and “Show Legend Symbols”
Under the tab Layout:
Multiple graphs:
Vertical
Layering:
Do not layer
Measurement adding:
Replace matching measurement
Group measurement:
Do not group
Click OK to accept the changes and to exit the graph
settings window.
18. Drag the “Velocity Ch3&4” data icon and drop it in
the middle of Graph 1. The graph will split in two.
At the top you will see the Velocity Ch1&2 and at the
bottom the Velocity Ch3&4, on separate y-axis.
19. Drag the “TotalP” icon and drop it on the split graph.
The graph will split again, this time into three sections.
20. Drag the “TotalKE” icon and also drop it on the graph.
The result should be a graph split into four sections,
one section for each of the quantities.
21. Press the “Align Matching X Scales” button on the
graph’s toolbar. (It is a button with a picture of a padlock.) This will make all graphs aligned to a common
t 5 0 on the x-axis.
22. ● CI Fig. 7.5 shows what the screen should look like after
all setup is complete. The size of the graph window can
be maximized so that you can observe the plots better.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
The complete experimental setup is shown in ● CI Fig. 7.6.
Each car is connected to its own sensor and pulley system,
one on each side of the track. Here are the instructions for
setting up the carts.
1. Place Cars 1 and 2 (with the cart-string brackets attached) on the track with the magnetic sides facing
each other. The cart-string brackets may need repositioning so that they face the outside of the track, as
shown in CI Fig. 7.6.
2. Install a rotary motion sensor (RMS) on each side of the
track, with the pulleys facing the inside of the track.
3. On the opposite side of the track, install the RMS/
IDS adapters (small pulleys). See ● CI Fig. 7.7 for
reference.
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EXPERIMENT 7
/ Conservation of Linear Momentum
119
CI Figure 7.5 Data Studio setup. Data for velocity of each car, total momentum, and total kinetic energy will appear simultaneously on four plots, with matching time axes. The graph window may be maximized to occupy the whole screen in order to
display the experimental results better. (Reprinted courtesy of PASCO Scientific.)
Velcro tabs
(plunger cars)
Car 2
connects to
ports 3, 4
Magnetic ends
(collision cars)
IDS track
RMS
Car 1
connects to
ports 1, 2
IDS mount
accessory
Car 1
Thread
Car 2
Car-string brackets
IDS track pulley
brackets
CI Figure 7.6 Experimental setup. Two collision carts are installed on the same track. Each cart is connected to its own rotary
motion sensor on one side and to its own IDS-RMS adapter (track pulley bracket) on the other side. An elastic collision can
be performed by having the magnetic ends of the cars face each other. An inelastic collision can be performed by having the
nonmagnetic sides face each other and putting clay or Velcro on the ends of the cars.
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EXPERIMENT 7
/ Conservation of Linear Momentum
IDS track pulley
bracket
IDS track
IDS mount accessory
RMS
To computer
interface
(b)
(a)
(a) This figure shows how to mount the rotary motion
sensor to one end of the track, using the mount accessory. (b) This figure shows how the IDS/RMS adapter (the track pulley
bracket) should be mounted to the track.
CI Figure 7.7 Mounting the RMS and the IDS track pulley to the track.
Optional:
end stop
CI Figure 7.8 Example of one side of the experimental setup. This diagram illustrates one of the carts completely set up. Notice
the string connecting the pulleys to the cart-bracket is to have tension, but not be so tight that the cart cannot move freely.
4. A string will make a loop starting from the cart-string
bracket on top of the car, to the large pulley of the
RMS, to the small pulley of the RMS/IDS adapter,
and back to the cart, as shown in ● CI Fig. 7.8. Do
this for both cars, as shown in the complete set up of
CI Fig. 7.6. Adjust the height of the pulleys so that the
strings are tense, not sagging, but the cars are able to
move freely.
Case 1: Elastic Collision Between Two Cars
of (Nearly) Equal Mass, With One Initially
at Rest
5. Set Car 2 somewhere on the middle of the track,
at rest.
6. Set Car 1 all the way to the end of the track.
7. Press the START button, and then give Car 1 a good
push toward Car 2.
8. Press the STOP button after the collision, before Car 2
bounces at the end of the track. (Several practice runs,
and the help of a partner, may be needed.)
9. Click anywhere on the Velocity Ch1&2 graph, and
then press the Scale-to-Fit button on the graph toolbar (The Scale-to-Fit button is the leftmost button on
the graph toolbar.) This will make the data scale to the
length of the graph on the screen. Repeat for the other
three graphs.
10. If any of the graphs of velocity is reading negative
values, switch the yellow and black cables of the
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EXPERIMENT 7
corresponding rotary motion sensor in the interface so
that the yellow cord connects to where the black cord
was, and vice versa. Repeat the data collection process, and use the new data in the rest of the analysis.
11. Print the graph. If no printer is available, make a careful drawing of the graph, paying special attention to
dips and peaks in the graphs. Attach the graph to the
laboratory report.
12. Click anywhere on the Velocity Ch1&2 graph, and
then press the Smart-Tool button on the graph toolbar. (The Smart-Tool is a button on the graph toolbar
labeled XY.) A set of crosshairs will appear on the
graph. Repeat for each of the other graphs to get a
set of crosshairs on each graph. The crosshairs can be
dragged around to determine the exact (x, y) value of
any point in the graphs.
13. Use the Smart-Tools to find the time to that corresponds to the moment just before the collision. Report
the value of to in the laboratory report. (Hint: Use the
velocity graphs and think of what the cars were doing
just before the collision.)
14. In the graph printout, mark the time to in all graphs by
drawing a single, vertical line from top to bottom of
the page crossing time to.
/ Conservation of Linear Momentum
121
19. Use the Smart-Tool to determine, at time tf:
• the velocity of Car 1
• the velocity of Car 2
• the total momentum of the system
• the total kinetic energy of the system
Enter the results in CI Data Table 1.
20. Calculate the change in velocity of each car, the
change in momentum of each car, the change in
the total momentum of the system, and the change
in the total kinetic energy of the system. Enter the
results in CI Data Table 1.
Case 2: Inelastic Collision Between Two Cars
of (Nearly) Equal Mass, With One Initially
at Rest
21. Switch the cars on the track so that their magnetic
ends are facing away from each other. The easiest way
to do this without altering the strings is to unscrew
the cart-string brackets from the carts but not from
the strings. The cars can then be switched under the
brackets and the brackets reinstalled.*
22. Place a small piece of clay on the colliding end of both
cars. (Note: Velcro strips and sticky masking tape also
work well for this. Some PASCO carts already come
with Velcro strips attached.)
23. Set Car 2 somewhere on the middle of the track, at rest.
15. Use the Smart-Tools to find the time t f that corresponds to the moment just after the collision ended.
Report the value of tf in the laboratory report (Hint:
The collision does not end at the same time as when it
started—look carefully! Again, think of what the cars
were doing right after the collision.)
16. In the graph printout, mark the time tf in all graphs by
drawing a single, vertical line from top to bottom of
the page crossing time tf. The two vertical lines now
separate the before-collision from the after-collision
moments.
24. Set Car 1 all the way to the end of the track.
25. Press the START button, and then give Car 1 a good
push toward Car 2.
26. Press the STOP button after the collision, before the
cars reach the end of the track and bounce. (The cars
must stick together after the collision. Several practice
runs, and the help of a partner, may be needed to get
the hang of it.)
17. Determine how long (in time) the collision lasted.
27. Repeat steps 10 to 20, for this set of data, but enter the
results in CI Data Table 2.
18. Use the Smart-Tool to determine, at time to:
• the velocity of Car 1
• the velocity of Car 2
• the total momentum of the system
• the total kinetic energy of the system
Enter the results in CI Data Table 1.
*Some PASCO carts have magnets on both ends. These won’t work.
A new set of carts with no magnets (plunger carts) will be needed, which
means new masses must be measured and entered in the calculator, if this
is the case.
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
C I
E X P E R I M E N T
7
Conservation of Linear
Momentum
Laboratory Report
Case 1: Elastic Collision Between Two Cars of (Nearly) Equal Mass,
With One Initially at Rest
Car 1:
m1 5 ______________________
Car 2:
m2 5 ______________________
Collision started at to 5 ______________________
Total collision time Dt 5 tf 2 to 5 ______________________
Collision ended at tf 5 ______________________
DATA TABLE 1
Purpose: To analyze an elastic collision between two objects of nearly identical mass.
Just before the
collision
Just after the
collision
Changes
Velocity of Car 1,
v1
Dv1
Velocity of Car 2,
v2
Dv2
Total momentum,
PTotal
DP
Total kinetic
energy, KTotal
DK
Don’t forget units
(continued)
123
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E X P E R I M E N T
7
Laboratory Report
Conservation of Linear Momentum
Case 2: Inelastic Collision Between Two Cars of (Nearly) Equal Mass,
With One Initially at Rest
Car 1:
m1 5 ______________________
Car 2:
m2 5 ______________________
Collision started at to 5 ______________________
Total collision time Dt 5 tf 2 to 5 ______________________
Collision ended at tf 5 ______________________
DATA TABLE 2
Purpose: To analyze an inelastic collision between two objects of nearly identical mass.
Just before the
collision
Just after the
collision
Changes
Velocity of Car 1,
v1
Dv1
Velocity of Car 2,
v2
Dv2
Total momentum,
PTotal
DP
Total kinetic
energy, KTotal
DK
124
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Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
7
Conservation of Linear Momentum
Laboratory Report
QUESTIONS
1. How well do the results support the law of conservation of momentum, considering the
possible sources of uncertainty?
2. Which collision took a longer time, the elastic or the inelastic collision? Discuss the possible reasons.
3. Was the kinetic energy of the system conserved? Discuss by comparing the results for the
elastic collision and the inelastic collision.
4. During the inelastic collision, the kinetic energy was obviously not conserved. What do
you think happened to the “lost” energy?
(continued)
125
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E X P E R I M E N T
7
Conservation of Linear Momentum
Laboratory Report
5. During the collision, both cars changed their momentum. How does the change in momentum of each car compare to that of the other? Does one car change more than the other?
What do you think would happen if the cars had different mass? (If time is available, try it.)
6. For an object to undergo a change in its momentum, a net force needs to be applied. The
amount of change in momentum produced by the force depends on the length of the time
during which the force acts and is called the impulse. That is,
Impulse 5 Dp 5 FDt
where the force F is assumed to be constant, or to be an “average force.” For each of
the collisions, calculate the average force acting on the cars during the collision, and
compare them.
7. Suppose a ball falls on your head. What is better for you (less damage)—for the ball to
bounce straight back off your head, or for it to stop and stick to you? Justify your answer.
126
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E X P E R I M E N T
8
Projectile Motion:
The Ballistic Pendulum
Experimental Planning
m •M
vx
o
m
M
V
m•
M
h1
Before
h2
After
GL Figure 8.1 Ballistic pendulum parameters.
See
Experimental Planning text for description.
A. The Ballistic Pendulum
The ballistic pendulum allows the experimental determination of the speed of a projectile that is launched horizontally. This is
done using two conservation principles and a few simple measurements.
The parameters of a ballistic pendulum system are shown in GL Fig. 8.1. A projectile of mass m is fired with velocity
vo into a stationary pendulum bob of mass M and becomes embedded. The (horizontal) momentum of the system can
be expressed in terms of the variables given in GL Fig. 8.1. What is the momentum of the system immediately after the
projectile is fired (that is, just before it hits the pendulum bob)?
1. In terms of the variables given in GL Fig. 8.1, what is the momentum of the system immediately after the mass m becomes
embedded in the pendulum bob?
2. If the horizontal momentum is considered to be conserved in the collision, what can you say about the two expressions for
momentum that you determined above?
3. Write an equation for the conservation of momentum for this collision. Designate it Eq. 1.
(continued)
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Experimental Planning
4. Verify that your equation has the masses and the velocities before and after the collision. If not, review your result with a
classmate or your instructor. Solve the equation for the initial velocity of the projectile, vo.
Note that to calculate the initial projectile velocity vo, the velocity V of the block and projectile combination needs to be
known. (The values of the masses can be determined with a balance.) So far, only one conservation principle has been used—
the conservation of linear momentum. Now consider the mechanical energy of the system after the collision. Write an expression for the kinetic energy of the system (the mass and bob combo) immediately after collision, and label it Eq. 2.
As the bob swings upward from h1 to a maximum height h2 (GL Fig. 8.1), what is happening to the kinetic energy of the
system (neglecting friction)?
If the kinetic energy is decreasing, is there another form of mechanical energy in the system that may be increasing? If so,
what is it?
Write an equation for the mechanical energy of the system at h2, and call it Eq. 3.
5. How are Eq. 2 and 3 related by the conservation of mechanical energy?
6. If you apply the conservation of mechanical energy for the system after the collision, the expressions in Eq. 2 and Eq. 3
are equal. Set them equal to each other, and call the resulting equation Eq. 4.
7. What is the only variable in this equation that cannot be measured directly? You should recognize that it is the velocity V,
(h1 and h2 can be measured directly with a meter stick.) Solve Equation 4 for V.
8. Recall that the velocity V needed to be determined to find vo in Eq. 1. Your last result gives V in terms of measurable
quantities. Substitute your expression for V into Eq. 1 and solve for vo.
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Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
8
Advance Study Assignment
* Is vo now expressed in terms of known and measurable quantities? It should be, and this
is the theory of how the projectile initial velocity can be determined experimentally using the
ballistic pendulum.
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
A. The Ballistic Pendulum
1. In determining the magnitude of the initial velocity of the ballistic pendulum projectile,
what conservation laws are involved and in which parts of the procedure?
2. Why is it justified to say that the momentum in the horizontal direction is conserved over
the collision interval? Is momentum conserved before and after the collision? Explain.
3. Why are the heights measured to the center of mass of the pendulum-ball system?
(continued)
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Advance Study Assignment
B. Determination of the Initial Velocity of a Projectile from Range-Fall Measurements
4. After the horizontal projectile leaves the gun, what are the accelerations in the x- and
y-directions?
5. How is the location where the ball strikes the floor determined?
6. Besides the range, what else is needed to determine the magnitude of the initial velocity of
the ball?
C. Projectile Range Dependence on the Angle of Projection
7. For a given initial velocity, how does the range of a projectile vary with the angle of
projection u?
8. Theoretically, the angle of projection for maximum range is 45°. Does this set a limit on
the range? Explain.
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Projectile Motion:
The Ballistic Pendulum
These procedures will greatly assist in understanding
some of the most basic physical principles. After performing the experiment and analyzing the data, you should be
able to do the following:
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
Projectile motion is the motion of an object in a plane
(two dimensions) under the influence only of gravity (free
fall, air resistance neglected). The kinematic equations of
motion describe the components of such motion and may
be used to analyze projectile motion. In most textbook
cases, the initial velocity of a projectile (speed and angle
of projection) is given and other quantities calculated.
However, in this experiment, the unknown initial
velocity will be determined from experimental measurements. This will be done (1) through the use of the
ballistic pendulum and (2) from range-fall distance measurements. The dependence of the projectile range on the
angle of projection will also be investigated so as to obtain
an experimental indication of the angle of projection that
gives the maximum range.
1. Explain the use of conservation laws (linear momentum and mechanical energy) in determining the initial
velocity of a projectile using the ballistic pendulum.
2. Describe the components of motion and how they are
used in determining the velocity of a projectile with
range-fall measurements.
3. Tell how the range of a projectile varies with the angle
of projection.
•
•
•
•
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
•
•
•
•
•
Ballistic pendulum
Sheets of plain paper (and carbon paper)*
Meter stick
Protractor
Laboratory balance
Masking tape
Wooden blocks
1 sheet of Cartesian graph paper
Safety glasses
*Carbon paper may or may not be needed.
To a good approximation, the horizontal momentum
is conserved during collision over the time interval of the
collision. Therefore, the horizontal component of total
momentum is taken to be the same immediately before and
after collision. The velocity of the pendulum bob is initially
zero, and the combined system (m 1 M) has a velocity of
magnitude V just after collision. Hence, by the conservation of linear momentum for the horizontal direction,
THEORY
A. The Ballistic Pendulum
Types of ballistic pendula apparatus are shown in ● Fig 8.1.
The ballistic pendulum is used to experimentally determine the initial velocity of a horizontally projected object
(a metal ball) fired from a spring gun. The projectile is
fired into a stationary, pendulum bob suspended by a rod,
and on collision, the pendulum and the embedded projectile swing upward.
A catch mechanism stops the pendulum at its highest
position of swing. By measuring the vertical distance that the
center of mass of the pendulum-ball system rises, the initial
velocity of the projectile can be computed through the use of
the conservation of linear momentum and the conservation of
mechanical energy (neglecting rotational considerations).
Consider the schematic diagram of a ballistic pendulum shown in ● Fig. 8.2. A projectile of mass m with an
initial horizontal velocity of is vxo fired into and becomes
embedded in a stationary pendulum of mass M.
mvxo 5 1 m 1 M 2 V
(before)
(after)
(8.1)
After collision, the pendulum with the embedded
projectile swings upward (momentum of the system no
longer conserved, why?) and stops. The center of mass of
the pendulum-ball system is raised a maximum vertical
distance h 5 h2 2 h1.* By the conservation of mechanical
*The center of mass of the system is used because this represents the
point where all the mass is considered concentrated.
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/ Projectile Motion: The Ballistic Pendulum
(a)
(c)
(d)
(b)
Figure 8.1 Ballistic pendula. Types of ballistic pendula. (Photos Courtesy of (a) and (b) Sargent-Welch, (c) Bernard O. Beck Co.,
and (d) Reprinted courtesy of PASCO Scientific.)
energy, the increase in potential energy is equal to the
kinetic energy of the system just after collision (friction
of the support is considered negligible). Hence,
1
2 (m
1 M)V2
kinetic energy
just after collision
5
(m 1 M)gh
change in
potential energy
(8.2)
vxo 5 a
m1M
b !2gh
m
(8.4)
(intial speed)
Solving Eq. (8.2) for V,
V 5 !2gh
Substituting this expression into Eq. (8.1) and solving for
vxo yields
(8.3)
Hence, by measuring m, M, and h, the initial velocity of
the projectile can be computed.
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EXPERIMENT 8
/ Projectile Motion: The Ballistic Pendulum
133
Eliminating t from these equations and solving for vxo, we
have (neglecting air resistance):
1
gx2
g 2
vxo 5
5a bx
Å 2y
2y
h h2 h1
Hence, by measuring the range x and the distance of fall y,
the initial speed of the projectile can be computed.
m •M
vx
o
m
M
V
m•
M
h1
Before
(8.7)
C. Projectile Range Dependence on the
Angle of Projection
h2
After
Figure 8.2 Ballistic pendulum action. Ideally, the horizon-
tal linear momentum is conserved during collision. After
collision, work is done against gravity, and kinetic energy
is converted into potential energy. (Rotational considerations neglected.)
The projectile path for a general angle of projection u is
shown in ● Fig. 8.4. The components of the initial velocity
have magnitudes of
vxo 5 vo cos u
vyo 5 vo sin u
(8.8)
At the top of the arc path, vy 5 0, and since
B. Determination of the Initial Speed of a
Horizontal Projectile from Range-Fall
Measurements
vy 5 vyo 2 gt
5 vo sin u 2 gt
If a projectile is projected horizontally with an initial velocity of magnitude vxo from a height of y, it will describe an
arc as illustrated in ● Fig. 8.3. The projectile will travel
a horizontal distance x (called the range) while falling a
vertical distance y.
The initial vertical velocity is zero, vyo 5 0, and the
acceleration in the y-direction is the acceleration due to gravity (ay 5 g). There is no horizontal acceleration, ax 5 0;
hence the components of the motion are described by
(downward taken as negative), then
vo sin u 2 gtm 5 0
or
vo sin u
(8.9)
g
where tm is the time for the projectile to reach the maximum height of ym.
If the projectile returns to the same elevation as that
from which it was fired, then the total time of flight t is
tm 5
(8.5)
x 5 vxot
t 5 2tm 5
and
2y 5
212
gt
2
(8.6)
2vo sin u
g
(8.10)
During the time t, the projectile travels a distance R
(range) in the x-direction:
R 5 vxot 5 (vo cos u)t 5
2v2o sin u cos u
g
where t is from Eq. 8.10.
For an arbitrary projection
angle above the horizontal, the range R of a projectile
depends on the initial velocity—that is, on the speed and
angle of projection.
Figure 8.4 Projectile motion.
Figure 8.3 Range-fall. The configuration for range-fall
measurements. See text for description.
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EXPERIMENT 8
/ Projectile Motion: The Ballistic Pendulum
But using the trigonometric identity 2 sin u cos u 5
sin 2u, we find that the range or maximum distance in the
x-direction is
R5
v2o sin 2u
g
(8.11)
(range)
From Eq. 8.11, it can be seen that the range of the projectile depends on the angle of projection u. The maximum
range Rmax occurs when sin 2u 5 1. Since sin 90° 5 1, by
comparison
2u 5 90° or u 5 45°
Hence, a projectile has a maximum range for u 5 45°, and
Rmax 5
v2o
g
of the pendulum-ball system. With the pendulum
hanging freely, measure the height h1 of the pointer
above the base surface (Fig. 8.2) and record it in Data
Table 1.
(8.12)
(maximum range, u 5 45°)
which provides another convenient method to determine
experimentally the initial speed of a projectile.
(Note: This development neglects air resistance, but the
equations give the range to a good approximation for relatively small initial speeds and short projectile paths. Why?)
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
Caution: With projectiles involved, it is recommended that
safety glasses be worn during all procedures.
A. The Ballistic Pendulum
1. Obtain the projectile ball, which may be in the pendulum bob. (Note: When removing the ball from the
pendulum bob of some types of ballistic pendula, be
sure to push up on the spring catch that holds the ball
in the pendulum so as not to damage it.)
Place the projectile ball on the ball rod of the
spring gun, and cock the gun by pushing on the ball.
Both ball and rod may move backward, or the ball
may slip over the rod, depending on the type of
ballistic pendulum. Caution: In either case, be careful
not to bruise or hurt your hand when cocking the gun.
Also, keep your fingers away from the projectile end of
the gun.
Fire the projectile into the pendulum to see how
the apparatus operates. If the catch mechanism does
not catch on the notched track, you should adjust the
pendulum suspension to obtain the proper alignment.
2. A preset pointer or a dot on the side of the pendulum
bob indicates the position of the center of mass (CM)
3. Shoot the ball into the freely hanging stationary pendulum and note the notch at which the catch mechanism stops on the curved track. Counting upward on
the curved track, record the notch number in Data
Table 1. Repeat this procedure four times, and for
each trial record the notch number in the data table.
(Alternatively, the height may be measured each time.
See Procedure 4 note.)
4. Determine the average of these observations, which
is the average notch position of the pendulum. Place
the catch mechanism in the notch corresponding most
closely to the average, and measure the height h2 of
the CM dot above the base surface used for the h1
measurement (Fig. 8.2).
Note: To minimize frictional losses, the catch
mechanism may be disabled by tying it up with thread
or using a rubber band. The mechanism then acts as a
pointer to indicate the highest notch, which is observed
by a lab partner. Holding some reference object, such
as a pencil, by the notched track helps to determine the
proper notch number.
5. Loosen the screw of the pendulum support and carefully remove the pendulum. Weigh and record the
masses of the ball (m) and the pendulum (M). Note:
The mass of the pendulum is that of the bob and the
support rod. Do not attempt to remove the support rod
from the bob. Consult your instructor for the procedure if a different model is used.
6. From the data, compute the magnitude of the initial velocity using Eq. (8.4) (g 5 9.80 m/s2 5 980 cm/s2).
B. Determination of the Initial Velocity of a
Projectile from Range-Fall Measurements
7. With the pendulum removed or in the upper catch
mechanism notch so as not to interfere with the projectile, position the apparatus near one edge of the
laboratory table as shown in Fig. 8.3.
Shoot the ball from the gun, and note where the
ball strikes the floor. (The range of the ball is appreciable, so you may have to shoot the ball down an
aisle. Be careful not to hit anyone with the ball, particularly the instructor.)
8. Place a sheet of paper where the ball hits the floor.
Tape the paper to the floor (or weight it down) so that
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EXPERIMENT 8
it will not move. When the ball strikes the paper, the
indentation mark will enable you to determine the range
of the projectile.* Also mark the position of the apparatus on the table (for example, using a piece of tape as
a reference). It is important that the gun be fired from
the same position each time.
9. Shoot the ball five times, hitting the paper, and measure the horizontal distance or range x the ball travels
for each trial (see Fig. 8.3). [If faint indentation marks
cannot be found on the paper, cover it with a sheet of
carbon paper (carbon side down). The ball will then
make a carbon mark on the paper on impact.]
Record the measurements in Data Table 2, and
find the average range. The height y is measured from
the bottom of the ball (as it rests on the gun) to the
floor. Measure this distance, and record in the data
table.
10. Using Eq. (8.7), compute the magnitude of the initial
velocity of the ball (g 5 9.80 m/s2 5 980 cm/s2).
Compare this to the velocity determined in Part A, and
compute the percent difference.
C. Dependence of Projectile Range on the
Angle of Projection
11. With the ballistic pendulum apparatus on the floor
(with pendulum removed), elevate the front end so that
* The range will be measured from the floor position directly below the
center of the ball just as it leaves the gun to the marks on the paper on
the floor. The floor location is determined by putting the ball on the gun
without loading the spring.
/ Projectile Motion: The Ballistic Pendulum
135
it can be fired at an angle u relative to the horizontal.
(Your instructor will tell you how to do this.) Aim the
projectile down an aisle or hallway, being careful not
to aim at anything or anybody.
12. Using a protractor to set the angles of projection, fire
the projectile at angles of 20°, 30°, 40°, 45°, 50°, 60°,
and 70° with two or three trials for each angle. The
projectile should be aimed so that it lands as close as
possible to the same spot for the trials of a particular
angle.
Station one or more lab partners at a safe distance
near where the projectile strikes the floor. They are
to judge the average range of the two or three trials.
Measure the average range for each angle of projection, and record the data in Data Table 3.
Suggestion: It is convenient to measure the distance from the gun to the position where the ball lands
and to mark this position. The range measurement
then can be made relative to this measured mark, instead of from the starting point each time. Also, it is
convenient to shoot toward a wall at the end of the hall
or aisle or to lay a meter stick on the floor perpendicularly to the line of flight, in order to stop the ball from
rolling.
13. Plot the range versus the angle of projection, and draw
a smooth curve that fits the data best. As might be expected, the points may be scattered widely because of
the rather crude experimental procedure. Even so, you
should be able to obtain a good idea of the angle for
the maximum range. Determine this angle from the
graph, and record it in Data Table 3.
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
8
Projectile Motion:
The Ballistic Pendulum
Laboratory Report
A. The Ballistic Pendulum
DATA TABLE 1
(Modify the Data Table if it does not apply to your ballistic pendulum.)
Purpose: To determine the magnitude of initial projectile velocity.
Trials
Height h2 of pointer with
pendulum catch in closest-toaverage notch number
Notch number of
pendulum catch
___________________
2
Height h1 of pointer with
pendulum freely suspended
___________________
3
h 5 h2 2 h3 ___________________
4
Mass of ball m
5
___________________
1
Mass of pendulum M
(bob and support)
Average
___________________
Calculations
(show work)
Computed vxo ___________________
(units)
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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Laboratory Report
Projectile Motion: The Ballistic Pendulum
B. Determination of the Initial Velocity of a Projectile from Range-Fall Measurements
DATA TABLE 2
Purpose: To determine the magnitude of initial projectile velocity.
Trial
Range
Vertical distance of fall, y ___________________
Computed vxo ___________________
1
(units)
2
Percent difference between
results of Parts A and B ___________________
3
4
5
Average
Calculations
(show work)
C. Dependence of Projectile Range on the Angle of Projection
DATA TABLE 3
Purpose: To investigate projection angle from maximum range.
Angle of
projection
Average range
Angle of projection for
maximum range from graph ___________________
20°
30°
40°
45°
50°
60°
70°
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Section
Date
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E X P E R I M E N T
8
Projectile Motion: The Ballistic Pendulum
Laboratory Report
QUESTIONS
A. The Ballistic Pendulum
1. Is the collision between the ball and the pendulum elastic or inelastic? Justify your answer
by calculating the kinetic energy of the system before collision using the value of found vxo
found in the experiment and the kinetic energy just after collision using the experimental
value of h in Eq.8.2.
2. Using the results of Question 1 that would apply if the collision were inelastic, find the
fractional kinetic energy loss during the collision. Express the “loss” as a percent. What
became of the “lost energy”?
3. Expressing the kinetic energy in terms of momentum (K 5 12mv2 5 p2 /2m), prove using
symbols, not numbers, that the fractional loss during the collision is equal to M/(m 1 M).
4. Compute the fractional energy loss from the experimental mass values using the equation
developed in Question 3, and compare this to the result in Question 2. Explain the
difference, if any.
(continued)
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Projectile Motion: The Ballistic Pendulum
Laboratory Report
5. Is the friction of the pendulum (catch mechanism, support axis, etc.) a random or systematic error? Will this source of error cause your calculated velocity to be less than or greater
than the actual velocity?
B. Determination of the Initial Velocity of a Projectile from Range-Fall
Measurements
6. What effect does the force of gravity have on the horizontal velocity of the projectile?
Explain.
7. What effect would air resistance have on the range of the projectile?
C. Dependence of Projectile Range on the Angle of Projection
8. Using experimental data, compute the magnitude of the initial velocity vo of the projectile
from Eq. (8.12), and compare this to the results of Parts A and B of the procedure.
9. If, for a given initial velocity, the maximum range is at a projection angle of 45°, then there
must be equal ranges for angles above and below this. Show this explicitly.
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9
Centripetal Force
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. Define centripetal force.
2. What supplies the centripetal force for (a) a satellite in orbit around the Earth, (b) the mass
in uniform circular motion in this experiment?
3. An object moving in uniform circular motion is accelerating. How can this be, since
uniform motion implies constant motion?
4. For an object in uniform circular motion, on what parameters does the experimental
determination of the centripetal force depend when using F 5 ma?
(continued)
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Advance Study Assignment
5. If the centripetal force acting on an object in uniform motion suddenly ceased to
act (went to zero), what would happen to the object? That is, what would be its
subsequent motion?
6. Suppose that the centripetal force acting on an object in circular motion were
increased to a new value, and the object remained in a circular path with the
same radius. How would the motion be affected?
7. Explain how the centripetal force is directly determined for the apparatus
you will be using in the experiment.
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Centripetal Force
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
can also be determined from other experimental parameters,
for example, the frequency of rotation of the object, mass,
and radius of orbit. Centripetal force will be experimentally
investigated by measuring these parameters and comparing
the calculated results with the direct measurement of the
spring force, which mechanically supplies the center-seeking
centripetal force.
After performing the experiment and analyzing the
data, you should be able to do the following:
The Earth revolves about the Sun, atomic electrons move
around the nucleus. What keeps these objects in orbit?
The answer is centripetal force (centripetal means
“center-seeking”). The centripetal force is supplied by
gravitational and electrical interactions, respectively, for
each of these cases.
The study of centripetal force in the laboratory is
simplified by considering objects in uniform circular
motion. An object in uniform circular motion moves with
a constant speed (a scalar) but has a changing velocity
(a vector) because of the continual change in direction.
This change in velocity results from centripetal acceleration due to a centripetal force.
In the experimental situation(s) of this experiment, the
centripetal force will be supplied by a spring and can be readily measured. However, the magnitude of the centripetal force
1. Explain why a centripetal force is necessary for circular motion.
2. Describe how the magnitude of the centripetal force
for uniform circular motion may be determined from
motional parameters.
3. Summarize what determines the magnitude of the centripetal force necessary to keep an object in uniform
circular motion.
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
B. Centripetal Force Apparatus with
Variable-Speed Rotor and Counter
A. Manual Centripetal Force Apparatus
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Laboratory timer or stopwatch
Meter stick
Weight hanger and slotted weights
String
Laboratory balance
Safety glasses
Laboratory timer or stopwatch
Weight hanger and slotted weights
Vernier caliper
Support rod and clamp
String
Safety glasses
force) is always toward the center of the object’s circular
path, and it can be shown (see your textbook) that the magnitude of the acceleration is given by
THEORY
An object in uniform circular motion requires a centripetal, or center-seeking, force to “hold” it in orbit. For example, when one swings a ball on a rope in a horizontal
circle around one’s head (● Fig. 9.1), the centripetal force,
Fc 5 mac, is supplied by the person and transmitted to
the ball through the rope. In the absence of the centripetal
force (for example, if the rope breaks or if the person releases the rope), the ball would no longer be held in orbit
and would initially fly off in the direction of its tangential
velocity v.
An object in uniform circular motion moves with a
constant speed. Even though the object’s speed is constant,
its velocity is changing because the direction of the motion
is continually changing. This change in velocity results
from a centripetal acceleration ac that is due to the applied
centripetal force Fc. The direction of the acceleration (and
ac 5
v2
r
(9.1)
(centripetal acceleration)
where v is the tangential or orbital speed of the object
and r is the radius of the circular orbit. By Newton’s
second law, F 5 ma, the magnitude of the centripetal
force is
Fc 5 mac 5
mv2
r
(9.2)
(centripetal force)
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EXPERIMENT 9
/ Centripetal Force
where v is in radians per second and f is in hertz (Hz, 1/s
or cycles per second). In this experiment it is convenient to
think of f as being in revolutions per second.
v
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
v2
a c= r
A. Manual Centripetal Force Apparatus
r
1. A type of hand-operated centripetal force apparatus is
shown in ● Fig. 9.2. By rolling the rotor between the
thumb and fingers, the operator sets a suspended mass
bob into circular motion, with the centripetal force being supplied by a spring. The horizontal support arm
Figure 9.1 Centripetal acceleration. An object in uniform circular motion must have a centripetal acceleration
with a magnitude of ac 5 v2 /r directed toward the center
of the circular path. In the case of swinging a ball on a
rope around one’s head, the centripetal force Fc 5 mac is
supplied by the person and transmitted through the rope.
(Tony Freeman/PhotoEdit.)
where m is the mass of the object. In terms of distance and
time, the orbital speed v is given by v 5 2pr/T, where 2pr
is the circumference of the circular orbit of radius r, and T
is the period.
Notice that Eq. 9.2 describes the centripetal force acting on an object in uniform circular motion in terms of the
properties of the motion and orbit. It is equal to the expression of a physical force that actually supplies the centripetal action. For example, in the case of a satellite in
uniform circular motion around the Earth, the centripetal
force is supplied by gravity, which is generally expressed
Fg 5 Gm1m2 /r2, and Fc 5 Fg. Similarly, for an object being held in uniform circular motion by the tension force of
a string, the tension force (Ft) is equal to Eq. 9.2 (that is
Ft 5 mv2 /r).*
The centripetal force given by Eq. 9.2 can also be expressed in terms of the angular speed v or frequency f of
rotation, using the expressions v 5 rv and v 5 2pf :
Fc 5
m 1 rv 2 2
mv2
5
5 mrv 2
r
r
(a)
(b)
Figure 9.2 Hand-operated centripetal force apparatus.
and
Fc 5 mr 1 2pf 2 2 5 4p2mrf 2
(9.3)
*Technically it is the component of Ft directed toward the center of the
circular orbit. The rope cannot be exactly horizontal. See Question 4 at
the end of the experiment.
(a) The suspended weights, used to determine the centripetal force supplied by the spring, are not attached to the bob
when the apparatus is operationally rotating. (b) Apparatus in action. See text for description. (Photos Courtesy of
Sargent-Welch.)
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EXPERIMENT 9
is counterbalanced for ease of operation; the position
of the counterbalance is not critical.
A pulley mounted to the base of the apparatus is
used to make direct measurement of the spring tension
supplying the centripetal force for uniform circular
motion of a particular radius indicated by the distance
between the vertical pointer rod P and the axis of
rotation.
2. Remove the bob and determine its mass on a laboratory balance. Record the mass value in Data
Table 1. Adjust the position of the vertical pointer rod,
if possible, to the smallest possible radius (distance
between the pointer tip and the center of the vertical
rotor shaft). Measure this distance and record.
3. Attach the bob to the string on the horizontal support
arm, and with the bob hanging freely (spring unattached), adjust the support arm so that the bob is
suspended directly over the pointer. Attach the spring
to the bob, and practice rolling the rotor between your
thumb and fingers so that the bob revolves in a circular path and passes over the pointer on each revolution
in uniform circular motion. (Adjust the position of the
counterbalance on the support arm if necessary for
ease of operation.)
Make sure the locking screws are tight, and be
careful of the rotating counterweight. Caution: Safety
glasses should be worn. This is always a good practice in a laboratory with moving equipment.
While one lab partner operates the rotor, another
lab partner with a laboratory timer or stopwatch times
the interval for the bob to make about 25 revolutions.
The number of counted revolutions may have to be
varied depending on the speed of the rotor. Count
enough revolutions for an interval of at least 10 s.
Record the data in Data Table 1. Practice the procedure before making an actual measurement.
4. Repeat the counting-timing procedure twice. Compute the time per revolution of the bob for each trial,
and determine the average time per revolution of the
three trials.
From the data, calculate the average speed of the
bob. Recall v 5 c/t 5 2pr/T, where c is the circumference of the circular orbit, r is the radius of the orbit, and T is the average time per revolution or period.
Then, using Eq. 9.2, calculate the centripetal force.
5. Attach a string to the bob opposite the spring and suspend a weight hanger over the pulley. Add weights to
the hanger until the bob is directly over the pointer.
Record the weight, Mg, in the data table. (Do not forget to add the mass of the weight hanger.) This weight
is a direct measure of the centripetal force supplied
by the spring during rotation. Compare this with the
/ Centripetal Force
145
calculated value and compute the percent difference
of the two values.
6. Variation of mass. Unscrew the nut on the top of the
bob, insert a slotted mass of 100 g or more under it,
and retighten the nut. Repeat Procedures 11 through
13 for determining the period of rotation and comparing the computed value of the centripetal force with
the direct measurement of the spring tension. (Question: Does the latter measurement need to be repeated?) Record your findings in Data Table 2.
7. Variation of radius. Remove the slotted masses from
the bob, and if pointer P is adjustable, move it farther away from the axis of rotation to provide a larger
path radius. Measure and record this distance in Data
Table 3. Repeat Procedures 11 through 13 for this
experimental condition.
8. Variation of spring tension (optional). Replace the
spring with another spring of different stiffness. Repeat
Procedures 11 through 13, recording your findings in
Data Table 4.
B. Centripetal Force Apparatus with
Variable-Speed Rotor
9. The centripetal force apparatus mounted on a variablespeed rotor is shown in ● Fig. 9.3.* Before turning
on the rotor:
(a) By means of the threaded collar on the centripetal
force apparatus, adjust the spring to a minimum
tension (0–5 on the scale above the threaded
collar).
(b) By means of the milled screw head near the base
of the rotor, move the rubber friction disk to near
the center of the driving disk. (The driving disk
can be pushed back so that the friction disk can
be moved freely.) This will give a low angular
starting speed when the rotor is turned on (but
don’t turn it on yet!).
The speed of the rotor is increased or decreased by moving the friction disk in (up) or out
(down), respectively, along the radius of the driving disk.
Caution: Excessive speeds can be dangerous. Do
not go beyond the speeds needed.
(c) Make certain that the force apparatus is locked
securely in the rotor mount by means of the locking screw. Have the instructor check your setup at
this point.
10. Referring to ● Fig. 9.4: When the motor is turned on and
adjusted to the proper speed, the cylindrical mass m in
*The following procedures apply particularly to the belt-driven rotor
model.
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EXPERIMENT 9
/ Centripetal Force
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
Figure 9.3 Centripetal force apparatus. (a) A model for which the speed of the rotor is adjusted by moving a rubber friction
disk by means of a milled screw head, as illustrated in the photo. (b) For this apparatus, when the centripetal force is equal to
the spring force, the pointer P will rise and point horizontally toward the tip of the index screw I. See also Fig. 9.4. (c) Motor
with belt guard and rotating arm in horizontal storage position. Note: The belt guard has been removed in (a) and (b) for
more complete illustration. Caution: When in operation, the motor should always be equipped with a belt guard for safety.
(d) A self-contained centripetal force apparatus that eliminates any belt-guard problem. The apparatus has a digital readout.
(Photos Courtesy of Sargent-Welch.)
Figure 9.4 Pointer and screw index. When the apparatus is
rotating, the mass acting against the pointer P will cause it
to rise and point toward the index screw I.
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EXPERIMENT 9
the centripetal force apparatus in contact with pointer P
will cause the pointer to rise and horizontally point
toward the index screw I. In this condition, the mass will
be in uniform circular motion around the axis of rotation
through I.
Caution: When taking measurements, be careful not
to come in contact with the rotating apparatus. The
rotor should not be operated without a belt guard covering the belt and pulleys. See Fig. 9.3(c).
11. Put on your safety glasses and turn on the rotor. Adjust the speed until the pointer rises and is opposite the
head of the index screw I (Fig. 9.4). Observe this with
your eyes on a level with the index screw. (Caution:
Why is it a good precaution to wear safety glasses
while doing this?) The pointer will be slightly erratic,
and as a particular speed is reached, it will “jump”
and may point slightly above the index screw I. If
so, adjust the speed so that the pointer is horizontally
toward the index screw I. Do not exceed this speed.
The pointer should be aimed at the head of the index
screw when the rotor is spinning at higher speeds, too.
(Why?)
Do not lock the friction disk. Rather, observe and
adjust the speed of the rotor continuously during each
timed interval in order to keep the pointer as steady as
possible. Continuous adjustment is necessary because
the rotor speed varies when the counter is engaged.
Because the pointer will point horizontally at
excessive speeds and induce experimental error, an
alternative technique is to adjust the rotor speed continually so that the pointer is not quite horizontal—
that is, so that it is aimed midway or just below the
head of the index screw.
Experiment with your apparatus and see which
technique is better, trying to maintain the pointer
horizontally at the critical “jump” speed or aiming the
pointer at a lower position on the screw at a slightly
slower speed.
12. Practice engaging the counter and adjusting the rotor
speed. (Do not engage the counter too forcefully or
you will overly slow down the rotor, yet don’t engage
the counter so lightly that you accidentally cause the
rotor to lose contact with the rotor gear.) When you
are satisfied with your technique, record the (initial)
counter reading in Data Table 5.
Then, using a laboratory timer or stopwatch, measure (count) the number of rotations for a 1-minute interval. One lab partner should engage the counter for
the timing interval while the other adjusts the rotor
speed.
Repeat this procedure for four more 1-minute intervals, but do not use the previous final counter reading for the next initial interval reading. Advance the
counter to a new arbitrary initial reading for each trial.
/ Centripetal Force
147
Also, share the action. One lab partner should be
the “speed controller” who constantly watches and
adjusts the rotor speed as described in Procedure 3.
Another partner should be the “timer” who engages
the counter and times the interval. If there are three
lab partners, the third may handle the counter engagement and disengagement in response to the timer’s
instructions. Rotate team responsibilities periodically.
(Why might such rotation produce better experimental results?)
13. Subtract the counter readings to find the number of rotations for each timed interval. (They should be similar.) Then compute the average number of rotations N
of the five 1-minute intervals (average rotations per
minute).
Divide the average value by 60 (1 min 5 60 s)
to obtain the average rotation frequency in rotations
(cycles) per second, or hertz (Hz).
14. Without altering the spring tension setting, remove
the centripetal force apparatus from the rotor and
suspend it from a support as shown in ● Fig. 9.5. Suspend enough mass on the hanger to produce the same
extension of the spring as when on the rotor (pointer
aimed at the index screw position).
Record this mass M' (includes mass of hanger)
in the laboratory report below Data Table 1. Also record the mass of the cylinder m in the force apparatus
(stamped on the end of the cylinder).
Arrangement for the application of gravitational force to measure the spring tensions.
(Photo Courtesy of Sargent-Welch.)
Figure 9.5 Spring tension.
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EXPERIMENT 9
/ Centripetal Force
Add the masses to find the total suspended mass,
M 5 Mr 1 m, and compute the direct measure of
Fc 5 weight of total suspended mass 5 Mg.
With the spring at the same tension setting and the
apparatus still hanging from the support with the same
mass Mr suspended, use a vernier caliper to measure
the distance r, or the radius of the circular rotational
path, and record. This is the distance between the axis
of rotation (line through the index screw) and the center of mass of the cylinder (see Fig. 9.4).
The distance is conveniently measured between a
line scribed on the upper part of the force apparatus
frame above the index screw and a line scribed on the
center of the cylinder.
15. Using Eq. (9.3), compute the magnitude of the
centripetal force. Compare this with the directly measured value given by the weight force required to produce the same extension of the spring by computing
the percent difference.
16. Change the spring tension to a maximum setting
(about the 20 mark on the scale above the threaded
collar) and repeat Procedures 3 through 7, recording
your results in Data Table 6.
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
9
Centripetal Force
Laboratory Report
A. Manual Centripetal Force Apparatus
DATA TABLE 1
Purpose: To determine period of revolution for computation of centripetal force.
Trial 1
Trial 2
Trial 3
Mass of bob ___________________
Radius of circular path ___________________
Number of revolutions
Average time per revolution ___________________
Total time (
)
Average speed of bob (v) ___________________
Time/revolution (
)
Computed value of
centripetal force ___________________
Direct measurement of
centripetal force ___________________
Computation of centripetal force
(attach additional sheet)
Percent difference ___________________
DATA TABLE 2
Purpose: To observe the effect of varying mass.
Trial 1
Trial 2
Trial 3
Number of revolutions
Total time (
Radius of circular path ___________________
Average time per revolution ___________________
)
Time/revolution (
Mass of bob ___________________
Average speed of bob (v) ___________________
)
Computed value of
centripetal force ___________________
Computation of centripetal force
(attach additional sheet)
Direct measurement of
centripetal force ___________________
Percent difference ___________________
(continued)
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9
Laboratory Report
Centripetal Force
DATA TABLE 3
Purpose: To observe the effect of varying radius.
Trial 1
Trial 2
Trial 3
Number of revolutions
Total time (
Radius of circular path ___________________
)
Time/revolution (
Mass of bob ___________________
Average time per revolution ___________________
Average speed of bob (v) ___________________
)
Computed value of
centripetal force ___________________
Computation of centripetal force
(attach additional sheet)
Direct measurement of
centripetal force ___________________
Percent difference ___________________
DATA TABLE 4 (Optional)
Purpose: To observe the effect of varying spring tension.
Trial 1
Number of revolutions
Trial 2
Trial 3
Mass of bob ___________________
Radius of circular path ___________________
Total time (
)
Time/revolution (
Average time per revolution ___________________
)
Computation of centripetal force
(attach additional sheet)
Average speed of bob (v) ___________________
Computed value of
centripetal force ___________________
Direct measurement of
centripetal force ___________________
Percent difference ___________________
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Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
9
Laboratory Report
Centripetal Force
B. Centripetal Force Apparatus with Variable-Speed Rotor
DATA TABLE 5
Purpose: To determine rotational frequency for
computation of centripetal force.
Trial
Minimum spring tension:
scale reading ________________________
Counter readings
Final
Difference
in readings
(rotations/min)
Initial
1
2
3
4
5
Average Number of rotation N
Computation of centripetal force
(show work)
Average rotational frequency
( f 5 N/60) ___________________
Suspended mass M9 ___________________
Cylinder mass m ___________________
Total suspended mass
(M 5 Mr 1 m) ___________________
Direct measure of Fc
(Fc 5 Mg) ___________________
Radius of circular path r ___________________
Computed Fc ___________________
Percent difference ___________________
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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9
Laboratory Report
Centripetal Force
DATA TABLE 6
Purpose: To determine rotational frequency for
computation of centripetal force.
Trial
Minimum spring tension:
scale reading ________________________
Counter readings
Final
Difference
in readings
(rotations/min)
Initial
1
2
3
4
5
Average Number of rotation N
Computation of centripetal force
(show work)
Average rotational frequency
( f 5 N/60) ___________________
Suspended mass M9 ___________________
Cylinder mass m ___________________
Total suspended mass
(M 5 Mr 1 m) ___________________
Direct measure of Fc
(Fc 5 Mg) ___________________
Radius of circular path r ___________________
Computed Fc ___________________
Percent difference ___________________
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E X P E R I M E N T
9
Centripetal Force
Laboratory Report
QUESTIONS
1. How does the centripetal force vary with the radius of the circular path? Consider
(a) constant frequency and (b) constant speed. Was this substantiated by
experimental results?
2. If the centripetal force on an object in uniform circular motion is increased,
what is the effect on (a) the frequency of rotation f (with r constant) and
(b) f and r when both are free to vary?
3. Does the centripetal force acting on an object in uniform circular motion
do work on the object? Explain.
(continued)
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9
Centripetal Force
Laboratory Report
4. Figure 9.1 shows a student swinging a ball in a circle about his head.
Show that the rope cannot be exactly horizontal. (Hint: Take the rope’s
tension force T to be at an angle below the horizontal, and examine the
components of T. Use a diagram to illustrate.)
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E X P E R I M E N T
1 0
Friction
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. State the three general empirical rules used to describe friction.
2. What is the normal force, and why is it used instead of the load?
3. Why is it important to have the string parallel to the horizontal surface in the procedures
where suspended weights are used?
4. What is the coefficient of friction, and in what units is it expressed? Distinguish between ms
and mk. Which is generally greater?
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
1 0
Advance Study Assignment
5. Explain how graphs of weight versus normal force in Procedures A and B give the
coefficients of friction.
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following question.
1. Under what conditions is the tension in the string pulling horizontally on the cart equal in
magnitude to the frictional force?
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E X P E R I M E N T
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Friction
on various parameters, such as different materials, lubrication, and so on.
The CI procedures extend the investigation by examining the effect of speed on sliding friction.
OVERVIEW
Experiment 10 examines friction using complementary
TI and CI approaches. The TI procedures are concerned
with determination of the coefficients of friction, ms and
mk, with an option of investigating the dependence of m
surface irregularities meet, which is dependent on the
sliding speed, should have some effect.
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
In general, the term friction refers to the force or resistance to motion between contacting material surfaces.
(Internal friction occurs in liquids and gases.) The friction
between unlubricated solids is a broad and complicated
topic, because it depends on the contacting surfaces and
the material properties of the solids. Three general empirical “rules” are often used to describe friction between solid
surfaces. These are that the frictional force is
With such thoughts in mind, in this experiment, the
validity of the foregoing empirical rules will be investigated. Experimentally, you might find that they are very
general and, at best, approximations when applied to different materials and different situations.
OBJECTIVES
1. independent of the surface area of contact.
2. directly proportional to the load, or the contact force
that presses the surfaces together.
3. independent of the sliding speed.
After performing the experiment and analyzing the data,
you should be able to do the following:
1. Comment on the validity of the empirical rules of
friction.
2. Describe how coefficients of friction are determined
experimentally.
3. Tell why the normal reaction force of a surface on an
object is used to determine the frictional force rather
than the weight of the object.
Let’s take a look at each of these rules:
1. Intuitively, one would think that friction depends on
the roughness or irregularities of the surfaces, and
the greater the area of contact, the more friction. This
would seem to contradict rule 1.
2. However, the actual contact area of the surfaces should
depend on the force that presses the surfaces together,
or the load. Increasing this force should increase the
amount of contact of the irregularities between the
surfaces and, hence, the friction. Rule 2 then seems
logical.
3. Is it consistent that the friction between a sliding
object and a surface be independent of the sliding speed? It would seem that the rate at which the
OBJECTIVES
1. Verify that friction is proportional to the normal
force.
2. Indicate whether or not friction is independent of sliding speed.
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T I
E X P E R I M E N T
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Friction
• Masking tape
• 2 sheets of Cartesian graph paper
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
• Board with attached low-friction pulley
• Rectangular wooden block with hook (for example, a
piece of 2 3 4 lumber or commercially available block)
• Weight hanger and set of weights
• String
• Protractor
• Laboratory balance
• Table clamp and support
• Meter stick
(Optional)
•
•
•
•
(TI Fig. 10.1b, F 2 fs 5 ma 5 0). As the magnitude of
the applied force is increased, fs increases to a maximum value given by (see TI Fig. 10.1c)
THEORY (general, TI and CI)
It is sometimes assumed that the load, or the contact force
that presses the surfaces together, is simply the weight
of the object resting on a surface. Consider the case of
a block resting on a horizontal surface as illustrated in
● TI Fig. 10.1a. The force that presses the surfaces together
is the downward weight force of the block (magnitude
mg), which is the load. However, on an inclined plane,
only a component of the weight contributes to the load, the
component perpendicular to the surface. (See TI Fig. 10.3,
where the magnitude of the load is mg cos u.)
In order to take such differences into account, the
frictional force f is commonly taken to be directly proportional to the normal force N, which is the force of the surface on the block—that is, f ~ N (see TI Fig. 10.1). In the
absence of other perpendicular forces, the normal force is
equal in magnitude to the load, N 5 mg in TI Fig. 10.1
and N 5 mg cos u in TI Fig. 10.3, which avoids any confusion between weight and load.
With f ~ N, written in equation form:
fsmax 5 msN
where ms is the coefficient of static friction.* The
maximum force of static friction is experimentally approximated by the smallest force applied parallel to
the surface that will just set the block into motion.
At the instant the applied force F becomes greater
than fsmax 5 msN, however slightly, the block is set into
motion, and the motion is opposed by the force of kinetic (sliding) friction fk (TI Fig. 10.1d), and
fk 5 mkN
(TI 10.3)
(kinetic friction)
where mk is the coefficient of kinetic (sliding) friction.
The unbalanced force causes the block to accelerate
(F 2 fk 5 ma). However, if the applied force is reduced
so that the block moves with a uniform velocity (a 5 0),
then F 5 fk 5 mk N.
Usually, for a given pair of surfaces, mk , ms. That
is, it takes more force to overcome static friction (get an
object moving) than to overcome kinetic friction (keep
it moving). Both coefficients may be greater than 1, but
they are usually less than 1. The actual values depend
on the nature and roughness of the surfaces.
(TI 10.1)
m5
(TI 10.2)
(static friction)
f 5 mN
or
Plastic block
Aluminum block
Wheel cart
Dry lubricating powder (for example, graphite or
molybdenum sulfide, MoS2)
f
N
where the Greek letter mu 1 m 2 is a unitless constant of
proportionality called the coefficient of friction. (Why
does m have no units?)
When a force F is applied to the block parallel
to the surface and no motion occurs, then the applied
force is balanced by an opposite force of static friction.
*These conditions on fs are sometimes written fs # msN; that is fs is
less than or equal to the maximum value of msN. As the applied force is
increased, fs increases and there is no motion until fmax is reached.
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EXPERIMENT 10
/Friction
TI Figure 10.1 Friction. The applied force is balanced by the force of static friction fs 1 a 2 c 2 , and F 2 fs 5 ma 5 0. As the
applied force increases, so does the force of static friction, until a maximum value is reached ( fmax 5 msN). A slightly greater
force (d) sets the block into motion (F 2 fk 5 ma), with the applied force being opposed by the force of kinetic friction, fk.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
A. Determination of ms
1. Determine the mass of the wooden block on a laboratory balance, and record it in the laboratory report.
2. Clean the surfaces of the board and block so they are
free from dust and other contaminants. Place the board
with the pulley near the edge of the table so that the
pulley projects over the table’s edge (● TI Fig. 10.2).
Attach one end of a length of string to the wooden
block and the other end to a weight hanger. Place the
block flat on the board, and run the string over the
pulley so that the weight hanger is suspended over the
end of the table. Be sure that the string is parallel to
the board, otherwise there will be a vertical component of the force F.
3. With the rectangular block lying on one of its sides of
larger area, add weights to the hanger until the block
just begins to move. (Note: If the 50-g hanger causes
the block to move, add some weights to the block and
add this mass to the mass of the block, mb.) Determine
the required suspended mass within 1 g. Record the
weight force (Mg) required to move the block in TI
Data Table 1. This is equal in magnitude to the frictional force, fsmax. (Friction of the pulley neglected.)
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EXPERIMENT 10
mw
(string parallel to table)
mb
fs
M
Mg
Experimental
setup to determine ms. See text for description.
TI Figure 10.2 Coefficient of static friction.
Suggested experimental technique:
(a) Keep the block in the middle of the plane.
(b) Lift the block, gently lower it onto the plane,
restrain it from moving for a count of 5 (do not
press it against the plane), and then release the
block. If the block moves, the suspended mass M
is too large; if it doesn’t move, M is too small; if
the block moves about half the time, M is about
right.
4. Repeat Procedure 3 with mw 5 100-, 200-, 300-, 400-,
and 500-g masses, respectively, added to the block.
Record the results in TI Data Table 1.
5. Plot the weight force just required to move the block
(or the maximum force of static friction, F 5 fs )
versus the normal force N of the surface on the block
[N 5 1 mb 1 mw 2 g]. Draw a straight line that best fits
the data. Include the point (0, 0). (Why?)
Since fs 5 msN, the slope of the straight line is ms.
Determine the slope and record it in TI Data Table 1.
/ Friction
161
helpful to tape the weights to the block. The required
weight force for the motion in each case should be less
than that for the corresponding case in Part A. (Why?)
Record the data in TI Data Table 2.
Suggested experimental technique:
(a) Begin with the block at one end of the plane, and
give it a push so that it slides across the entire
plane.
(b) Observe the behavior of the block in the same
region as before, namely in the middle of the
plane. This is where the block should be observed
for constant speed.
8. Plot the weight force (or the force of kinetic friction,
F 5 fk) versus the normal force N for these data on
the same graph as for Part A. Draw a straight line that
best fits the data.
Since fk 5 mkN, the slope of the straight line is mk.
Determine the slope and record it in TI Data Table 2.
Calculate the percent decrease of mk from the ms value.
Elevated Board (Inclined Plane)
9. Elevate the pulley end of the board on a support to
form an inclined plane (● TI Fig. 10.3, see Fig. 11.3
for a similar setup). Note in Fig. 10.3 the magnitude of
the normal force (perpendicular to the plane) is equal
to a component of the weight force.
With the block laying on a side of its larger surface area, determine the angle u of incline that will allow the block to slide down the plane with a constant
speed after being given a slight tap. (No suspended
weight is used in this case.) Note: The maximum angle before slipping without tapping gives ms, whereas
the angle of constant velocity with tapping gives mk.
10. Using a protractor, measure the angle u and record in
TI Data Table 3. Also, with a meter stick, measure the
length L of the base (along the table) and the height h
of the inclined plane. Record the ratio h/L in TI Data
Table 3.
B. Determination of mk
Horizontal Board
6. In the experimental setup in Fig. 10.2, when the block
moves with a uniform (constant) speed, its acceleration is zero. The weight force F and the frictional force
fk are then equal and opposite (F 2 fk 5 ma 5 0, and
F 5 fk).
7. Using the larger side (surface area) of the block and
the series of added masses as in Part A, add mass to
the weight hanger until a slight push on the block
will cause it to move with a uniform speed. It may be
Experimental
setup to determine mk. See text for description.
TI Figure 10.3 Coefficient of kinetic friction.
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EXPERIMENT 10
/Friction
11. Repeat this procedure for the block with the series of
added masses as in the previous procedure for the horizontal board, and record in TI Data Table 3. It may be
helpful to tape the masses to the block.
12. Using a calculator, find the tangents of the u angles,
and record. Compute the average of these values and
the average of the ratios h/L. These averages should
be similar. (Why?)
13. Compare the average value of tan u with the value of
mk found in the procedure for the horizontal board.
It can be shown theoretically that tan u 5 mk in this
case. Compute the percent difference of the experimental values.
C. Dependences of m (optional)*
14. Use the inclined plane method to investigate the
dependence of m on area, material, velocity, rolling,
and lubrication. The experimental setups are described
in TI Data Table 4. Answer the questions listed after
the data table.
*This experimental procedure and modifications were suggested by
Professor I. L. Fischer, Bergen Community College, New Jersey.
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T I
E X P E R I M E N T
1 0
Friction
Laboratory Report
Note: Attach graphs to laboratory report
Mass of block mb ___________________
A. Determination of ms
DATA TABLE 1
Purpose: To investigate fs 5 msN, where N depends on mb 1 mw, by measuring ms on a level plane (see TI Fig. 10.2).
mw
0
N 5 1 mb 1 mw 2 g*
fs 5 F 5 Mg
* It is convenient to express the force in terms of mg, where g is left in symbol form [e.g., (0.250)g N], even when graphing.
ms ___________________
(from graph)
Calculations
(show work)
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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Friction
1 0
B. DETERMINATION OF mk
DATA TABLE 2
Purpose: To investigate fk 5 mkN, where N depends on mb 5 mw, by measuring mk on a level plane.
mw
0
N 5 1 mb 1 mw 2 g
fk 5 F 5 Mg
mk ___________________
(from graph)
Calculations
(show work)
Percent decrease of
mk relative to ms ___________________
DATA TABLE 3
Purpose: To investigate mk 5 tan u, where u is independent of mb 1 mw, by measuring mk by the inclined plane method (see
TI Fig. 10.3).
mw
u
0
Average
h/L
tan u
Calculations
(show work)
Percent difference between
tan u 5 mk and mk from TI Data Table 2 ___________________
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Laboratory Report
Friction
C. Dependences of m (optional)
DATA TABLE 4
Purpose: To investigate dependences of m by various measurements using the inclined plane method and other materials (if
available).
No.
Conditions
1
Wooden block on larger area, static 1 ms 2
2
Wooden block on smaller area, static 1 ms 2
3
Wooden block on smaller area, kinetic 1 mk 2
u
m 5 tan u
Other materials
4
Plastic block
5
Aluminum block, moving slowly
6
Aluminum block, moving faster
7
Wheeled cart
8
Aluminum block with dry lubricating powder
9
Plastic block with dry lubricating powder
Answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper and attach it to the TI Laboratory Report.
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
(e)
(f)
Compare No. 1 with TI Data Table 1: Is the inclined plane method valid for ms?
Compare No. 2 with No. 1 and No. 3 with TI Data Table 4: Does m depend on area?
Compare Nos. 3, 4, and 5: Does mk depend on material?
Compare No. 5 with No. 6: Does mk depend on velocity?
Compare No. 7 with anything: How does rolling friction compare with other types of friction?
Compare Nos. 8 and 9 with Nos. 5 and 4: What is the effect of adding the lubricant?
QUESTIONS
1. Explain why fs # msN; that is, why is fs less than or equal to msN?
(continued)
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Laboratory Report
2. Speculate, in terms of the microscopic surface irregularities, about why mk , ms and what
effect a lubricant has on the coefficient of friction.
3. (a) Prove that tan u is equal to mk when the block slides down the incline with a constant
speed. (Use symbols, not numbers.)
(b) If u is the maximum angle of incline just before the block moves, what is ms in terms
of u?
4. Suppose that the block were made to move up the inclined plane with a uniform speed by
suspending masses on a string over the pulley. Derive an equation for the coefficient of
kinetic friction for this case in terms of the suspended masses, the mass of the block, and
the angle of decline. (Neglect any friction and mass effects of the pulley.)
5. On the basis of your experimental results, draw and justify conclusions about the validity
of the empirical rules for friction. What does this tell you about applying general rules to
all materials and about the nature of friction?
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Friction
•
•
•
•
1 straight, smooth track (PASCO dynamics track)
1 force sensor (PASCO CI-6537)
1 constant-speed motorized car (PASCO ME-9781)
Extra weights to load the sliding object (200-g or
500-g pieces will work fine) (The PASCO Classic
Dynamics System includes mass bars that can be
used in this part.)
• Graph paper
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
• 1 wooden block (The block used in the TI procedure
can be used here also. Another option is the “Friction
Block” included in the PASCO Classic Dynamics
System.)
• Additional blocks as needed to make the string
horizontal when connected to the force sensor (Two
PASCO cars, ME–9430 or 9454, stacked upside down
on top of each other and on top of the friction block
will make a tower of the correct height.)
● CI Fig. 10.2 shows a free-body diagram of a block
as it slides with constant speed along a level track. The
horizontal forces are F, the tension of the string, and f,
the frictional force provided by the track. With the speed
constant, there is no acceleration. From Newton’s second
law, we have
THEORY
In this experiment, we will study two of the general empirical rules used to describe the friction between solid
surfaces. In the first part, we will examine the relationship between friction and the normal force to verify that
they are proportional to each other. In the second part, we
will examine the effect of the speed of the object on the
amount of frictional force. In both cases, a force sensor
will be used to measure the frictional force between a sliding wooden block and a track.
● CI Fig. 10.1 illustrates the experimental situation.
The sliding object is a wooden block. Other blocks are
shown added as needed so that the string is horizontal when
connected to a force sensor riding on a motorized car. As an
alternative, the figure also shows the setup using the suggested PASCO equipment, where a stack of cars is used to
make the object the correct height. Other alternatives include
using a single 2 3 4 board with a nail that makes it possible
to attach the string at the proper height (not pictured).
SFx 5 F 2 f 5 ma 5 0
or
F5f
In this experiment, the force sensor will directly measure F,
the tension in the string. Notice that as long as the car moves
at a constant speed, the magnitude of F is equal to the magnitude of the frictional force acting on the sliding block.
On the other hand, the vertical forces balance each other
out, so the magnitude of the normal force N can be determined
as the magnitude of the weight of the object: N 5 mg.
calibrate the sensor. The procedures described here assume
that the force sensor has been properly calibrated.
SETTING UP DATA STUDIO
Note: The force sensor needs to be calibrated before use.
Refer to the user’s manual for instructions on how to
Carts
Force sensor
Additional
blocks
Force
sensor
Friction block
v constant
Wooden block
Table
Motor car
Motorized
car
A wooden block slides on a flat surface while being pulled by a motorized car that
moves at a constant speed. Additional blocks can be added as necessary on top of the wooden block so that the string is horizontal when connected to the force sensor. The force sensor rides on the motorized car. As an alternative, PASCO dynamic cars
can be stacked on top of a friction block to achieve the same effect. (Reprinted courtesy of PASCO Scientific.)
CI Figure 10.1 The experimental setup.
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/Friction
N
f
Constant speed
F
mg
The
horizontal forces are F, the tension on the string, and f,
the friction from the surface. The force sensor measures F.
At constant speed, the horizontal force vectors are equal
and opposite, and F 5 f . The force sensor readings can
be taken to be the friction as long as the block slides at
constant speed.
CI Figure 10.2 Free-body diagram of the sliding block.
1. Open Data Studio and choose “Create Experiment.”
2. The Experiment Setup window will open and you will
see a picture of the Science Workshop interface. There
are seven channels to choose from. (Digital channels
1, 2, 3 and 4 are the small buttons on the left; analog
channels A, B and C are the larger buttons on the right,
as shown in ● CI Figure 10.3.)
3. Click on the channel A button in the picture. A window with a list of sensors will open.
4. Choose the Force Sensor from the list and press OK.
5. Connect the sensor to channel A of the interface, as
shown on the computer screen.
6. The properties of the force sensor are shown directly
under the picture of the interface. Set the sample rate
to 200 Hz.
7. Create a digits display by double-clicking on “Digits”
in the displays list (lower left of the screen). A display
window called Digits 1 will open. It will show the force
readings from the sensor when data are collected.
8. Double-click anywhere on the Digits 1 window. The
Digits Setting window will open.
9. Select the Statistics button from the Toolbar box and
click OK. There will now be a drop menu with the
sigma symbol on the Digits 1 window toolbar.
10. Press the sigma symbol and choose “Mean.” This will
show the average of a series of measurements on the
display.
11. The size of the display window can be adjusted for
easier viewing, if needed. The bigger the screen, the
more digits you will be able to see once data are collected. For the purpose of this experiment, keep the
size such that only two decimal places are shown.
(Wait until data are collected to adjust this. There have
to be data on the display before any change can be
noticed.)
12. ● CI Figure 10.4 shows what the screen will look like
after the setup is complete and data are taken.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
A. The Effect of the Load
1. Measure the mass of the wooden block and of any
other block or car that will be placed on top of it to
add height, as illustrated in CI Fig. 10.1. Record the
total mass in Trial 1 of CI Data Table 1.
CI Figure 10.3 The Experiment Setup Window. The force sensor is connected to analog channel A. The sample rate is set to 200 Hz.
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169
CI Figure 10.4 Data Studio setup. A digits display will show the force reading of the sensor. Once data are collected, the size
of the display window is adjusted to show two decimal places. (Data displayed using Data Studio Software. Reprinted courtesy
of PASCO Scientific.)
2. Set up the equipment as shown in CI Fig. 10.1. It is
important that the string connecting the force sensor
to the pile of objects be horizontal. If using additional
blocks instead of the PASCO cars, tape the blocks together so that they will not fall off.
3. Set the motorized car for a medium speed, and do not
change it during the experiment.
4. Trial 1: The object with no extra load.
a. With the string slack, press the TARE button on the
side of the force sensor to zero the sensor.
b. Turn the motorized car on.
c. Wait until the string tenses before pressing the
START button to begin collecting data. Let the car
move, pulling along the pile of blocks (the “object”),
for about 20 cm, and then press the STOP button.
d. Stop the car.
e. Report the average fictional force reading in CI
Data Table 1. Do not worry if the sensor reading
is negative. That is a convention for direction (pull
or push). In this experiment, we need only the
magnitude.
5. Trials 2, 3, 4 and 5: The object with a load.
a. Place a load on top of the sliding object and record the new mass of the sliding object in CI Data
Table 1.
b. Repeat the data collection process as described in
steps (a) to (e) for Trial 1.
c. Repeat by continuing to add mass on top of the object until the table is complete.
6. Calculate the normal force for each trial by determining the weight of the object plus load in each case.
Record the results in CI Data Table 1.
7. Use a full page of graph paper to make a plot of friction versus normal force. Determine the slope of the
best-fitting line for the plot, and enter the result in the
table. Attach the graph to the laboratory report.
B. The Effect of the Speed
1. Set up the equipment as shown in CI Fig. 10.1. It is
important that the string connecting the force sensor
to the pile of objects be horizontal. If using additional
blocks instead of the PASCO cars, tape the blocks together so that they will not fall off.
2. Set the motorized car for a slow speed.
3. Turn on the motorized car. Wait until the string tenses
before pressing the START button to begin collecting
data. Let the car move, pulling along the block, for
about 20 cm, and then press the STOP button.
4. Stop the car.
5. Report the average frictional force reading in CI Data
Table 2.
6. Increase the speed of the motorized car, and measure
the average frictional force again. Repeat by increasing the speed for each trial until the table is complete.
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Friction
Laboratory Report
A. The Effect of the Load
DATA TABLE 1
Purpose: To investigate the effect of changing the load on an object (and thus changing the normal force) on the magnitude of
the frictional force.
Trial
The object with no load
Total mass of
sliding object
Frictional force
(sensor reading)
Normal force
N 5 mg
1
2
3
The object with increasing load
4
5
Slope of graph 5 __________________
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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Laboratory Report
B. The Effect of Speed on Friction
DATA TABLE 2
Purpose: To investigate the effect of speed on the frictional force.
Different speed
trials
(from low speed
to high)
Average
frictional force
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
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Friction
Laboratory Report
QUESTIONS
1. Is it true that the frictional force is directly proportional to the normal force? Discuss the
experimental evidence.
2. What is the physical significance of the slope of the graph of friction versus normal
force?
3. Is there a clear pattern for the frictional force as the speed of the object increases? (Compare to the pattern observed when increasing the load.) What can be concluded about the
effect of the speed? Discuss.
4. Why was it so important that the string connecting the sensor and the object remain horizontal during the experiment? Discuss what would happen if it did not.
5. Refer to step 3 of the Experimental Procedure for Part A, which says, “Set the motorized
car for a medium speed, and do not change it during the experiment.” Given the results
of Part B of the experiment, discuss whether changing the speed would have made a difference in the results of Experiment A. (See your textbook for modern theories of friction
between two surfaces.)
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Work and Energy
GL Figure 11.1 Going up.
Work and energy considerations for Experimental Planning.
Experimental Planning
Work and energy are intimately related, like heat and temperature. By doing work on an object, it can gain energy. Conversely,
when energy is expended, work may be done. This experiment demonstrates the work-energy relationship in the context of
work done by friction.
The work (W) done by a constant force (F) acting on an object and moving it through a parallel displacement (d) is given
by the product of their magnitudes, W 5 Fd (a scalar quantity). Work then involves a force acting on an object and moving it
through a distance.
However, the constant force may not be acting parallel to the displacement. In this case, the magnitude of the component of the
force parallel to the displacement is F cos u, where u is the angle between the force and displacement vectors. So in general,
W 5 F(cos u) d
which is commonly written
W 5 Fd cos u
(GL 11.1)
In the case of friction, Wf 5 2f d, where f is the force of friction (assumed to be constant).
* Explain why there is a (2) sign in this equation. (Consider the value of the angle u).
(continued)
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Experimental Planning
A common experimental setup is shown in GL Fig. 11.1 for a car moving up an inclined plane at a constant speed pulled by a
descending mass suspended over a pulley. Free-body diagrams for the forces acting on each object are also shown.
1. Write an equation for the sum of the forces acting on the car parallel to the plane and also for the sum of the forces acting
on the descending mass. Note that the car and descending mass both move with constant velocities.
2. If the mass of the connecting string is small compared to the other masses, F and T will be approximately equal. Use this
result to combine the equations and solve for the force of friction f in terms of the masses and angle.
Did your result include a sin u term? Check with a classmate or the instructor to verify your result.
3. Now consider the case of the car moving down the plane with a constant speed, pulling a smaller mass upward. Draw the
free-body diagrams and repeat the process used above to obtain an expression for f in this case. (Use m2 for the ascending
mass.) How does this result compare to the previous one?
Note that Wf 5 f d applies in both cases of the block moving up and down the plane, where d is the distance the block
moves.
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Experimental Planning
4. Examine your equations for f and determine what experimental quantities need to be measured to determine the work
done by friction.
5. The previous strategy to calculate Wf was based on the definition of work (force-distance method). The work done by
friction for this experimental setup can also be obtained by an energy method. Note in ● GL Fig. 11.1 that there is a
decrease in potential energy of the descending mass (DUw) and an increase of the potential energy of the cart (DUc).
Are these changes in potential energy equal in magnitude?
6. Since a nonconservative force is present ( f ), some energy is used in the work done to overcome friction (Wf), and this
energy is no longer available as potential energy. Write the conservation of energy equation for this case in terms of the
potential energies, and solve for Wf. Why have the kinetic energy terms been omitted in this analysis?
7. Check with a classmate or the instructor to verify your result. Then find a corresponding expressionfor Wf for the case of
the car moving down the plane.
You now have two ways of determining Wf, a force-distance method and an energy method. Both of these methods will be
used in the Experimental Procedure that follows.
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Work and Energy
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. Distinguish between the conservation of mechanical energy and the conservation
of total energy.
2. Is mechanical energy conserved in real situations? Is the total energy conserved? Explain.
3. Discuss the relationship between work and energy for a car moving with a constant
speed (a) up an incline and (b) down an incline.
4. Under what conditions would the frictional forces be expected to be equal in magnitude
for a car moving up an incline and a car moving down an incline?
(continued)
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Advance Study Assignment
5. Is the force of friction the same for different angles of incline if all other parameters are
equal? Explain by specifically considering the angles used in the experiment.
6. What are possible sources of error in this experiment? Identify them as personal or systematic
errors. (See Experiment 1.)
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Work and Energy
the cases of a car rolling up and down an inclined plane.
The ever-present frictional forces and the work done
against friction will be investigated and taken into account
so as to provide a better understanding of the concept of
work-energy. To simplify matters, experimental conditions
with constant speeds will be used so that only the relationship between work and changes in gravitational potential
energy will have to be considered.
After performing this experiment and analyzing the
data, you should be able to:
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
Work and energy are intimately related, as emphasized in a
common definition of energy as the ability to do work. That
is, an object or system possessing energy has the capability
of doing work. When work is done by a system, energy is
expended—the system loses energy. Conversely, when there
is work input to a system, the system gains energy.
In an ideal conservative system, mechanical energy
is transferred back and forth between kinetic energy and
potential energy. In such a system, the sum of the kinetic
and potential energies is constant, as expressed by the law
of conservation of mechanical energy. However, in actual
systems, friction is always present and these systems are
nonconservative. That is, some energy is lost as a result of
the work done against frictional forces. Even so, the total
energy is conserved (conservation of total energy). The
total energy is there in some form.
In this experiment, the conservation of energy will be
used to study the relationship between work and energy in
1. Explain how work and energy are related.
2. Describe how frictional work can be determined
experimentally using either force-distance or energy
considerations.
3. Better appreciate the nonconservative aspects of real
situations and the difference between the conservation
of mechanical energy and the conservation of total
energy.
•
•
•
•
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
• Inclined plane with a low-friction pulley and Hall’s
carriage (car)
• Weight hanger and slotted weights
String
Meter stick
Protractor (if plane not so equipped)
Laboratory balance
and
THEORY
A. Work of Friction: Force-Distance Method
f 5 m1g 2 mcg sin u
Car Moving up the Plane
The situation for a car moving up an inclined plane with a
constant velocity is illustrated in GL Fig. 11.1. Since the
car is not accelerating, the force up the plane (F) must be
equal in magnitude to the sum of the forces down (parallel
to) the plane, that is,
(11.1)
(car moving up)
Car Moving Down the Plane
The situation for a car moving down an inclined plane with
the same constant speed is illustrated in ● Fig. 11.2. Again,
since the car is not accelerating, the sum of the forces up
the plane must be equal in magnitude to the force down the
plane (taken as positive), and
F 5 F7 1 f
where f is the force of friction and F7 5 mcg sin u is the
component of the car’s weight parallel to the plane. (See
GL Fig. 11.1.)
Since the magnitude of F is equal to the weight w1 of
the suspended mass (m1), then
F 5 F7 2 f
where, in this case, the direction of f is up the plane. Since
F 5 w2,
F7 5 w2 1 f
F7 1 f 5 w1
and, expressing f as before,
Solving for f and expressing the other forces in terms of
the experimental parameters (GL Fig. 11.1),
f 5 mcg sin u 2 m2g
f 5 w1 2 F1
(car moving down)
(11.2)
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/ Work and Energy
and
Wf 5 m1gh 2 mcghr
(11.4)
(car moving up)
Car Moving Down the Plane
Similarly, for the case of the car moving down the plane,
by the conservation of energy, the decrease in the potential
energy of the descending car is equal to the increase in
the potential energy of the ascending weight plus the work
done against the force of friction (Fig. 11.1):
DUc 5 DUw 1 Wf
or
Wf 5 DUc 2 DUw
Figure 11.2 Car moving down the incline with the same constant speed as in Fig. 11.1. With no acceleration, the force
on the car is zero, and F7 5 F 1 f 5 w2 1 f (see free-body
diagrams).
Then, in either case, the frictional work is given by
Wf 5 fd
(11.3)
where d is the distance the car moves.
If the car moves approximately at the same constant
speed in each case, it might be assumed that the magnitude of the frictional force f would be the same in each case
(same angle of incline and load). This will be investigated
experimentally.
B. Work of Friction: Energy Method
Another way of looking at the frictional work is in terms of
energy.
Car Moving up the Plane
For the case of the car moving up the plane, by the conservation of energy, the decrease in the potential energy of the
descending weight on the weight hanger, D Uw 5 m1gh,
is equal to the increase in the potential energy of the car,
D Uc 5 mcghr, plus the energy lost to friction, which is equal
to the work done against the force of friction, Wf (Fig. 11.1).
That is,
DUw 5 DUc 1 Wf
or
Wf 5 DUw 2 DUc
and
Wf 5 mcghr 2 m2gh
(11.5)
(car moving down)
In terms of the experimental parameters, the methods for
determining Wf are equivalent.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
Force-Distance Method
1. Using a laboratory balance, determine the mass of the
car, mc, and record it in the laboratory report.
2. Arrange the inclined plane and the car as shown in
● Fig. 11.3 with an angle of incline of u 5 30°. Make
certain that the pulley is adjusted so that the string attached to the car is parallel to the plane. (Should the
car accelerate up the plane by the weight of the weight
hanger alone, place some weights in the car so that
the car is initially stationary. Then add the additional
mass to that of the car in Data Table 1.)
3. Add enough weights to the weight hanger so that the
car moves up the incline with a slow uniform speed
when the car is given a slight tap. Record the total suspended mass in Data Table 1.
4. With the car positioned near the bottom of the incline,
mark the position of the car’s front wheels and give
the car a slight tap to set it into motion. Stop the car
near the top of the plane after it moves up the plane
(with a constant speed), and measure the distance d it
moved up the plane as determined by the stopped position of the car’s front wheels. Or measure the height h
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(b)
(a)
Figure 11.3 Types of inclined planes.
/ Work and Energy
(a) Inclined plane with board and stand. (b) Calibrated incline plane. (Photos Courtesy of
Sargent-Welch.)
the weight hanger descends. This corresponds to the
situation in Fig. 11.1. The lengths d and h are the same.
Record this length in Data Table 1 as d.
5. With the car near the top of the plane, remove enough
weights from the weight hanger so that the car rolls
down the inclined plane with a slow uniform speed
on being given a slight tap. Use as close to the same
speed as for the upward case as is possible. This corresponds to the situation in Fig. 11.2. Record the total
suspended mass in Data Table 1. For convenience, use
the same d (or h) as in Procedure 4.
6. Compute the frictional force f [Eqs. (11.1) and (11.2)]
and work done against friction Wf [Eq. (11.3)] for each
case. Show your calculations and record the results in
Data Table 1.
7. Compare the frictional work for the two cases by computing the percent difference.
8. Adjust the angle of the inclined plane to u 5 45° and
repeat Procedures 3 through 7, recording your measurements in Data Table 2.
Energy Method
9. Knowing that d 5 h, compute W f for the previous
cases using the energy method [Eqs. (11.4) and (11.5)]
on the appropriate laboratory report pages.
10. Compare these values of Wf with those found using
the force-distance method by computing the percent
differences.
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Work and Energy
Laboratory Report
Angle of incline ______________
DATA TABLE 1
Mass of car mc ______________
Purpose: To determine work done against friction.
Suspended
mass (
)
Car moving
up incline
m1
Car moving
down incline
m2
d(
Calculation
(show work)
)
f(
)
Wf (
)
Percent difference in Wf _________________
Energy method calculations for Wf:
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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Laboratory Report
Work and Energy
Angle of incline ______________
Mass of car mc ______________
DATA TABLE 2
Purpose: To determine work done against friction.
Suspended
mass (
)
Car moving
up incline
m1
Car moving
down incline
m2
Calculation
(show work)
d(
)
f(
)
Wf (
)
Percent difference in Wf _________________
Energy method calculations for Wf:
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Laboratory Report
Work and Energy
QUESTIONS
1. What was the work done by the suspended weight when the car (a) moved up the incline
and (b) moved down the incline? (Show your calculations.)
u 5 30°
u 5 45°
Car moving up incline
________________
________________
Car moving down incline
________________
________________
2. What was the work done by gravity acting on the car when it (a) moved up the incline
and (b) moved down the incline? (Show your calculations.)
u 5 30°
u 5 45°
Car moving up incline
________________
________________
Car moving down incline
________________
________________
3. (a) For the car going up the incline, what percentage of the work done by the suspended
weight was lost to friction? (b) For the car moving down the incline, what percentage of
the work done by gravity was lost to friction? (Show your calculations.)
u 5 30°
u 5 45°
Car moving up incline
________________
________________
Car moving down incline
________________
________________
(continued)
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Work and Energy
Laboratory Report
4. Suppose the car accelerated up and down the incline. How would this affect the experimental
determinations?
5. Is the assumption justified that f would be the same for both up and down cases for
the same constant speed? If not, speculate as to why there is a difference.
6. Assuming that f 5 mN (see Experiment 10), show that the coefficient of (rolling)
friction for the car moving down the inclined plane with a constant speed is given
m2
by m 5 tan u 2
.
mc cos u
(Use symbols, not numbers.)
188
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Section
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Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
1 2
Torques, Equilibrium, and
Center of Gravity
33 cm
0 cm
100 cm
m1
GL Figure 12.1 From broomstick to meter stick.
See
Experimental Planning text for description.
Experimental Planning
A torque gives rise to rotational motion of a rigid body through the application of a force at some distance from an axis of
rotation. The magnitude of a torque (t) may be found from the product of the force F and the perpendicular distance from the
axis of rotation to the force’s line of action, r' (called a lever arm): t 5 r'F (see Fig. 12.1 in the Theory section). When there
is no net torque (St 5 0) acting on a stationary rigid body, the body will be in static rotational equilibrium and there is no
rotational motion.
As an example of the role of torque in static rotational equilibrium, consider a conventional straw broom. It is not
very difficult to balance the broom on one finger (and you can try this at home). Is the balance point in the middle or closer
to one end?
Now suppose that the broom is cut into two pieces at the balance point. How would the masses of the two pieces compare?
Are they the same or different, and if different, which piece would have a larger mass?
This situation can be modeled with the equipment for this experiment, and you will be able to verify your answer, or change
your mind, as appropriate.
Given the following equipment:
•
•
•
•
Meter stick and support stand
String and one knife-edge clamp or two knife-edge clamps (one with wire loop)
Laboratory balance
Mass hanger and assorted masses (5 g, 10 g, 20 g, 50 g, 100 g)
(continued)
189
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E X P E R I M E N T
1 2
Experimental Planning
Set up an analogous situation to the balanced broomstick (see ● GL Fig. 12.1). Let’s say the broomstick balanced at
a point 1/3 of the distance from the bottom of the broom. You can adjust the mass (m1 in GL Fig. 12.1) to get the balance
point in the same relative position, at the 33-cm mark on the meter stick. Now, instead of cutting the meter stick, we will do
some physics and predict what the mass of each piece would be if we cut the meter stick at the balance point.
The shorter piece would have a mass of m1 plus the mass of 33 cm of meter stick. If the meter stick is uniform, then
33 cm of the meter stick will have 33/100 (or 33%) of the total mass of the meter stick. If you measure the mass of the meter
stick, take one-third and add m1, you can determine the total mass of the short end of the broomstick. Do this now.
Now, the mass on the other side of the balance point is just that of the longer piece of the meter stick, and is 67% of the total
mass of the meter stick. Compute this value and compare it to the total mass of the short end of the broomstick. Does your
result match up with your answer to the first question above? Explain your result in reference to the definition for torque.
190
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E X P E R I M E N T
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Torques, Equilibrium, and
Center of Gravity
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. What conditions must be present for (a) translational equilibrium and (b) rotational
equilibrium of a rigid body?
2. If these conditions for equilibrium are satisfied, is the rigid body necessarily in static
equilibrium? Explain.
3. Write a definition and a mathematical expression for torque.
Don’t forget units
(continued)
191
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E X P E R I M E N T
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Advance Study Assignment
4. If torque is a vector, with specific direction in space, what is meant by clockwise and counterclockwise torques? If the sums of these torques on a rigid body are equal, what does this
imply physically?
5. What defines the center of gravity of a rigid body, and how is it related to the center
of mass?
6. Define the term linear mass density. Also, what is implied if it is assumed that the linear
mass density of an object is uniform?
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Torques, Equilibrium, and
Center of Gravity
balance when taking a reading. They are at rest, or in static
equilibrium. In particular, the balance beam is in rotational
static equilibrium when “balanced” for a reading and not
rotating about some point or axis of rotation.
The criterion for rotational static equilibrium is that
the sum of the torques, or moments of force acting on a
rigid body, be equal to zero. To study torques and rotational equilibrium, we will use a “beam” balance in the
form of a meter stick and suspended weights. The torques
of a setup will be determined experimentally by the
“moment-of-force” method, and the values compared.
Also, the concepts of center of gravity and center of mass
will be investigated.
After performing this experiment and analyzing the
data, you should be able to:
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
In introductory physics, forces act on particle “objects.”
That is, we consider an object to be a particle, which generally responds linearly to a force. In reality, an object is
an extended collection of particles, and where a force is
applied makes a difference. Rotational motion becomes
relevant when the motion of a solid extended object or a
rigid body is considered. A rigid body is an object or system of particles in which the distances between particles
are fixed and remain constant. A quantity of liquid water
is not a rigid body, but the ice that would form if the water
were frozen is.
Actually, the concept of a rigid body is an idealization. In reality, the particles (atoms and molecules) of a
solid vibrate constantly. Also, solids can undergo deformations. Even so, most solids can be considered to be
rigid bodies for the purposes of analyzing rotational
motion.
An important condition of rigid bodies in many practical applications is static equilibrium. Examples include
girders in bridges and the beam of a laboratory beam
1. Explain mechanical equilibrium and how it is applied
to rigid bodies.
2. Distinguish between center of mass and center of
gravity.
3. Describe how a laboratory beam balance measures
mass.
• String and one knife-edge clamp or four knife-edge
clamps (three with wire hangers)
• Four hooked weights (50 g, two 100 g, and 200 g)
• Unknown mass with hook
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
• Meter stick
• Support stand
• Laboratory balance
In this experiment, the rigid body (a meter stick) is restricted
from linear motion, so this is not a consideration.
To be in static equilibrium, a rigid body must also
be in rotational static equilibrium. Although the sum of
the forces on the object may be zero and it is not moving
linearly, it is possible that it may be rotating about some
fixed axis of rotation. However, if the sum of the torques
is zero, St 5 0, the object is in rotational equilibrium,
and either it does not rotate (static case) or it rotates with
a uniform angular velocity. (Forces produce linear motion,
and torques produce rotational motion.)
Torque is a quantitative measure of the tendency of
a force to cause or change the rotational motion of a rigid
body. A torque (or moment of force) results from the application of a force acting at a distance from an axis of rotation
(● Fig. 12.1). The magnitude of the torque is equal to the
product of the force’s magnitude F and the perpendicular
THEORY
A. Equilibrium
The conditions for the mechanical equilibrium of a rigid
body are
SF 5 0
(12.1a)
St 5 0
(12.1b)
That is, the (vector) sums of the forces F and torques t
acting on the body are zero.
The first condition, SF 5 0, is concerned with
translational equilibrium and ensures that the object is stationary (not moving linearly) or that it is moving with a uniform
linear velocity (Newton’s first law of motion). A stationary
object is said to be in translational static equilibrium.
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EXPERIMENT 12
/ Torques, Equilibrium, and Center of Gravity
Axis of rotation
(perpendicular to
plane on paper)
torques and F3 and F4 produce clockwise torques, but no
rotation takes place if the torques are balanced and the system is in rotational static equilibrium.
It is convenient to sum the torques using magnitudes
and directional signs, as determined by the counterclockwise (cc) and clockwise (cw) convention. In this case, the
condition for rotational equilibrium [Eq. (12.1b)] becomes
Force
line of action
r
•
Stcw 2 Stcc 5 0
•
or
Stcc 5 Stcw
F
Figure 12.1 Torque. The magnitude of a torque is equal to the
product of the magnitude of the force F and the perpendicular
distance (lever arm), r', from the axis of rotation to the force’s
line of action; that is, t 5 r'F.
distance r' from the axis of rotation to the force’s line of
action (a straight line through the force vector arrow). That is,
The perpendicular distance r' is called the lever arm or
moment arm. The unit of torque can be seen to be the meternewton (m-N). Notice that these units are the same as those
of work (W 5 Fd), newton-meter (N-m) 5 joule (J). The
unit of torque is commonly written meter-newton (m-N) to
emphasize the distinction. Keep in mind that although work
and torque have the same units, they are not physically the
same.
Torque is a vector quantity that points along the axis of
rotation in one direction or the other. However, to distinguish
torques and rotations it is convenient to use a simple convention. If a torque tends to rotate the body in a counterclockwise
direction (as viewed from above), then the torque is taken to
be positive (1). If a torque tends to rotate the body in a clockwise direction, then the torque is taken to be negative (2).
The plus and minus notation is helpful in torque calculations.
For example, in ● Fig. 12.2, taking the axis of rotation
at the 50-cm position, F1 and F2 produce counterclockwise
r1
Hence, we may simply equate the magnitudes of the
cc and cw torques. For example, for the meter stick in
Fig. 12.2 (writing the force first, that is, Fr),
Counterclockwise
t1 1 t2
5
Clockwise
t3 1 t4
or
F1r1 1 F2r2 5 F3r3 1 F4r4
The forces are due to weights suspended from the rod, and
with F 5 mg,
m1gr1 1 m2gr2 5 m3gr3 1 m4gr4
(12.4)
and, canceling g,
m1r1 1 m2r2 5 m3r3 1 m4r4
Example 12.1 Let m1 = m3 = 50 g, m2 = m4 = 100 g
in Fig. 12.2, where m1, m2, and m3 are at the 10-, 40-,
and 60-cm marks or positions, respectively, on the
meter stick.* Where would m4 have to be suspended
for the stick to be in static equilibrium?
Solution In static equilibrium, the sum of the torques is
zero, or the sum of the counterclockwise torques is equal
to the sum of the clockwise torques [Eq. (12.3)],
r4
r2
(sum of counterclockwise torques 5
sum of clockwise torques 2
(12.2)
t 5 r' F
(12.3)
Stcc 5 Stcw
r3
In terms of forces and lever arms,
50 cm
0 cm
100 cm
m1
m2
m3
m4
F1 = m1g
F2 = m2g
F3 = m3g
F4 = m4g
Figure 12.2 Torques in different directions. The forces F1
and F2 give rise to counterclockwise torques, and F3 and
F4 clockwise torques, on the pivoted meter stick.
F1r1 1 F2r2 5 F3r3 1 F4r4
where the forces are Fi 5 mig. The lever arms are measured from the 50-cm position of the meter stick, which
is the pivot point, or the location of the axis of rotation.
* The official abbreviation for gram is g, and the commonly used symbol
for acceleration due to gravity is g. The gravity g is written in italics, and
the gram g is not. Look closely to avoid confusion.
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EXPERIMENT 12
In general, ri 5 (50 cm 2 xi), where xi is the centimeter
location of a mass. Hence,
m1g(50 cm 2 10 cm) 1 m2g(50 cm 2 40 cm)
5 m3g(60 cm 2 50 cm) 1 m4gr4
and, canceling the g’s,
m1(40 cm) 1 m2(10 cm) 5 m3(10 cm) 1 m4r4
Then, putting in the mass values,
(50 g)(40 cm) 1 (100 g)(10 cm)
5 (50 g)(10 cm) 1 (100 g)r4
and solving for r4,
r4 5
2500 g # cm
5 25 cm
100 g
Hence, for rotational equilibrium m4 is 25 cm from the
support position (axis of rotation), or at the 75-cm position
on the meter stick (measured from the zero end).
Here it is assumed that the meter stick is uniform (uniform mass distribution) so that the torques caused by the
masses of the portions of the meter stick are the same on
both sides of the support and therefore cancel.
B. Center of Gravity and Center of Mass
The gravitational torques due to “individual” mass particles of a rigid body define what is known as the body’s
center of gravity. The center of gravity is the “balance”
point, the point of the body about which the sum of the
gravitational torques about an axis through this point
is zero. For example, consider the meter stick shown in
● Fig. 12.3. If the uniform meter stick is visualized as
being made up of individual mass particles and the point
of support is selected such that St 5 0, then
/ Torques, Equilibrium, and Center of Gravity
195
and
(m1r1 1 m2r2 1 m3r3 1 c)cc
5 (m1r1 1 m2r2 1 m3r3 1 c)cw
where g cancels. When the meter stick is in equilibrium, it
is supported by a force equal to its weight, and the support
force is directed through the center of gravity.
Hence, it is as though all of the object’s weight (Mg)
is concentrated at the center of gravity. That is, if you were
blindfolded and supported an object at its center of gravity on
your finger, weight wise you would not be able to tell, from
its weight alone, whether it was a rod, a block, or an irregularly shaped object of equal mass. For a uniform meter stick,
the center of gravity would be at the 50-cm position. (Why?)
If an object’s weight is concentrated at its center of
gravity, so should its mass be concentrated there. An
object’s center of mass is often referred to as its center
of gravity. These points are the same as long as the acceleration due to gravity g is constant (uniform gravitational
field). Notice how g can be factored and divided out of the
previous weight equations, leaving mass equations.
Also, it should be evident that for a symmetric object
with a uniform mass distribution, the center of gravity and
center of mass are located at the center of symmetry. For
example, if a rod has a uniform mass distribution, its centers of mass and gravity are located at the center of the
rod’s length. For a uniform sphere, the centers are at the
center of the sphere.
Linear Mass Density
In part of the experiment, the masses of certain lengths
of the meter stick will need to be known. These may be
obtained from the linear mass density (m) of the stick—
that is, the mass (m) per unit length (L),
m5
m
L
(12.5)
Stcc 5 Stcw
or
a (mig)ri 5 a (mig)ri
cc
cw
with units of grams/centimeter (g/cm) or kilograms/meter
(kg/m). For example, suppose a meter stick is measured to
have a mass of 50 g on a balance. Then, since the stick is
100 cm long (L 5 100 cm), the linear mass density of the
stick is m 5 m/L 5 50 g/100 cm 5 0.50 g/cm. If the mass
distribution of the stick were uniform, then every centimeter would have a mass of 0.50 g. However, meter sticks are
not uniform, so this is an average value.
Example 12.2 If a meter stick has a linear mass
density of 0.50 g/cm, what is the mass of a 16-cm
length of the stick?
Figure 12.3 Center of gravity. A rod may be considered to be
made up of individual masses in rotational equilibrium when
the vertical support is directly through the center of gravity.
Solution With m 5 m/L, then m 5 mL, and for m 5
0.50 g/cm and L 5 16 cm,
m 5 mL 5 (0.50 g/cm)(16 cm) 5 8.0 g
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EXPERIMENT 12
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EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
(Here the equilibrium conditions will be determined by the
summing of torques or moments of force, hence the term
“moments-of-force” method.)
A. Apparatus with Support Point at Center of
Gravity
1. A general experimental setup is illustrated in ● Fig. 12.4,
where the masses or weights are suspended by clamp
weight hangers. The hooked masses may also be suspended from small loops of string, which can be slid
easily along the meter stick. The string allows the
position of a mass to be read easily and may be held in
place by a small piece of masking tape.
(a) Determine the mass of the meter stick (without any clamps) and record it in the laboratory
report.
(b) Weights may be suspended by loops of string or
clamps with weight hangers. The string method is
simpler; however, if you choose or are instructed
to use weight hangers, weigh the three clamps together on a laboratory balance and compute the
average mass of a clamp. Record it in the laboratory report.
2. With a knife-edge clamp on the meter stick near its
center, place the meter stick (without any suspended
weights) on the support stand. Make certain that the
knife edges are on the support stand. (The tightening
screw head on the clamp will be down.)
Adjust the meter stick through the clamp until
the stick is balanced on the stand. Tighten the clamp
screw, and record in Data Table 1 the meter stick reading or the distance of the balancing point xo from the
zero end of the meter stick.
3. Case 1: Two known masses
(a) With the meter stick on the support stand at xo,
suspend a mass m1 5 100 g at the 15-cm position
on the meter stick—that is, 15 cm from the zero
end of the meter stick.
(b) Set up the conditions for static equilibrium by
adjusting the moment arm of a mass m2 5 200 g
suspended on the side of the meter stick opposite
m1. Record the masses and moment arms in Data
Table 1. If clamps are used instead of string, do not
forget to add the masses of the clamps. Remember the moment arms are the distances from the
pivot point to the masses (that is, ri 5 0 xi 2 xo 0 ).
(c) Compute the torques and find the percent difference in the computed values (that is, compare
the clockwise torque with the counterclockwise
torque).
4. Case 2: Three known masses
Case (a)
(i) With the meter stick on the support stand at xo,
suspend m1 5 100 g at the 30-cm position and
m2 5 200 g at the 70-cm position. Suspend
m3 5 50 g and adjust the moment arm of this
mass so that the meter stick is in static equilibrium. Record the data in Data Table 1.
(ii) Compute the torques and compare as in Procedure 3.
Case (b)
(i) Calculate theoretically the lever arm (r3) for the
mass m3 5 50 g for the system to be in equilibrium if m1 5 100 g is at the 20-cm position and
m2 5 200 g is at the 60-cm position. (Remember
to add the masses of the hanger clamps if used.)
Record this value in the data table.
(ii) Check your results experimentally, and compute
the percent error of the experimental value of
r3, taking the previously calculated value as the
accepted value.
5. Case 3: Unknown mass—The balance principle.
A balance (scale) essentially uses the method of
moments to compare an unknown mass with a known
mass. Some balances have constant and equal lever
arms, and others do not (see Experiment 2, Fig. 2.1).
This procedure will illustrate the balance principle.
Figure 12.4 Torque apparatus. Example of experimental setup and equilibrium conditions. (Photo Courtesy of Sargent-Welch.)
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EXPERIMENT 12
(a) With the meter stick on the support stand at xo,
suspend the unknown mass (m1) near one end of
the meter stick (for example, at the 10-cm position). Suspend from the other side of the meter
stick an appropriate known countermass m2 (for
example, 200 g) and adjust its position until the
meter stick is “in balance” or equilibrium. Record
the value of the known mass and the moment
arms in Data Table 1.
(b) Remove the unknown mass and determine its
mass on a laboratory balance.
(c) Compute the value of the unknown mass by the
method of moments and compare it with the measured value by calculating the percent error.
6. Case 4: Instructor’s choice (optional). Your instructor
may have a particular case he or she would like you to
investigate. If so, the conditions will be given. Space
has been provided in the data table for reporting your
findings.
B. Apparatus Supported at Different Pivot Points
In the previous cases, the mass of the meter stick was not
explicitly taken into account since the fulcrum or the position of the support was at the meter stick’s center of gravity
or center of mass. In effect, the torques due to the mass of
the meter stick on either side of the support position canceled each other. The centers of gravity of the lengths of the
stick on either side of the support are equidistant from the
support (for example, at the 25-cm and 75-cm positions for
a uniform stick) and have equal masses and moment arms.
For the following cases, the meter stick will not be supported at its center-of-gravity position (xo) but at some other
pivot points (designated in general by xro; for example, see
● Fig. 12.5). In these cases, the mass of the meter stick needs
to be taken into account. To illustrate this very vividly, let’s
start off with a case with only one suspended mass.
7. Case 5: Meter stick with one mass. Suspend a mass
m1 5 100 g at or near the zero end of the meter stick
(Fig. 12.5). Record the mass position x1 in Data Table 2.
If a string loop is used, a piece of tape to hold the string
x 'o
r1
(m3)
Center of
gravity of
length L2
r2
(m2)
L2
m1
100 cm
A meter stick in equilibrium
with one suspended mass. See text for description.
Figure 12.5 Equilibrium.
/ Torques, Equilibrium, and Center of Gravity
197
in position helps. Move the meter stick in the support
clamp until the system is in equilibrium. (This case is
analogous to the solitary seesaw—sitting on one side
of a balanced seesaw with no one on the other side.)
Record the support position xro in Data Table 2.
Since the meter stick is in balance (static equilibrium), the point of support must be at the center of
gravity of the system; that is, the torques (clockwise
and counterclockwise) on either side of the meter
stick must be equal. But where is the mass or force
on the side of the meter stick opposite the suspended
mass? The balancing torque must be due to the mass
of length L2 of the meter stick (Fig. 12.5). To investigate this:
(a) Using the total mass m of the meter stick (measured previously) as m2, with a moment arm r2
(see the diagram in Data Table 2), compute the
counterclockwise and clockwise torques, and
compare them by computing the percent difference. Record it in Data Table 2.
(b) Now the masses of the lengths of meter stick will
be taken into account. Compute the average linear mass density of the meter stick (see Theory,
Section B) and record it in the data table.
If we assume that the mass of the meter stick
is uniformly distributed, the center of mass (or
center of gravity) of the length of meter stick L2
on the opposite side of the support from m1 is at
its center position (see Fig. 12.5). Compute the
mass m2 of this length of stick (see Example 12.2)
and record. Also, record the center position of L2,
where this mass is considered concentrated (x2),
and find the length of the lever arm r2. It should
be evident that r2 5 L2 /2.
Compute the torque due to m2 and record it
as tcw. From the linear mass density compute the
m3 of the portion of the meter stick remaining to
the left of the pivot. Calculate the torque due to
this portion of the meter stick, add it to the torque
due to mass m1 to find the total counterclockwise
torque, and record it as tcc. Compare the torque
differences with those found in Case 5(a).
8. Case 6: Center of gravity.
(a) With a mass m1 5 100 g positioned at or near
one end of the meter stick as in Case 5, suspend a
mass m2 5100 g on the opposite side of the support stand at the 60-cm position. Adjust the meter
stick in the support-stand clamp until the stick is
in balance. This locates the center of gravity xro
of the system. Record in Data Table 2, and find
r1 and r2.
(b) Repeat the procedure with m2 positioned at 70 cm.
(c) Repeat the procedure with m 2 positioned at
80 cm. Notice how the position of the center of
gravity moves as the mass distribution is varied.
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EXPERIMENT 12
/ Torques, Equilibrium, and Center of Gravity
(d) Based on the experimental data, what would you
predict the position of the center of gravity xro
of the system would be if m2 were moved to the
90-cm position? Record your prediction in the
data table.
Using your prediction, compute the counterclockwise and clockwise torques, taking into
account the mass of the meter stick as in Procedure 7(c). Compare the torques by computing the
percent difference.
Experimentally determine the position of the
center of gravity of the system, and compute the
percent difference between the experimental and
predicted values.
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
1 2
Torques, Equilibrium,
and Center of Gravity
Laboratory Report
A. Apparatus with Point of Support at Center of Gravity
Mass of meter stick
Total mass of clamps
Average mass of one clamp, mc
Balancing position (center of gravity)
of meter stick, xo
DATA TABLE 1
Moment
(lever)
arms
Values (add mc to masses
if clamps used)
Diagram*
Results†
Case 1
m1
x1 5 15 cm
r1
tcc
m2
x2
r2
tcw
Percent
diff.
Case 2(a)
m1
x1 5 30 cm
r1
tcc
m2
x2 5 70 cm
r2
tcw
m3
x3
r3
Percent
diff.
m1
x1 5 20 cm
r1
r3
m2
x2 5 60 cm
r2
m3
x3
Case 2(b)
r3
(calculated)
(measured)
Percent
error
*Draw a diagram to illustrate each case, using the Case 1 diagram as an example.
†
Attach a sheet to the Laboratory Report showing calculations for each use.
Don’t forget units
(continued)
199
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E X P E R I M E N T
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Laboratory Report
Torques, Equilibrium, and Center of Gravity
Moment
(lever)
arms
Values (add mc to masses
if clamps are used)
Diagram*
Results†
Case 3
x1
m2
(known)
x2
(known)
m1
r1
r2
m1
(from expt.)
(measured)
(calculated)
Percent
error
Case 4 (instructor’s option)
*Draw a diagram to illustrate each case, using the Case 1 diagram as an example.
†
Attach a sheet to the Laboratory Report showing calculations for each use.
B. Apparatus Supported at Different Pivot Points
Linear mass density of meter stick, m 5 m/L
DATA TABLE 2
Moment
(lever)
arms
Values
(add mc if applicable)
Diagram*
Results†
Case 5(a)
m1
x1
r1
tcc
m2
x2
r2
tcw
Torque difference
(show below table)
xro
Case 5(b)
m1
x1
r1
tcc
m2
x2
r2
tcw
m3
x3
r3
Torque differences
(show below table)
xro
*Draw a diagram to illustrate each case, using the Case 5(a) diagram as an example. Put the mass of a length of stick in parentheses as in that diagram.
†
Attach a sheet to the Laboratory Report showing calculations for each use.
200
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
1 2
Laboratory Report
Torques, Equilibrium, and Center of Gravity
Moment
(lever)
arms
Values
(add mc if applicable)
Diagram*
Results†
Case 6(a)
m1
x1 5 0 cm
r1
m2
x2 5 60 cm
r2
xro
Case 6(b)
same except
r1
x2 5 70 cm
r2
xro
Case 6(c)
same except
r1
x2 5 80 cm
r2
xro
Case 6(d)
same except
tcc
x2 5 90 cm
tcw
xro
Percent
diff.
(predicted)
xro
(measured)
Percent
diff.
*Draw a diagram to illustrate each case, using the Case 5(a) diagram as an example. Put the mass of a length of stick in parentheses as in that diagram.
†
Attach a sheet to the Laboratory Report showing calculations for each use.
QUESTIONS
1. Explain how the condition SF 5 0 is satisfied for the meter stick in part A
of the experiment.
(continued)
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2. Why are clockwise and counterclockwise referred to as “senses,” rather than directions?
3. Suppose in a situation like Case 2(a) in the experiment, m1 5 200 g were at
the 20-cm position and m2 5 100 g at the 65-cm position. Would there be
a problem in experimentally balancing the system with m3 5 50 g? Explain.
If so, how might the problem be resolved?
4. Describe the effects of taking the mass of the meter stick into account
when the balancing position is not near the 50-cm position.
5. (Optional) A uniform meter stick is in static rotational equilibrium when a
mass of 220 g is suspended from the 5.0-cm mark, a mass of 120 g is
suspended from the 90-cm mark, and the support stand is placed at the
40-cm mark. What is the mass of the meter stick?
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Simple Machines:
Mechanical Advantage
Experimental Planning
L
mg sin ␪
Fi
␪
␪
h
Fo = mg
GL Figure 13.1 A simple machine—the inclined plane. Less input force, Fi, is required to move a load a vertical distance h,
but the load must be moved through a greater distance L. See Experimental Planning text for description.
Machines are used every day. Although most common machines, such as can openers, lawn mowers, or automobile engines are
thought of as complex mechanical devices, they all utilize the basic principles and components of simple machines.
Machines make it easier to do work. But how is this done? You should know from conservation principles that you don’t
get work done without using energy. So how do machines make work easier? The idea of mechanical advantage will be explored in this section.
A simple machine is a device that can change the magnitude (or direction) of an applied force. The work done by the force
always depends on the force component (F) parallel to the displacement d, that is, W 5 Fd. The conservation of energy principle does not allow the energy or work output of a machine to exceed the energy or work input. In the ideal case,
Work input 5 work output
Wi 5 Wo
Fidi 5 Fodo
(GL 13.1)
1. If a simple machine produces an output force that is larger than the input force (Fo . Fi), what does GL Eq. 13.1 tell you
about the input and output distances?
2. A ramp or inclined plane is an example of a simple machine that makes it easier to raise objects to a higher elevation
(● GL Fig. 13.1). What is the applied force needed to push a block up a frictionless inclined plane at a constant speed?
(Express your result in terms of the weight of the block and the angle of incline).
(continued)
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3. How does this force (Fi ) compare to the weight of the block (Fo )? (The output force in this case is the force needed to lift
the object directly a vertical distance h (without the ramp.)
4. Now consider di and do. If the output distance do is the vertical distance h, what is di (the distance through which the
applied force Fi acts)? Express your result in terms of the height h and the angle of incline.
5. The theoretical mechanical advantage (TMA) of a simple machine for the ideal (frictionless) case is defined as:
TMA 5 Fo /Fi
(GL 13.2)
(but Fo and Fi cannot be measured directly since there is always friction).
6. Note that GL Eqs 13.1 and 13.2 can be combined to show that
TMA 5 di/do
(GL 13.3)
Use your results from Question 4 above to compute the TMA with this equation.
Thus, the TMA can be determined in terms of either the forces or the distances. In the case of the inclined plane, the
TMA may be obtained directly from the angle of incline. Show that for an inclined plane the TMA 5 1 /sin u.
In the not-so-ideal case where friction is present, the actual mechanical advantage (AMA) is determined the same way:
AMA 5 Fo /Fi
(GL 13.4)
However, in this case, the conservation of energy principle includes the work associated with friction (Wf):
Total work input 5 total work output
Wi 5 Wo 1 Wf
or
Fidi 5 Fodo 1 Wf
(GL 13.5)
where Wf is the magnitude of the energy used to overcome friction. From GL Eq. 13.5 it can be seen that Wo , Wi and
Fodo , Fidi. How will the AMA compare to the TMA for any simple machine that is not frictionless?
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1 3
7. Machines are often rated in terms of their efficiency (e), which is defined as the ratio of the work output to the work input:
e5
work output 1 Wo 2
work input 1 Wi 2
(GL 13.6)
As a ratio of work, efficiency is unitless, and is often expressed as a percentage. The efficiency is always less than 1 or
100%. Explain why this is the case, and show that
e5
AMA
TMA
(GL 13.7)
(Hint: Use the distance form of the TMA.)
8. Note that efficiency tells how much of the work input ends up as useful work output:
Useful work output (Wo) 5 e (work input, Wi)
If the efficiency of a machine is 0.75, how many joules of energy are required to do 1000 J of work?
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Simple Machines:
Mechanical Advantage
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. Why is the actual mechanical advantage (AMA) a force multiplication factor?
2. Can work be multiplied by a machine? Explain.
3. Why is the theoretical mechanical advantage (TMA) theoretical or ideal?
4. Which is larger, the AMA or the TMA of a machine, and why?
(continued)
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5. What factors comprise the ratio of the efficiency of a machine, and how is efficiency
related to the AMA and TMA?
6. Why is efficiency always less that 100%?
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Basically, efficiency tells “what you get out for what you
put in.” The rest of the input is lost mainly to work done
against friction.
In this experiment, the AMAs, TMAs, and the efficiencies of some simple machines will be experimentally
determined to illustrate these concepts and to show the
parameters on which the force multiplications of machines
depend.
After performing the experiment and analyzing the
data, you should be able to do the following:
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
Machines are used daily to “do work.” Upon analysis, all
mechanical machines, however complex, are combinations
of simple machines of which there are six mechanical
classes: (1) inclined planes, (2) levers, (3) pulleys,
(4) wheel and axles, (5) wedges, and (6) screws.
Although used to perform work, a simple machine
is basically a device that is used to change the magnitude (or direction) of a force. Essentially, a machine is a
force multiplier. The magnitude of this multiplication is
given by a machine’s mechanical advantage, that is, the
actual mechanical advantage (AMA), which takes into
account frictional losses, and the theoretical mechanical
advantage (TMA), which expresses the ideal, nonfictional case. The relative amount of useful work done by a
machine is expressed by the ratio of the useful work output and the work input, which is called the efficiency (e).
1. Describe how machines “do work” for us.
2. Distinguish between TMA and AMA.
3. Explain how the TMAs can be measured for:
(a) an inclined plane.
(b) a lever, and why the TMA gives a good approximation of the AMA,
(c) pulley(s).
•
•
•
•
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
• Two single pulleys and two double- or triple-sheave
pulleys*
• Wheel and axle (Fig. 13.5)
• Two weight hangers, slotted weights, and single
weight
• Spring scale (calibrated in newtons)
Meter stick
Vernier calipers
String
Tape
* The single pulleys are not really necessary, as one sheave of the multiple
pulleys can be used as a single pulley. The single pulleys are convenient
for instruction.
or
THEORY
Wi 5 Wo 1 Wf
The actual mechanical advantage (AMA) of a machine
is defined as
AMA 5
Fo
Fi
Fidi 5 Fodo 1 Wf
(13.2)
where d i and d o are parallel distances through which
the respective forces, or component of forces, act
(work 5 force 3 parallel distance, W 5 Fd) and Wf is the
work done against friction.
In actual situations, there is always some work (energy)
input lost to friction. If a machine were frictionless, Wf 5 0,
then Fidi 5 Fodo. For this theoretical situation, a theoretical
mechanical advantage (TMA) can be expressed as
(13.1)
where Fo and Fi are the output and input forces, respectively. The AMA is the force multiplication factor of
the machine. For example, if AMA 5 2 5 Fo /Fi, then
Fo 5 2Fi, or the output force is twice the input force.
In no case is work multiplied by a machine. If this
were the case, for more work output than work input, energy would have to be created. However, the total work
(energy) is conserved:
TMA 5
Fo
di
5
Fi
do
(13.3)
This is an ideal situation, and the theoretical mechanical advantage is sometimes called the ideal mechanical
advantage (IMA).
Total work in 5 total work out 5 useful work
1 work done against friction
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EXPERIMENT 13
/ Simple Machines: Mechanical Advantage
Note that the TMA is the ratio of the distances through
which the forces act and thus depends on the geometrical
configuration of the machine. That is, the distances can be
determined by measurement from the machine and, hence,
the TMA.
The efficiency (e) of a machine is defined as the ratio
of its work output and its work input, and
e5
work output 1 Wo 2
Fodo
Fo /Fi
AMA
5
5
5
Fidi
di/do
TMA
work input 1 Wi 2
Fo
Fi
Lo
(13.4)
Li
Fulcrum
(a) Static case
The efficiency is often expressed as a percentage.
Because of friction, AMA , TMA, and the efficiency is
always less than 1, or 100%. The efficiency tells what part
of the work input goes into useful work output:
Fo
si
Useful work output (Wo) 5 e (work input, Wi)
for example, if e 5 0.7, or 70%, then 70% of the work input is used by the machine to do useful work. The rest of
the work input, 0.3, or 30%, is lost to friction.
␪
Lo
Li
␪
so
Fi
A. Inclined Plane
(b) Work in = work out
F id i = Fodo
The theory of the inclined plane (● GL Fig. 13.1) was presented in the TI Experimental Planning with the result
Fo
di
1
TMA 5
5
5
Fi
do
sin u
(inclined plane)
(13.5)
Figure 13.2 The lever. (a) A static case of maintaining a
load. (b) In lifting a load, the work in equals the work out
(neglecting friction). See text for description.
and
B. Lever
The lever is a very efficient simple machine. It consists of
a rigid bar that is pivoted to rotate about a point or line
called the fulcrum (● Fig. 13.2). The input force Fi, commonly called the effort, is applied to the end of the lever
to maintain or lift a load (w). The input force, Fi, must be
equal to (static case, Fig. 13.2a) or greater than the weight
of the load when lifted (Fig. 13.2b). The input and output
lever arms, Li and Lo, are the distances from the fulcrum
to the effort (Fi) and from the fulcrum to the load (Fo),
respectively.
The theoretical mechanical advantage (TMA) of a
lever can be calculated from work considerations (friction
neglected):
Li
Lo
(lever)
TMA 5
Note that the TMA is given by the geometry of the system. For example, if Li 5 75 cm and Lo 5 25 cm, then
TMA 5 Li/ Lo 5 75 cm/ 25 cm 5 3, and the lever ideally
multiplies the force by a factor of 3.
Frictional losses are normally quite small in the lever
action. So, for most practical purposes, the actual mechanical advantage (AMA) can be taken to be approximately
equal to the TMA. However, the AMA can be determined
experimentally by
AMA 5
Win 5 Wout
and
(13.6)
Fo
Fi
(13.7)
C. Pulleys
Fisi 5 Foso
or
Fo /Fi 5 si/so
where s represents arc length distance.
The two arcs subtend the same angle u, so si 5 Liu
and so 5 Lou and si/so 5 Li/Lo. Then by Eq. 13.3,
A pulley is actually a continuous lever with equal lever arms
(● Fig. 13.3a). When a pulley or system of pulleys is used to
lift a load of weight w by an applied force F, the AMA is
AMA 5
Fo
di
si
Li
TMA 5
5
5 5
so
Fi
do
Lo
Fo
w
5
Fi
F
(13.8)
( pulley(s))
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211
force, which may be obtained when the system is in static
equilibrium, in which case the net vertical force is zero.
(To lift the load, a slight tap or force would have to be
given to put the system in motion.)
A set of fixed and movable pulleys is called a block
and tackle. The pulleys, called sheaves (pronounced
“shevs”), may be arranged in tandem, which is the configuration commonly used in the laboratory to make it easier
to thread the pulleys (● Fig. 13.4a). Or, the pulleys may
have a common axis of rotation for compactness in many
practical applications (Fig. 13.4b).
Fulcrum
m1
/ Simple Machines: Mechanical Advantage
200 g
Load
w1 = m1g
m2
F = w2 = m2g
Output
200 g m1
Input
Load
(a) Single fixed pulley
w1 = m1g
m2
F = w2 = m2g
(b) Single movable pulley
(a) A single fixed pulley.
(b) A single movable pulley. Notice that the weight of the
movable pulley is part of the load.
Figure 13.3 Pulley arrangements.
OR
The TMA is the ratio of the distances through which the
forces act, and since ideally Wo 5 Wi as in the previous case,
TMA 5
di
hi
5
do
ho
(13.9)
( pulley(s))
200 g m1
where hi and ho are the vertical heights through which the
input and output forces act, respectively.
For example, for a single movable pulley (Fig. 13.3b),
suppose the load is moved a distance h upward. To move
the load an up distance h, each suspending string must be
“shortened” a distance h, and therefore the applied force
must move downward a distance 2h. Note that the suspended movable pulley adds to the weight of the load, since
the weight of the pulley is also lifted by the applied force.
The AMA is measured when the load is lifted with a
uniform speed so that acceleration is not a consideration.
The mechanical advantage is based on the minimum input
200 g m1
Load
Load
w1 = m1g
m2
w1 = m1g
m2
F = w2 = m2g
(a)
F = w2 = m2g
(b)
Figure 13.4 Pulley arrangement with double movable
pulleys. (a) The pulleys may be arranged in tandem or
(b) have a common axis for compactness.
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D. Wheel and Axle
B. Lever
The combination of a wheel and axle has many practical applications. For example, when you open a door by
turning a doorknob, you are using a wheel and axle. This
simple machine consists of a wheel fixed to a shaft or axle
with the same axis of rotation (● Fig. 13.5a). Essentially, it
is equivalent to a lever with unequal lever arms.
A force Fi applied tangentially to the wheel with a
radius R can lift a load w (Fo) by means of a string or rope
wrapped around the axle (radius r). The AMA of the wheel
and axle is
AMA 5
Fo
w
5
Fi
F
(13.10)
(wheel and axle)
In one revolution, the input force acts through a distance
2pR and the output force through a distance of 2pr. For the
ideal, nonfictional case, Fidi 5 F(2pR) 5 Fodo 5 w(2pr),
and the TMA is
TMA 5
di
R
5
r
do
3. Use a load of 0.40 kg to 0.50 kg (or what is provided)
and record the mass in Data Table 2 and compute its
weight (in newtons, N). Assemble the lever as shown
in Fig. 13.2b using the pivot block, meter stick, and
load. The load should be on the table. (It may be necessary to tape the load to the stick.) Begin with the
fulcrum at the 50-cm mark (Li 5 Lo 5 50 cm).
4. Attach the spring scale to the stick at the end
opposite the load. (Tape or some other means may
be used here.) Then, pull vertically downward on
the scale with enough force so that the load moves
upward with approximately a constant speed. (Try
several pulls to get familiar with the equipment.
Also, it may be necessary to put the fulcrum block
near the edge of the table so as to have room to pull
the scale.)
Then, during a pull take a scale reading. (Your
lab partner should take the reading. Why?) Record in
Data Table 2. Repeat the procedure for a total of five
times, and then compute the average of the readings.
(13.11)
5. Repeat Procedure 4 for Li 5 60 cm, 70 cm, and 80 cm.
(wheel and axle)
6. Compute the AMA and the TMA for each case.
A practical application of a wheel and axle is shown in
Fig. 13.5b, along with an experimental setup.
In measuring the force to determine the AMA of
a wheel and axle, it is convenient to use the static equilibrium case, as for the pulley system in Section C of the
experimental procedures.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
A. Inclined Plane
The AMA of an inclined plane is somewhat difficult to
determine experimentally. That is, manually determine Fi
by pulling a load up the incline at a constant speed with a
spring scale. So, for this simple machine the focus will be
on the TMA. This is given by
TMA 5 1/sin u
where u is the angle of incline.
1. Several angles are listed in Data Table 1. Compute the
TMA for each angle.
2. Plot a graph of TMA versus u and comment on the
result. Compute the TMA for u 5 90°. What does this
tell you?
7. Compute the efficiency for each case.
C. Pulleys
8. Determine the mass of one of the single pulleys and
one of the multiple-sheave pulleys on a laboratory
balance, and record in Data Table 3. These pulleys
will be used as the movable pulleys in the following
situations, and their weights must be included in the
loads.
9. Assemble a single fixed pulley as illustrated in
Fig. 13.3a, with enough weights on the force input
hanger so that it moves downward with a slow uniform
speed when given a slight tap. (A single pulley or one
pulley of multiple sheaves may be used.) Record the
forces due to these masses in Data Table 3.
10. The next step is to measure the distances di (or hi) and
do (or ho) with a meter stick. Pull down the weight
hanger supplying the input force F a distance (di) of
20 cm or more, and note the distance the load moves
upward (do). Record these distances in Data Table 3.
11. Calculate the AMA, TMA, and efficiency (e) for
this case.
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EXPERIMENT 13
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213
r
P
R
Fulcrum
Fi
(b)
Fo
mg
(a)
Figure 13.5 Wheel and axle. (a) The wheel and axle consists of a larger wheel fixed to a smaller shaft or axle with the same
axis of rotation. It is equivalent to a lever with unequal lever arms. (b) A practical example of a wheel and axle.
12. Assemble a pulley system as illustrated in Fig. 13.3b,
and repeat Procedures 9 through 11 for this case.
(Don’t forget to include the mass of the movable pulley
as part of the load, since it, too, is being raised.)
13. Assemble a pulley system as illustrated in Fig. 13.4a
(or b) and repeat Procedures 9 through 11.
D. Wheel and Axle
14. Using the vernier calipers, determine the radii of the
wheel (largest diameter) and of the larger and smaller
axles. The wheel and axle apparatus commonly used
has three sizes.
15. Fixing and wrapping strings around the wheel and
axle, set up the apparatus with weight hangers and
enough weights on the input force weight hanger so
that it descends with a slow uniform speed. Start with
the larger-diameter axle if your wheel and axle has
multiple axles. Record the masses of the applied force
and the load in Data Table 4.
16. Calculate the AMA, TMA, and efficiency (e) for this
case.
17. Repeat Procedures 15 and 16 with the load suspended
from the smaller axle (if your wheel and axle has
multiple axles).
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Laboratory Report
A. Inclined Planes
DATA TABLE 1
TMA
u
58
108
158
208
258
308
358
408
458
Comment on graph:
Comment on u 5 908
B. Levers
DATA TABLE 2
Load mass ____________________
Load weight (Fo) ____________________
Li length
50 cm
Fi
60 cm
70 cm
80 cm
Fi
Fi
Fi
Trial 1
2
3
4
5
Average Fi
Calculations
(show work)
AMA
TMA
Efficiency
50 cm
60 cm
70 cm
80 cm
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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Simple Machines: Mechanical Advantage
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C. Pulleys
DATA TABLE 3
Pulleys
Output force or
load w1 5 m1g
(
)
Input force, F,
w2 5 m2g
(
)
Output distance,
do or ho
(
)
Input distance,
di or hi
(
)
AMA
TMA
Eff
Single
fixed
Single
movable
Double
movable
Calculations
(show work)
D. Wheel and Axle
DATA TABLE 4
Axle radius
(
)
Wheel radius
(
)
Output force or
load
w1 5 m1g
(
)
Input force, F,
w2 5 m2g
(
)
AMA
TMA
Eff
Calculations
(show work)
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Simple Machines: Mechanical Advantage
Laboratory Report
QUESTIONS
l. Simple machines are sometimes divided into two basic classes, inclined planes and levers,
where the wedge and screw are included in one class, and the pulley and the wheel and
axle are included in another. Explain why these four simple machines can be included in
the basic classes of inclined planes and levers.
2. A machine multiplies force, but what is reduced or “sacrificed” for this force multiplication? Give a specific example.
3. (a) State how the AMA and TMA of an inclined plane vary with the inclination of the
plane.
(b) State how the efficiency of an inclined plane varies with the inclination of the plane,
and explain the reason for this variation.
4. In going up stairs, the climb seems easier when going up in a zig-zag fashion, rather than
straight up. Why is this?
5. Show that the TMA of a lever can be derived from torque considerations. (See Fig. 13.2a.)
6. A single fixed pull is often called a “direction changer” rather than a force multiplier.
Explain why this is an appropriate name.
(continued)
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Simple Machines: Mechanical Advantage
Laboratory Report
7. The TMA of a pulley system with movable pulley(s), or a block and tackle, is equal to the
number of supporting strands of the movable pulley or block.
(a) Do your experimental results support this statement?
(b) Explain the physical basis of this statement.
8. Give three common applications of the wheel and axle. (Hint: Is a screwdriver a wheel and
axle?)
9. Estimating the radii of a common doorknob and its shaft, how much force is applied to the
shaft mechanism when the knob is turned with an applied force of 2.0 N?
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Simple Harmonic Motion
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. What are Hooke’s law and simple harmonic motion, and how are they related?
2. What is the physical significance of the spring constant of a spring? What does it tell you?
3. How is the spring constant determined in this experiment?
4. In the equation of motion for simple harmonic motion (Eq. TI 14.2), what physically
determines A and T ?
(continued)
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Advance Study Assignment
5. How is the period of a mass oscillating on a spring related to the spring constant? (Express
your answer mathematically and verbally.)
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. What are the requirements for an object to move with simple harmonic motion?
2. Why is simple harmonic motion an idealization?
3. What is a simple pendulum?
4. Under what conditions can a pendulum be considered a simple harmonic oscillator?
5. Why is it important to start taking data when the pendulum is still at rest in its equilibrium
position?
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Simple Harmonic Motion
The CI procedure investigates the SHM of a simple
pendulum and the resulting conversion of energy (kinetic
and potential) that occurs during the motion. An electronic
sensor measures the angular speed, v 5 Du/Dt, of the
pendulum, from which the tangential speed is computed
and the energies calculated.
OVERVIEW
Experiment 14 considers simple harmonic motion (SHM)
with TI and/or CI procedures. The TI procedure examines
Hooke’s law, using rubber-band and spring elongations.
Simple harmonic motion is investigated through the period
of oscillation of a mass on a spring.
In this experiment, Hooke’s law will be investigated,
along with the parameters and description of simple harmonic motion.
After performing this experiment and analyzing the
data, you should be able to:
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
Elasticity implies a restoring force that can give rise to
vibrations or oscillations. For many elastic materials, the
restoring force is proportional to the amount of deformation,
if the deformation is not too great.
This is best demonstrated for a coil spring. The
restoring force F exerted by a stretched (or compressed)
spring is proportional to the stretching (compressing)
distance x, or F ~ x. In equation form, this is known as
Hooke’s law,
OBJECTIVES
1. Tell how Hooke’s law is represented graphically and
cite an example of an elastic object that does not
follow Hooke’s law.
2. Explain why simple harmonic motion (SHM) is simple
and harmonic.
3. Better understand how the period of a mass oscillating on a spring varies with the mass and the spring
constant.
F 5 2kx
where x is the distance of one end of the spring from its
unstretched (x 5 0) position, k is a positive constant of
proportionality, and the minus sign indicates that the displacement and force are in opposite directions. The constant k is called the spring (or force) constant and is a
relative indication of the “stiffness” of the spring.
A particle or object in motion under the influence of
a linear restoring force, such as that described by Hooke’s
law, undergoes what is known as simple harmonic
motion (SHM). This periodic oscillatory motion is one of
the common types found in nature.
OBJECTIVES
1. Explain the energy conversion that happens during the
simple harmonic motion of a pendulum.
2. Experimentally verify the law of conservation of
mechanical energy.
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Simple Harmonic Motion
•
•
•
•
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
• Coil spring
• Wide rubber band
• Slotted weights and weight hanger
Laboratory timer or stopwatch
Meter stick
Laboratory balance
2 sheets of Cartesian graph paper
THEORY
A. Hooke’s Law
The fact that for many elastic substances the restoring force that resists the deformation is directly proportional to the deformation was first demonstrated by
Robert Hooke (1635–1703), an English physicist and
contemporary of Isaac Newton. For one dimension, this
relationship, known as Hooke’s law, is expressed mathematically as
F 5 2kDx 5 2k(x 2 xo)
(TI 14.1)
or
F 5 2kx
(with xo 5 0)
where Dx is the linear deformation or displacement of
the spring and xo is its initial position. The minus sign
indicates that the force and displacement are in opposite
directions.
For coil springs, the constant k, is called the spring or
force constant. The spring constant is sometimes called
the “stiffness constant,” because it gives an indication of
the relative stiffness of a spring—the greater the k, the
greater the stiffness. As can be seen from TI Eq. 14.1,
k has units of N/m or lb/in.
According to Hooke’s law, the elongation of a spring
is directly proportional to the magnitude of the stretching
force.* For example, as illustrated in ● TI Fig. 14.1, if a
spring has an initial length yo, and a suspended weight of
mass m stretches the spring to a length y1, then in equilibrium the weight force is balanced by the spring force and
TI Figure 14.1 Hooke’s law. An illustration in graphical
form of spring elongation versus force. The greater the
force, the greater the elongation, F 5 2ky. This Hooke’s
law relationship holds up to the elastic limit.
F2 5 2mg 5 k 1 y2 2 yo 2
and so on for more added weights. The linear relationship of Hooke’s law holds, provided that the deformation
or elongation is not too great. Beyond the elastic limit,
a spring is permanently deformed and eventually breaks
with increasing force.
Notice that Hooke’s law has the form of an equation
for a straight line:
F1 5 mg 5 k(y1 2 yo)
Here y is used to indicate the vertical direction, instead of
x as in TI Eq. 14.1, which is usually used to mean the horizontal direction. Similarly, if another mass m is added and
the spring is stretched to a length y2, then
F 5 k(y 2 yo)
or
F 5 ky 2 kyo
*The restoring spring force and the stretching force are equal in
magnitude and opposite in direction (Newton’s third law).
which is of the general form y 5 x 1 b
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EXPERIMENT 14
/ Simple Harmonic Motion
B. Simple Harmonic Motion
When the motion of an object is repeated in regular time
intervals or periods, it is called periodic motion. Examples
include the oscillations of a pendulum with a path back
and forth along a circular arc and a mass oscillating linearly up and down on a spring. The latter is under the influence of the type of force described by Hooke’s law, and
its motion is called simple harmonic motion (SHM)—
simple because the restoring force has the simplest form
and harmonic because the motion can be described by
harmonic functions (sines and cosines).
As illustrated in ● TI Fig. 14.2, a mass oscillating on a
spring would trace out a wavy, time-varying curve on a moving roll of paper. The equation for this curve, which describes
the oscillatory motion of the mass, can be written as
In actual practice, the amplitude decreases slowly
as energy is lost to friction, and the oscillatory motion is
slowly “damped.” In some applications, the simple harmonic motion of an object is intentionally damped, for
example, the spring-loaded needle indicator of an electrical
measurement instrument or the dial on a common bathroom
scale. Otherwise, the needle or dial would oscillate about
the equilibrium position for some time, making it difficult
to obtain a quick and accurate reading.
The period of oscillation depends on the parameters
of the system and, for a mass on a spring, is given by
m
T 5 2p
Åk
(TI 14.3)
(period of mass oscillating on a spring)
y 5 A cos
2pt
T
(TI 14.2)
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
where T is the period of oscillation and A is the amplitude
or maximum displacement of the mass.
The amplitude A depends on the initial conditions
of the system (that is, how far the mass was initially displaced from its equilibrium position). If the mass were
initially (t 5 0) pulled below its equilibrium position (to
y 5 2A) and released, the equation of motion would be
y 5 2A cos 2pt/T, which satisfies the initial condition at
t 5 0 with cos 0 5 1 and y 5 2A. The argument of the
cosine, (2pt/T), is in radians rather than degrees.
A. Rubber-Band Elongation
1. Hang a rubber band on a support and suspend a weight
hanger from the rubber band. Add an appropriate
weight to the weight hanger (for example, 100–300 g),
and record the total suspended weight (m1g) in TI Data
Table 1. Fix a meter stick vertically alongside the weight
hanger and note the position of the bottom of the weight
hanger on the meter stick. Record this as y1 in the data
table.
TI Figure 14.2 Simple harmonic motion. A marker on a mass oscillating on a spring traces out a curve, as illustrated, on the
moving paper. The curve may be represented as a function of displacement (magnitude y) versus time, such as y 5 A cos 2pt/T,
where y 5 A at t 5 0.
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EXPERIMENT 14
/ Simple Harmonic Motion
225
2. Add appropriate weights (for example, 100 g) to the
weight hanger one at a time, and record the total suspended weight and the position of the bottom of the
weight hanger on the meter stick after each elongation
(y2, y3, etc.). The weights should be small enough so
that seven or eight weights can be added without overstretching the rubber band.
3. Plot the total suspended weight force versus elongation position (mg versus y), and draw a smooth curve
that best fits the data points.
B. Spring Elongation
4. Repeat Procedures 1 and 2 for a coil spring and record
the results in TI Data Table 2. Choose appropriate
mass increments for the spring stiffness. (A commercially available Hooke’s law apparatus is shown in
● TI Fig. 14.3.)
5. Plot mg versus y on the same sheet of graph paper used
in Procedure 3 (double-label axes if necessary), and
draw a straight line that best fits the data. Determine
the slope of the line (the spring constant k), and record
it in the data table. Answer TI Questions 1 through 3
following the data tables.
C. Period of Oscillation
6. (a) On the weight hanger suspended from the spring,
place a mass just great enough to prevent the
spring from oscillating too fast and to prevent
the hanger from moving relative to the end of the
spring during oscillations when it is pulled down
(for example, 5 to 10 cm) and released. Record the
total mass in TI Data Table 3.
(b) Using a laboratory timer or stopwatch, release the
spring weight hanger from the predetermined initial displacement and determine the time it takes
for the mass to make a number (5 to 10) of complete oscillations or cycles.
The number of cycles timed will depend
on how quickly the system loses energy or is
damped. Make an effort to time enough cycles to
get a good average period of oscillation. Record
in the data table the total time and the number of
oscillations.
Divide the total time by the number of
oscillations to determine the average period.
TI Figure 14.3 Hooke’s law apparatus. The variables of
Hooke’s law (F 5 mg and x) are measured using spring
elongation. (Photo Courtesy of Sargent-Welch.)
7. Repeat Procedure 6 for four more mass values, each of
which is several times larger than the smallest mass,
and record the results in TI Data Table 3. The initial
displacement may be varied if necessary. (This should
have no effect on the period. Why?)
8. Plot a graph of the average period squared (T 2) versus the mass (m), and draw a straight line that best fits
the data points. Determine the slope of the line and
compute the spring constant k. [Note from TI Eq. 14.3
that k is not simply equal to the slope; rather,
k 5 (2p)2 /slope.]
Compare this value of k with that determined
from the slope of the spring elongation graph in Part B
by computing the percent difference, and finish
answering the TI Questions.
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Simple Harmonic Motion
Laboratory Report
A. Rubber-Band Elongation
B. Spring Elongation
DATA TABLE 1
DATA TABLE 2
Total suspended
weight* (
)
Scale reading
(
)
Total suspended
weight* (
)
Scale reading
(
)
m1g
y1
m1g
y1
m2g
y2
m2g
y2
m3g
y3
m3g
y3
m4g
y4
m4g
y4
m5g
y5
m5g
y5
m6g
y6
m6g
y6
m7g
y7
m7g
y7
m8g
y8
m8g
y8
* It is convenient to leave g, the acceleration due to gravity, in symbolic form;
that is, if m15100 g or 0.100 kg, then weight 5 m1g 5 (0.100 kg)g N,
but your instructor may prefer otherwise. Be careful not to confuse the
symbol for acceleration due to gravity, g (italic), with the abbreviation
for gram g (roman).
* It is convenient to leave g in symbol form, even when graphing.
Calculations
(show work)
k (slope of graph) ___________________
(units)
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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Laboratory Report
Simple Harmonic Motion
C. Period of Oscillation
DATA TABLE 3
Total suspended
mass (
)
Total time
(
)
Number of
oscillations (
)
Average period
T
T2
(
)
m1
m2
m3
m4
m5
Calculations
(show work)
Slope of graph ___________________
Computed spring constant k ___________________
Percent difference (of k’s in B and C) ___________________
QUESTIONS
1. Interpret the intercepts of the straight line for the spring elongation in the mg-versus-y
graph of Part B.
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Simple Harmonic Motion
Laboratory Report
2. Is the elastic property of the rubber band a good example of Hooke’s law? Explain.
3. Draw a horizontal line through the y-intercept of the straight-line graph of Part B, and form
a triangle by drawing a vertical line through the last data point.
(a) Prove that the area of the triangle is the work done in stretching the spring. (Hint:
W 5 12 kx2, and area of triangle A 5 12 ab, that is, 12 the altitude (a) times the base (b).)
(b) From the graph, compute the work done in stretching the spring.
4. Interpret the x-intercept of the straight line of the T 2-versus-m graph of Part C.
(continued)
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Simple Harmonic Motion
Laboratory Report
5. For a mass oscillating on a spring, at what positions do the (a) velocity and (b) acceleration
of the mass have maximum values?
6. What is the form of the equation of motion for the SHM of a mass suspended on a spring
when the mass is initially (a) released 10 cm above the equilibrium position; (b) given an
upward push from the equilibrium position, so that it undergoes a maximum displacement
of 8 cm; (c) given a downward push from the equilibrium position, so that it undergoes a
maximum displacement of 12 cm? (Hint: Sketch the curve for the motion as in TI Fig. 14.2
and fit the appropriate trigonometric function to the curve.)
7. For case (a) in Question 6 only, what is the displacement y of the mass at times
(a) t 5 T/2; (b) t 5 3T/2; (c) t 5 3T?
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Simple Harmonic Motion
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
• Support rods and clamps
• Rotary Motion Sensor (PASCO CI-6538)
• Mini-rotational accessory (PASCO CI-6691. This
set includes a brass mass and a light rod to make the
pendulum.)
but is proportional to the sin u instead. A pendulum can be
approximated to be in SHM motion only if the angle u is
small, in which case sin u < u (where u is in radians). Thus,
THEORY
In this experiment, the simple harmonic motion of a pendulum will be investigated by examining the energy conversions that occur during the motion. Simple harmonic
motion is the motion executed by an object of mass m
subject to two conditions:
F 5 mg sin u < mg u
Notice that in this approximation, the force is directly proportional to the displacement u.
As the pendulum swings, kinetic energy is converted
into potential energy as the pendulum rises. This potential
energy is converted back to kinetic energy as the pendulum swings downward. The kinetic and potential energies
of the pendulum at any moment during its motion can easily be determined. The kinetic energy of a pendulum of
mass m moving with a linear speed v is given by
• The object is subject to a force that is proportional
to the displacement of the object that attempts to
restore the object to its equilibrium position.
• No dissipative forces act during the motion, so there
is no energy loss.
Notice that as it is described in theory, simple harmonic
motion is an idealization because of the assumption of no
frictional forces acting on the particle.
In this experiment, the simple harmonic motion of a
pendulum will be investigated. A simple pendulum consists
of a mass (called a bob) suspended by a “massless” string
from a point of support. The pendulum swings in a plane.
The restoring force on a simple pendulum is the component of its weight that tends to move the pendulum
back to its equilibrium position. As can be seen from
● CI Fig. 14.1, the magnitude of the force is
K 5 12 mv2
(CI 14.3)
The potential energy, measured with respect to the equilibrium position, depends on the height above the equilibrium
at a particular time. That is,
U 5 mgh 5 mg(L 2 L cos u)
(CI 14.1)
F 5 mg sin u
(CI 14.2)
(CI 14.4)
(See ● CI Fig. 14.2.)
Note, however, that this force is not proportional to the angular displacement u of the pendulum, as required for SHM,
␪
L cos ␪
L
␪
T
mg sin ␪
L L cos ␪
␪
mg cos ␪
CI Figure 14.2 The elevation of a pendulum with respect
to the equilibrium position. The elevation of a pendu-
lum with respect to the equilibrium (lowest) position can
be expressed in terms of L, the length of the pendulum,
and of u, as L 2 L cos u. (The angular displacement has
been exaggerated in the illustration. For simple harmonic
motion, u must be small.)
mg
CI Figure 14.1 Forces acting on a swinging pendulum. The
restoring force acting on a pendulum is the component
mg sin u of gravity, which attempts to bring the pendulum
back to the equilibrium position.
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EXPERIMENT 14
/ Simple Harmonic Motion
In this experiment, a sensor will keep track of the
angular position, u, of the pendulum as it swings. The sensor will also keep track of the angular speed, v 5 Du/Dt,
of the pendulum. The linear speed (v) can then be deter-
mined as v 5 vL, where L is the length of the pendulum
and also the radius of the circular arc described by its
motion. The kinetic and potential energies of the pendulum at any time can then be calculated.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
This information will be needed during the setup of Data
Studio.
1. Measure the mass of the pendulum bob (M) and record
it in the laboratory report, in kilograms.
2. Measure the length of the pendulum (L), in meters,
from the center of rotation to the center of the bob.
Record it in the report.
SETTING UP DATA STUDIO
1. Open Data Studio and choose “Create Experiment.”
2. The Experiment Setup window will open and you will
see a picture of the Science Workshop interface. There
are seven channels to choose from. (Digital Channels
1, 2, 3, and 4 are the small buttons on the left; analog Channels A, B, and C are the larger buttons on the
right, as shown in ● CI Fig. 14.3.)
3. Click on the Channel 1 button in the picture. A window with a list of sensors will open.
4. Choose the Rotary Motion Sensor from the list and
press OK.
5. The diagram now shows you the properties of the
RMS sensor directly under the picture of the interface.
(See CI Fig. 14.3.)
6. Connect the sensor to Channels 1 and 2 of the interface, as shown on the computer screen.
7. Adjust the properties of the RMS as follows:
First Measurements tab: select Angular Position,
Chapters 1 and 2, and select the unit of measure to
be degrees. Also select Angular Velocity, Channels 1
and 2, in rad/s.
Rotary Motion Sensor tab: set the Resolution to
high (1440 divisions/rotations); and set the Linear
Scale to Large Pulley (Groove).
CI Figure 14.3 Experimental setup. The seven available channels are numbered 1 through 4 and A, B, or C. The rotary motion
sensor, connected to Channels 1 and 2, will measure the angular position and the angular velocity of the pendulum. Make
sure that the angular position is being measured in degrees, but the angular velocity in rad/s. (Reprinted courtesy of PASCO
Scientific.)
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EXPERIMENT 14
Set the Sample Rate to 20 Hz.
The Data list on the left of the screen should now
have two icons: one for the angular position data,
the other for the angular velocity data.
8. Open the program’s calculator by clicking on the
Calculate button, on the top main menu. Usually,
a small version of the calculator opens, as shown
in ● CI Fig. 14.4. Expand the calculator window by clicking on the button marked Experiment
Constants.
9. The expanded window (shown in ● CI Fig. 14.5) is
used to establish values of parameters that will remain
constant throughout the experiment. In this case, these
are the length of the pendulum (L) and the mass of the
pendulum (M), which have already been measured.
This is how to do it:
(a) Click on the lower New button (within the
“Experiment Constants” section of the calculator
window) and enter the name of the constant as L,
the value as the length of the pendulum measured
before, and the units as meters (m).
(b) Click the lower Accept button.
(c) Click on the New button again, and enter the
name of the constant as M, the value as the mass
of the pendulum measured before, and the units
as kilograms (kg).
(d) Click the lower Accept button.
(e) Close the experiment constants portion of the
calculator window by pressing the button marked
Experiment Constants again.
/ Simple Harmonic Motion
233
10. Calculation of the linear speed:
(a) In the same calculator window, clear the definition box and enter the following equation:
V 5 L * smooth (6, w)
This is the calculation of the linear speed v 5 vL,
which will be called V. Note that the length L of
the pendulum is multiplied by the angular speed,
which is called w here. The smooth function is to
produce a sharper graph.
(b) Press the Accept button after entering the formula. The variables L and w will appear in a list.
L will have the value defined before, but w will
be waiting to be defined.
(c) To define the variable w, click on the drop menu
button on the left side of the variable. A list of options will show, asking what type of variable this is.
• Define w as a Data Measurement and, when
prompted, choose Angular Velocity (rad/s).
11. Calculation of the kinetic energy:
(a) Still in the same calculator window, press the
New button again to enter a new equation.
(b) Clear the definition box and enter the following
equation: KE 5 0.5 * M * v2. This is the calculation of the kinetic energy K 5 12 mv2, that will be
called KE.
(c) Press the Accept button after entering the formula. The variables M and v will appear in a list;
This small version of the calculator window opens when the Calculate button is pressed.
The calculator will be used to enter equations that handle the values measured by the sensor. The computer will perform the
calculations automatically as the sensor takes data. (Reprinted courtesy of PASCO Scientific.)
CI Figure 14.4 The calculator window.
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EXPERIMENT 14
/ Simple Harmonic Motion
(a)
(1) Press New.
Experiment Constants
(2) Enter
constant
symbol.
L
New
Remove
Accept
Units m
Value 0.35
(3) Enter the value
of this constant
and the units.
(b)
(4) Accept.
CI Figure 14.5 The expanded calculator window. (a) After the button marked Experiment Constants is pressed, the calculator
window expands to full size. (b) The “Experiment Constants” section is the lower part of the expanded calculator window. This
section is used to define parameters that are to remain constant during the experiment. The diagram shows the steps needed to
enter experimental constants into the calculator. (Reprinted courtesy of PASCO Scientific.)
M is the value entered before for the mass, and
v is waiting to be defined.
(d) To define the variable v, click on the drop menu
button on the left side of the variable. The list of
options will show, asking what type of variable
this is.
• Define v as a Data Measurement and, when
prompted, choose V, the equation defined
previously.
12. Calculation of the potential energy:
(a) Press the New button once again to enter a new
equation.
(b) Clear the defi nition box and enter the followi n g e q u a t i o n : PE 5 M * 9.81 * (L 2 L * cos
(smooth (6, x))). This is the calculation of the
potential energy U 5 mgh 5 mg(L 2 L cos u),
which will be called PE. Note that M is the
mass, 9.81 is the value of g, and the variable x
in this formula will stand for the angular position u of the pendulum, in degrees.
(c) Press the button marked DEG that is under the
definition box. This will make sure the calculation of the cosine is done in degrees, not in
radians.
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EXPERIMENT 14
(d) Press the Accept button after entering the equation. The variables M, L, and x will appear in a
list, with x waiting to be defined.
(e) Define x as a Data Measurement and, when
prompted, choose Angular Position (deg).
(f) Press the Accept button.
13. Close the calculator window.
14. The data list on the upper left of the screen should
now include icons for the three quantities that are calculated: V, KE, and PE. A small calculator icon will
show on the left of the calculated data quantities.
15. Create a graph by dragging the Angular Position (deg)
data icon and dropping it on top of the “Graph” icon
on the displays list. A graph of angular position (deg)
versus time will open. The window will be called
Graph 1.
16. Drag the KE equation icon and drop it somewhere
on top of the graph created in step 15. The graph
will then split in two, with the graph of angular position versus time on top and the graph of KE versus
time on the bottom. The graphs will have matching
time axes.
/ Simple Harmonic Motion
235
17. Repeat step 15 to create a second graph window.
Graph 2 will also be a graph of angular position (deg)
versus time.
18. Drag the PE equation icon and drop it on Graph 2.
Graph 2 will then split in two, showing both the position and the PE of the pendulum at any time t, with
matching time axes.
19. It is not necessary to be able to see both graph windows
at the same time, but they can be moved around the
screen so that both are visible. Their sizes may also be
adjusted so that when they are active, they occupy the
full screen individually. It is easy to change from viewing one to viewing the other by clicking on the particular
graph to bring it to the front. ● CI Fig. 14.6 shows what
the screen will look like after all the setup is finished.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
1. Put the rotary motion sensor on a support rod. Install the
mass on the light rod, and then install the pendulum on
the front screw of the rotary motion sensor. A diagram
of the equipment setup is shown in ● CI Fig. 14.7.
CI Figure 14.6 Data Studio setup. Graph displays are generated for angular position, kinetic energy, and potential energy.
The individual graph windows can be viewed together (as in this picture) or independently, if resized to fit the full screen.
(Reprinted courtesy of PASCO Scientific.)
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EXPERIMENT 14
/ Simple Harmonic Motion
3. After pressing the start button, displace the pendulum
a small angle (#10°) to the side and let it go.
Support
rod
Center
screw
Rotary motion
sensor
4. Collect data for about 5 or 6 seconds, and then press
the STOP button.
5. Print the graphs and paste them to the laboratory
report.
6. Read from any of the position graphs what was the
maximum amplitude of the pendulum, and record it in
CI Data Table 1.
7. Determine from the graph the period of oscillation of
the pendulum, and record it in the table.
Light
rod
Pendulum
bob
8. From the kinetic energy graph, look at the first clear
complete cycle of the motion, and find the maximum
kinetic energy during that cycle. Record it in the table.
Record also the position of the pendulum when the
maximum kinetic energy was reached.
9. From the potential energy graph, look at the first clear
complete cycle of the motion, and find the maximum
potential energy during that cycle. Record it in the
table. Record also the position of the pendulum when
the maximum potential energy was reached.
CI Figure 14.7 The experimental setup. The light rod with
the bob at the end is attached to the front screw of the
rotary motion sensor.
10. Repeat for the minimum values of kinetic and potential energies.
2. The rotary motion sensor will set its “zero” at the
location of the pendulum when the START button is
pressed. If we want the position u 5 0 to correspond
with the equilibrium position of the pendulum, it is
very important that the START button be pressed while
the pendulum is at rest in the equilibrium position.
11. To further reinforce the idea of conversions between
kinetic and potential energy, create a new graph
(“Graph 3”) by dragging the kinetic energy data icon
and dropping it on top of the “Graph” icon on the
displays list. Then drag the potential energy icon and
drop it in the graph. This graph will show both KE
and PE as functions of time.
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Simple Harmonic Motion
Laboratory Report
DATA TABLE 1
Purpose: To examine the variations of kinetic and potential energy as a pendulum swings.
Mass of pendulum, M
Length, L
kg
m
Max. amplitude
8
Period
s
Position of pendulum
(deg)
Value
KE max
PE max
KE min
PE min
Don’t forget to attach the graphs to the laboratory report.
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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Simple Harmonic Motion
Laboratory Report
QUESTIONS
1. Compare the values of the maximum kinetic energy and the maximum potential energy.
Discuss them in terms of the conservation of energy.
2. The following diagram illustrates three different positions of the pendulum as it moves in
simple harmonic motion. (The angular displacement has been exaggerated for illustration
purposes.) Label in the diagram which position corresponds to maximum KE, which to
maximum PE, which to minimum KE, and which to minimum PE.
3. Was the amplitude of the pendulum constant? Explain.
4. The period of a simple pendulum in SHM is given by T 5 2p#Lg. Use the measured
length of the pendulum to calculate its period using this formula. Then compare to the
period you determined from the graph. Discuss what causes the percent error.
5. Optional Exercise: Create a new calculation (in the calculator window) that will determine
the total energy of the pendulum. That is, calculate KE 1 PE. Then plot the total energy as
a function of time. Was the total energy constant? Explain.
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Standing Waves in a String
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. How is wave speed related to frequency and wavelength? How is the period of oscillation
related to wave speed?
2. What is a standing wave, and what are nodes and antinodes?
3. What are normal modes?
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
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Advance Study Assignment
4. How does the wavelength of a standing wave in a vibrating string vary with the tension
force in the string and/or the linear mass density of the string?
5. Standing waves in a string can be produced by oscillating the string at the various natural
frequencies. However, in this experiment the string vibrator has only one frequency.
How, then, are standing waves with different wavelengths produced?
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Standing Waves in a String
of standing waves serve to provide a better understanding
of wave properties and characteristics.
In this experiment, the relationship between the
tension force and the wavelength in a vibrating string will
be studied, as applied to the natural frequencies or normal
modes of oscillation of the string.
After performing this experiment and analyzing the
data, you should be able to:
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
A wave is the propagation of a disturbance or energy.
When a stretched cord or string is disturbed, the wave
travels along the string with a speed that depends on the
tension in the string and its linear mass density. Upon
reaching a fixed end of the string, the wave is reflected
back along the string.
For a continuous disturbance, the propagating waves
interfere with the oppositely moving reflected waves, and
a standing- (or stationary-) wave pattern is formed under
certain conditions. These standing-wave patterns can be
visually observed. The visual observation and measurement
1. Explain how standing waves are formed.
2. Distinguish between nodes and antinodes.
3. Tell what determines the natural frequencies of a
vibrating string system.
•
•
•
•
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
•
•
•
•
Electric string vibrator
Clamps and support rod
Pulley with rod support
String
displacement is in the direction of wave propagation, for
example, in sound waves. The maximum displacements of
the particle oscillation are 1A and 2A. The magnitude of
the maximum displacement, called the amplitude (A), is
related to the energy of the wave. The period (of oscillation) T is related to the frequency of oscillation, T 5 1/f.
When two waves meet, they interfere and the combined wave form is a superposition of the two interfering waves. The superposition of two waves of equal
amplitude and frequency traveling in opposite directions
gives rise to what is known as a standing or stationary
wave.
The periodic constructive and destructive interference
causes the formation of a standing-wave pattern as illustrated in ● Fig. 15.2. Notice that some of the “particles”
on the axis are stationary. These positions are called nodal
points or nodes, and the points of maximum displacement are called antinodes. The energy of the particles in a
standing-wave envelope alternate between the kinetic and
potential energies.
In a stretched string being oscillated or shaken at one
end, waves traveling outward from the oscillator interfere
with waves that have been reflected at the other fixed end.
However, standing waves in a given length of string occur
only for certain wave frequencies. That is, for a given
stretching tension or force, the string must be driven or
oscillated with certain vibrational frequencies to produce
standing waves.
THEORY
A wave is characterized by its wavelength l (in meters),
the frequency (of oscillation) f, in Hz or 1/s 5 s21, and
wave speed v(m/s). (See ● Fig. 15.1.) These quantities are
related by the expression
lf5v
Weight hanger and slotted weights
Meter stick
Laboratory balance
1 sheet of Cartesian graph paper
(15.1)
(Check to see whether the equation is dimensionally
correct.)
Waves in a stretched string are transverse waves; that
is, the “particle” displacement is perpendicular to the direction of propagation. In longitudinal waves, the particle
The parameters involved in
describing a wave. See text for description.
Figure 15.1 Wave description.
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EXPERIMENT15
/ Standing Waves in a String
L
/2
Vibrator
Node
Antinode
Periodic constructive and destructive interferences give rise to a standing wave form, as illustrated
here. The length of one loop of the standing wave is equal to one-half the standing wave’s wavelength. Note the positions of the
nodes and antinodes.
Figure 15.2 Standing wave.
The frequencies at which large-amplitude standing
waves are produced are called natural frequencies or
resonant frequencies. The resulting standing-wave patterns are called normal or resonant modes of vibration.
In general, all systems that oscillate have one or more natural frequencies, which depend on such factors as mass,
elasticity or restoring force, and geometry (boundary
conditions).
Since the string is fixed at each end, a standing wave
must have a node at each end. As a result, only an integral
number of half wavelengths may “fit” into a length L of
the string, L 5 l /2, l, 3l/2, 2l, and so on, such that in
general
L 5 na
ln
2L
b or ln 5
n
2
(15.2)
n 5 1, 2, 3, 4, . . .
Fig. 15.2 illustrates the case for L 5 3l /2.
The wave speed in a stretched string is given by
v5
F
Åm
(15.3)
(wave speed in a stretched string)
where F is the magnitude of the tension force in the string
and m is the linear mass density (mass per unit length,
m 5 m /L) of the string.* Using Eqs. 15.2 and 15.3 in
lf 5 v [Eq. (15.1)] yields
fn 5
v
n
F
5
m
ln
2L Å
n 5 1, 2, 3, c
Setting n 5 1 in Eq. (15.5) gives the lowest possible
frequency, which is known as the fundamental frequency:
f1 5
1
F
2L Å m
(15.5)
(fundamental frequency)
so Eq. (15.4) may be written in terms of the fundamental
frequency as
fn 5
v
n
F
5
5 nf1
ln
2L Å m
n 5 1, 2, 3, c
(15.6)
Moreover, only certain frequencies produce standing waves for a given string tension, linear density, and
length.
As noted above, the lowest natural frequency f 1
[Eq. (15.5)] is called the fundamental frequency. All other
natural frequencies are integral multiples of the fundamental frequency: fn 5 nf1 (for n 5 1, 2, 3, . . .). The set of
frequencies f1, f2 5 2f1, f3 5 3f1, . . . is called a harmonic
series: f1 (the fundamental frequency) is the first harmonic,
f2 the second harmonic, and so on.
In this experiment, the electrically driven string vibrator has a fixed frequency, so the driving frequency cannot
be varied to produce different normal-mode standing-wave
patterns. However, varying the string tension can vary the
wave speed so as to produce different standing-wave patterns.
Since v 5 "F/m [Eq. (15.3)],
(15.4)
(resonant frequencies)
where fn and ln are the frequency and wavelength, respectively, for a given integer n.
*See Experiment 12, Theory B, for a discussion of linear mass density.
l5
v
1 F
5
f
f Åm
(15.7)
where f and m are constant. Hence, by varying F, one can
select the appropriate wavelengths that will “fit” into a
given string length L to produce standing waves.
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EXPERIMENT 15
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
1. If one has not been provided, cut a piece of string long
enough to be used in the experimental setup—long
enough to be looped at each end so as to be attached to
the vibrator and a weight hanger suspended from the
end running over the pulley (● Fig. 15.3). The vibrator
and pulley should be clamped to support posts at the
opposite ends of the laboratory table to give an active
string length of about 150 cm. (This length may vary
for a given setup.)
Measure the total length of the string, and determine
its mass on a laboratory balance. Record these values
in the data table, and compute the linear mass density
m 5 m /Lo. (Note: Lo is the total length of the string.)
2. Attach the string to the vibrator and suspend a weight
hanger from the other end as shown in Fig. 15.3. Make
certain that the string is aligned properly and that it is
parallel to the table surface. Measure the distance between the vibrator arm and the point of contact of the
string on the pulley. Record this length L in the data
table.
Turn on the vibrator. Try to produce different
standing-wave patterns in the string by alternately
lifting and carefully pulling down on the weight
hanger. It is helpful to fold a thin strip of paper in
half and hang it on the string to observe vibrating
action. The number of loops should increase with less
tension. (Why?) Also, try grasping the string at a node
and antinode of a given pattern to see what happens.
3. When you are familiar with the operation of the apparatus, add enough weights to the weight hanger so that
a standing-wave pattern of two loops is formed in the
string (nodal point at the center). Adjust the tension
by adding or removing some small weights until the
loops are of maximum amplitude.
If sufficiently small weights are not available, a
fine adjustment can be made by loosening the clamp
holding the vibrator rod and sliding it slightly back
and forth so as to find the optimum string length between the ends that gives the maximum loop width or
amplitude for a given tension.
When this is accomplished, measure with a meter stick the distance from the point where the string
contacts the pulley to the center nodal point. The meter stick can be held alongside the vibrating string, or
you may find it more convenient to grasp the string at
the nodal point with your fingers, shut off the vibrator,
and measure the distance from the pulley contact to
the nodal point along the nonvibrating string. Make
certain not to pull the string toward the vibrator, for
that would increase the length by raising the weight
hanger. Apply a slight tension in the string away from
the vibrator if necessary.
/ Standing Waves in a String
243
Record this length L 1 and the total suspended
mass in the data table. Since the length of one loop is
one-half of a wavelength, L1 5 l /2.
4. Remove enough weights from the weight hanger and
adjust so that a standing-wave pattern of maximum
amplitude with three loops (two nodal points in the
string) is formed. Measure the distance from the pulley contact to the nodal point nearest the vibrator.
(The fixed-end nodal point at the vibrator is not used
because in vibrating up and down, it is not a “true”
nodal point.)
Record this length L 2 and the total suspended
mass in the data table. Since the length of two loops is
equal to one wavelength, L2 5 l.
5. Repeat Procedure 4 for consecutive standing-wave
patterns up to eight measured loops if possible. [The
weight hanger by itself may supply too much tension for higher-order patterns, so it may have to be
removed and smaller weight(s) suspended.] Compute
the wavelength for each case.
It should become evident that in general,
l 5 2LN /N, or LN 5 Nl /2, where N is the number of
loops in a given LN. Notice the similarity of the latter
form of this equation to Eq. (15.2), wherein the length
L is the total vibrating length of the string.
6. Note that Eq. (15.7) can be rewritten as
l5
1 F
1
5a
b "F
f
m
fÅ
"m
(15.7a)
where f and m are constants. It has the form of an equation of a straight line, y 5 mx 1 b, with x 5 "F and
b 5 0.
Plot the experimental data on a graph of l versus
"F. Draw the straight line that best fits the data, and
determine the slope of the line. From this value and
the previously determined value of m, compute the
average frequency f of the oscillations.*
The string vibrator operates on 60-cycle ac current. The vibrating action is accomplished by means
of an electromagnet operated by the input current.
The vibrator arm is attracted toward an electromagnet during each half-cycle, or twice each cycle, so the
vibrating frequency is 2 3 60 5 120 Hz (cycles per
second). Using this as the accepted value of the vibrational frequency, compute the percent error of the
experimentally determined value.
* If you have some scattered data points far from the straight line,
see Question 2.
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EXPERIMENT15
/ Standing Waves in a String
(a)
(b)
Figure 15.3 Standing wave apparatus. (a) A string vibrator oscillates the string. Different standing waves are produced
by varying the tension in the string. (b) A dual string vibrator. Different tensions produce different normal modes. (Photos
Courtesy of Sargent-Welch.)
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Section
Date
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E X P E R I M E N T
1 5
Standing Waves in a String
Laboratory Report
Mass of string
Total length of string Lo
Linear mass density m
Length of string between
vibrator and pulley L
DATA TABLE
Purpose: To determine the frequency of oscillation from normal modes.
Number of loops
measured
N
Suspended
mass
(
)
Tension force F *
(
)
Measured length
LN for N loops
(
)
1
F1
L1
2
F2
L2
3
F3
L3
4
F4
L4
5
F5
L5
6
F6
L6
7
F7
L7
8
F8
L8
Wavelength l
(
)
"F
(
)
*For convenience, the tension weight force may be expressed in terms of g (that is, if m = 0.10 kg, then F 5 mg 5 0.10 g N).
Calculations
(show work)
Slope of graph
Computed frequency f
Accepted frequency
Percent error
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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Standing Waves in a String
Laboratory Report
Calculations
(show work)
QUESTIONS
1. The length, L1, is not the wavelength of the fundamental frequency of the string.
(a) With the tension equal to F1 , to which natural frequency does the wavelength equal to
L1 correspond?
(b) What tension in the string would be required to produce a standing wave with a
wavelength equal to L1? (Hint: Use Eq. 15.7.)
2. Theoretically, the vibrator frequency is 120 Hz. However, sometimes the vibrator resonates
with the string at a “subharmonic” of 60 Hz.
(a) If this were the case in all instances, how would it affect the slope of the graph?
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1 5
Standing Waves in a String
Laboratory Report
(b) If you have some scattered data points far from the straight line on your graph, analyze
the data for these points using Eq. 15.7 to determine the frequency.
3. How many normal modes of oscillation or natural frequencies does each of the following
have: (a) a simple pendulum, (b) a clothes line, and (c) a mass oscillating on a spring?
4. Stringed musical instruments, such as violins and guitars, use stretched strings. Explain
(a) how tightening and loosening the strings tunes them to their designated tone pitch or
frequency; (b) why the strings of lower tones are thicker or heavier; (c) why notes of higher
pitch or frequency are produced when the fingers are placed on the strings.
5. (Optional) Consider a long whip antenna of the type used on some automobiles for CB
radios. Show that the natural frequencies of oscillation for the antenna are fm 5 mv/4L,
where m 5 1, 3, 5, . . . , v is the wave speed, and L is the length of the antenna.
(Hint: The boundary conditions are a node and an antinode.)
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E X P E R I M E N T
1 6
The Thermal Coefficient
of Linear Expansion
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. What is the cause of thermal expansion on the molecular level?
2. Distinguish between linear expansion and isotropic expansion.
3. How is the thermal coefficient of linear expansion determined experimentally?
4. What are the units of the thermal coefficient of linear expansion?
(continued)
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Advance Study Assignment
5. What is meant by the fractional change in length?
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The Thermal Coefficient
of Linear Expansion
per degree of temperature change. In this experiment, the
thermal expansion of some metals will be investigated
and their temperature coefficients of linear expansion
determined.
After performing this experiment and analyzing the data,
you should be able to:
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
With few exceptions, solids increase in size or dimensions
as the temperature increases. Although this effect is relatively small, it is very important in applications involving
materials that undergo heating and cooling. Unless these
changes are taken into account, material and structural
damage can result; for example, a piston may become too
tight in its cylinder, a rivet could loosen, or a bridge girder
could produce damaging stress.
The expansion properties of a material depend on its
internal makeup and structure. Macroscopically, the thermal expansion is expressed in terms of temperature coefficients of expansion, which are experimental quantities
that represent the change in the dimensions of a material
1. Tell how the thermal coefficient of linear expansion
describes such expansion.
2. Explain how the thermal coefficient of linear expansion is measured, and give an order of magnitude of
its values for metals.
3. Describe and give examples of how thermal expansion considerations are important in applications of
materials.
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Linear expansion apparatus and accessories
Steam generator and stand
Bunsen burner and striker or electric hot plate
Rubber tubing
Beaker
Meter stick
Thermometer (0 °C to 110 °C)
Two or three kinds of metal rods (for example, iron
and aluminum)
small temperature changes, linear expansion is approximately proportional to DT, or the change in temperature,
T 2To (● Fig. 16.2). The fractional change in length is
XL 2 LoC/Lo or DL/Lo, where Lo is the original length of the
solid at the initial temperature. This ratio is related to the
change in temperature by
THEORY
Changes in the dimensions and volumes of materials are
common effects. The thermal expansion of gases is very
obvious and is generally described by gas laws. But the
thermal expansion of liquids and solids is no less important. For example, such expansions are used to measure
temperature in liquid-in-glass thermometers and bimetallic
(oven) thermometers.
In general for solids, a temperature increase leads to the
thermal expansion of an object as a whole. This expansion
results from a change in the average distance separating
the atoms (or molecules) of a substance. The atoms are
held together by bonding forces, which can be represented
simplistically as springs in a simple model of a solid
(● Fig. 16.1). The atoms vibrate back and forth; and with
increased temperature (more internal energy), they become
increasingly active and vibrate over greater distances. With
wider vibrations in all dimensions, the solid expands as a
whole. This may be different in different directions; however,
if the expansion is the same in all directions, it is referred
to as isotopic expansion.
The change in one dimension (length, width, or
thickness) of a solid is called linear expansion. For
DL
5 aDT
Lo
(16.1)
or DL 5 aLo DT
where DL 5 L 2 Lo and DT 5 T 2 To and a is the thermal
coefficient of linear expansion, with units of inverse
temperature—that is, 1/°C. Note that with a temperature
decrease and a contraction, DL would be negative, or a
negative expansion.
As Eq. 16.1 shows, a is the fractional change in length
per degree temperature change, DL/L o.* This thermal
*To help understand what is meant by fractional change, consider a
money analogy. If you have $1.00 in the bank and get 5¢ interest, then
the fractional change (increase) in your money is
D$/$o 5 5 cents/100 cents 5 1/20 5 0.050 Xor 5.0%C.
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EXPERIMENT 16
/ The Thermal Coefficient of Linear Expansion
Heat
(a)
(b)
Figure 16.1 A springy solid. (a) The elastic nature of interatomic forces is indicated by simplistically representing them
as springs, which, like the forces, resist deformation. (b) Heat causes the molecules to vibrate with greater amplitudes in the
lattice, thereby increasing the volume of the solid (right). The arrows represent the molecular bonds, and the drawing is obviously not to scale. (Shipman, Wilson, and Todd, An Introduction to Physical Science, Twelfth Edition. Copyright © 2008 by
Houghton Mifflin Company. Reprinted with permission. From Wilson/Buffa, College Physics, Sixth Edition. Copyright ©
2007. Reprinted by permission of Pearson Education.)
coefficient of expansion may vary slightly for different
temperature ranges, but this variation is usually negligible for common applications, and a is considered to be
constant.
By Eq. 16.1, a is defined in terms of experimentally
measurable quantities:
a5
DL
Lo DT
(16.2)
Hence, by measuring the initial length Lo of an object (for
example, a metal rod) at an initial temperature To and the
change in its length DL for a corresponding temperature
change DT, a can be computed.
This development may be extended to two dimensions. The linear expansion expression [Eq. 16.1] may be
written
L 5 Lo 1 1 1 aDT 2
(16.3)
and for an isotropic material, its area is A 5 L 3 L, or
A 5 L2
5 L2o 1 1 1 aDT 2 2
5 Ao 1 1 1 2aDT 1 a2DT2 2
where Ao 5 L2o . Since typical a’s are of the order of 1026 / °C,
the a2 term may be dropped with negligible error, and to a
good approximation,
A 5 Ao 1 1 1 2aDT 2
(16.4)
Comparing this expression with Eq. 16.3, the thermal
coefficient of area expansion is seen to be approximately
twice the coefficient of linear expansion (that is, 2a).
A similar development can be carried out for the coefficient of volume expansion, which is approximately equal
to 3a.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
1. A typical arrangement for determining thermal coefficients of linear expansion is shown in ● Fig. 16.3.
The apparatus consists of a steam jacket with a micrometer attachment for measuring DL of a metal
rod. A thermometer in the steam jacket measures the
temperature of the rod. Steam is supplied to the jacket
by a steam generator, and a beaker is used to catch the
condensate.
At the initial temperature To, the length of the rod is Lo. At some higher
temperature T, the rod has expanded to a length L, and
the change in length is DL 5 L 2 Lo for the temperature
change DT.
Figure 16.2 Linear thermal expansion.
2. Before assembling the apparatus, measure the lengths
Lo of the metal rods with a meter stick to the nearest
0.1 mm, and record these lengths in the data table. Avoid
handling the rods with your bare hands in order not to
raise their temperature. Use a paper towel or cloth.
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EXPERIMENT 16
(a)
/ The Thermal Coefficient of Linear Expansion
253
(b)
Figure 16.3 Linear thermal expansion apparatus. (a) The heat of steam admitted to the steam jacket causes a metal rod to
expand. Rods of different metals may be used. (b) The expansion is measured with a dial indicator. (Photos Courtesy of
Sargent-Welch.)
3. Assemble the apparatus, placing one of the rods in the
steam jacket. Initially, have one end of the rod placed
firmly against the fixed end screw and the other end
not touching the micrometer screw.
Carefully turn the micrometer screw until it just
makes contact with the rod. Avoid mechanical backlash
(and electrical spark-gap ionization, see below) by always turning the screw toward the rod just before reading. Do not force the screw. Record the micrometer
setting. Do this three times and take the average as the
initial setting. As soon as the initial micrometer reading
is taken, read and record the initial temperature To.
(The linear expansion apparatus may be equipped
with an electrical circuit that uses a bell, light, or
voltmeter to indicate when contact is made. The
averaging process is unnecessary in this case.)
4. Turn the micrometer screw back from the end of
the rod several millimeters to allow for the thermal
expansion of the rod with increasing temperature.
With the steam generator about one-half full, turn on
the hot plate (or light the Bunsen burner) and boil the
water so that steam passes through the jacket. The
thermometer in the steam jacket should just touch the
metal rod.
Allow steam to pass through the jacket until the
thermometer reading stabilizes (several minutes).
When equilibrium has been reached, record the thermometer reading. Then carefully advance the micrometer screw until it touches the end of the rod, and
record the micrometer setting. Do this three times,
and take the average of the micrometer readings unless contact is indicated by electrical circuit. Turn off
the heat source.
5. Repeat Procedures 3 and 4 for the other metal rods.
Caution: Be careful not to burn yourself with the
condensed hot water in the steam jacket or the hot rod
when you remove it. Take proper precautions.
6. Compute DL and DT, and find the coefficient of linear
expansion for each metal. Compare these a’s with the
accepted values given in Appendix A, Table A3, by
computing the percent errors.
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E X P E R I M E N T
1 6
The Thermal Coefficient
of Linear Expansion
Laboratory Report
DATA TABLE
Purpose: To determine the thermal coefficients of expansion of metal samples.
Initial
length
Lo (
)
Initial
Final
micrometer micrometer
setting
setting
DL
(
)
Initial
temp.
To (
)
Final
temp.
T(
)
DT
(
)
a
meas.
(
)
a
accepted
(
)
1. Type of rod
_________
2. Type of rod
_________
3. Type of rod
_________
Calculations
(show work)
Metal
Don’t forget units
Percent error
(continued)
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The Thermal Coefficient of Linear Expansion
Laboratory Report
QUESTIONS
1. What are the probable sources of error in this experiment? Which will cause the largest error?
2. Would the numerical values of the thermal coefficients of linear expansion have been the
same if the temperatures had been measured in degrees Fahrenheit? Explain, and give an
example.
3. For a contraction with a negative fractional change, would the coefficient of thermal
expansion be negative? Explain.
4. When a mercury-in-glass thermometer is placed in hot water, the thermometer reading first
drops slightly and then rises. Explain why.
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The Thermal Coefficient of Linear Expansion
Laboratory Report
5. If flat strips of iron and brass were bonded together and this bimetallic strip were heated,
what would be observed? Justify your answer, and draw a sketch of the situation. (Hint:
See Appendix A, Table A3, for a’s.)
6. A Pyrex graduated cylinder has a volume of exactly 200 mL at 0 ºC. If its temperature is
increased to 100 ºC, will its volume increase or decrease? Compute the change in volume.
7. Assume a metal rod with an initial length Lo is heated through a temperature increase of
DT to a length L1 and then cooled to its initial temperature—that is, through a temperature
decrease of –DT (same DT increase and decrease). Call the final length of the rod L2 after
this thermal cycle.
(a) Show that Eq. 16.3 implies that L2 5 Lo f1 2 (aDT)2g, that is, L2 ? Lo.
(b) What is the implication if the rod were taken through a number of such thermal cycles?
(continued)
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Laboratory Report
(c) Obviously, something is wrong. Can you explain what it is? (Hint: Think of basis, or
reference. For example, if you had an investment that appreciated 100% in value one
day, and you lost 100% of your investment the next, would you still have any money
left?)
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E X P E R I M E N T
1 7
Specific Heats of Metals
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. Distinguish between heat capacity and specific heat.
2. Why is the specific heat of water equal to unity, that is, 1.0 cal/g-°C or
1.0 kcal/kg-°C?
3. Given that the specific heat of one material is twice that of another, compare the
relative amounts of heat required to raise the temperature of equal masses of
each material by 1 °C.
4. Say the same amount of heat was added to samples of the materials in Question 3,
and each sample had the same increase in temperature. Compare the relative
masses of the samples.
(continued)
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1 7
Advance Study Assignment
5. What is the method of mixtures, and how is it used to determine specific heat?
6. On what does the accuracy of the method of mixtures depend? That is, what
are possible sources of error? Would these be random or systematic errors?
(See Experiment 1.)
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Specific Heats of Metals
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
defi nition, the specifi c heat of a given material can be
determined by adding a known amount of heat to a
known mass of material and noting the corresponding
temperature change. It is the purpose of this experiment
to determine the specific heats of some common metals
by calorimetry methods.
After performing this experiment and analyzing the
data, you should be able to:
Different substances require different amounts of heat to
produce a given temperature change. For example, about
three and one-half times as much heat is needed to raise
the temperature of 1 kg of iron through a given temperature interval, DT, as is needed to raise the temperature of
1 kg of lead by the same amount.
This material behavior is characterized quantitatively
by specific heat, which is the amount of heat necessary to
raise the temperature of a unit mass of a substance by one
unit temperature interval, that is, to raise 1 gram or 1 kilogram of a substance 1 degree Celsius. Thus, in the previous
example, iron has a greater specific heat than does lead.
The specific heat of a material is specific, or characteristic, for that material. As can be seen from the
1. Tell what is meant by the specific heat of a substance,
and compare the effects of different specific heats.
2. Calculate the heat necessary to raise the temperature
of a given mass of a substance a particular number
of degrees.
3. Describe and explain calorimetry and the method
of mixtures.
•
•
•
•
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
•
•
•
•
•
Calorimeter
Boiler and stand
Hot plate or Bunsen burner and striker
Two thermometers (0 °C to 110 °C)
Two kinds of metal (shot form or slugs with
attached strings)
Laboratory balance
Ice
Safety glasses
Strainer
which is the heat capacity per unit mass of a substance.
Thus, Eq. 17.1 becomes DQ 5 mcDT, and
THEORY
The change in temperature, DT , of a substance is proportional to the amount of heat, DQ, added (or removed)
from it:
c5
DQ ~ DT
The specific heat is then the amount of heat required to
change the temperature of 1 g of a substance 1 °C.
The calorie (cal) unit of heat is defined as the amount of
heat required to raise the temperature of 1 g of water 1 °C.
By definition, then, water has a specific heat of 1 cal/g-°C.
(17.1)
where the constant of proportionality C is called the heat
capacity of the substance.
However, the amount of heat required to change the
temperature of an object is also proportional to the mass of
the object. Hence, it is convenient to define a specific heat
capacity (or simply specific heat) c:
c5
C
m
(17.3)
(specific heat)
In equation form, we may write
DQ 5 CDT
DQ
mDT
c5
DQ
1 cal
5
5 1 cal/g-°C.
mDT
(1 g)(1 oC)
[A kilocalorie (kcal) is the unit of heat defined as the
amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 kg
of water by 1 °C. In these units, water has a specific heat
of 1 kcal/kg-°C, or, in SI units, 4.18 3 103 J/kg-°C. Your
instructor may recommend that you use one of these units.]
(17.2)
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/ Specific Heats of Metals
Metal shot or a piece of metal (right) is heated with boiling water
in the container on the hot plate. The metal is then placed in a known amount of water in the calorimeter, which insulates
the system from losing heat. The inner calorimeter cup is shown with its dark, insulating ring lying in front of the outer cup.
A thermometer and stirrer extend through the calorimeter cover. (Cengage Learning.)
Figure 17.1 Apparatus for measurement of specific heats.
The specific heat of a material can be determined
experimentally by measuring the temperature change of
a given mass of material produced by a quantity of heat.
This is done indirectly by a calorimetry procedure known
as the method of mixtures.
If several substances at various temperatures are
brought together, the hotter substances lose heat and the
colder substances gain heat until all the substances reach
a common equilibrium temperature. If the system is insulated so that no heat is lost to or gained from the surroundings, then, by the conservation of energy, the heat lost is
equal to the heat gained.
In this experiment, hot metal is added to water in a
calorimeter cup, and the mixture is stirred until the system
is in thermal equilibrium. The calorimeter insulates the
system from losing heat (● Fig. 17.1). By the conservation
of energy, the heat lost by the metal is equal to the heat
gained by the water and cup and stirrer. In equation form,
heat lost 5 heat gained
or
Solving for cm,
cm 5
(mwcw 1 mcsccs)(Tf 2 Tw)
mm(Tm 2 Tf)
(17.4)
where Tf is the final intermediate equilibrium temperature
of the system. The other subscripts indicate the masses,
specific heats, and initial temperatures of the respective
components. Hence, Eq. 17.4 may be used to determine
the specific heat, cm, of the metal if all the other quantities
are known.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
1. Weigh out 400 g to 500 g (0.4 kg to 0.5 kg) of one
kind of dry metal shot. [Do this by first determining
the mass of the empty boiler cup (in which the metal
shot is heated), and then adding an appropriate amount
of metal shot to the cup and reweighing.]
Record the mass of the metal, mm, and the room
temperature, Tr, in the data table. Your instructor may
prefer to use a solid piece of metal with a string attached instead of metal shot. In this case, it is necessary to weigh only the piece of metal.
DQmetal 5 DQwater 1 DQcup and stirrer
and
mmcm 1 Tm 2 Tf 2 5 mwcw 1 Tf 5 Tw 2 1 mcsccs 1 Tf 2 Tw 2
5 1 mwcw 1 mcsccs 2 1 Tf 2 Tw 2
2. Insert a thermometer well into the metal shot (or into
the cup with a piece of metal, if used), place the cup and
shot in the boiler, and start heating the boiler water.
Caution: If a mercury thermometer is used, special
care must be taken. If the thermometer should break
and mercury spill into the hot metal, immediately
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EXPERIMENT 17
notify your instructor. The cup should be removed from
the room (to an exhaust hood or outdoors). Mercury
fumes are highly toxic.
The boiler should be about half full of water. Keep
steam or water from dampening the dry metal by
shielding the cup with a cardboard lid (with a hole for
the thermometer).
3. While the boiler is heating, determine and record
the mass of the inner calorimeter cup and the stirrer
(without the ring). Record the total mass, mcs. Also,
note and record the type of metal and specific heat of
the cup and stirrer, which is usually stamped on the
cup.* (The specific heat may be found in Appendix A,
Table A4, if it is not stamped on the cup.)
4. Fill the calorimeter cup about one-half to two-thirds
full of cold tap water, and weigh the cup, stirrer, and
water to determine the mass of the water, mw.
(If a solid piece of metal is used, which usually
has less mass than the recommended amount of shot,
less water should be used so as to obtain an appreciable DT temperature change. This may also be the case
at high elevations, where the temperature of boiling
water is substantially less than 100 °C).
Place the calorimeter cup with the water and stirrer in the calorimeter jacket, and put on the lid, with a
thermometer extending into the water.
5. After the water in the boiler boils and the thermometer in the metal has stabilized (allow several minutes),
read and record the temperature of the metal, Tm.
*If the cup and stirrer are not of the same material, they must be
treated separately, and the denominator term in Eq. (17.4) becomes
1 mwcw 1 mccc 1 mscs 2 1 Tf 2 Tw 2 .
/ Specific Heats of Metals
263
Start with the water and stirrer in the cup at a temperature Tw several degrees below room temperature
Tr. Adjust the temperature of the inner calorimeter cup
and its contents by placing it in a beaker of ice water.
Measure and record the temperature Tw.
6. Remove the thermometer from the metal. Then remove the lid from the calorimeter and quickly, but
carefully, lift the cup with the hot metal from the
boiler and pour the metal shot into the calorimeter cup
with as little splashing as possible so as not to splash
out and lose any water. (If a solid piece of metal is
used, carefully lower the metal piece into the calorimeter cup by means of the attached string.)
Replace the lid with the thermometer, and stir the
mixture gently. The thermometer should not touch the
metal. While stirring, watch the thermometer and record the temperature when a maximum equilibrium
temperature is reached (Tf).
For best results, the final temperature Tf should be
above room temperature Tr by about as many degrees
as Tw was below it. If this is not approximately the
case, repeat Procedures 4 through 6, adjusting Tw until
the relationship Tf 2 Tr < Tr 2 Tw is satisfied.
7. Repeat Procedures 1 through 6 for another kind of
metal sample. Make certain that you use fresh water
in the calorimeter cup. (Dump the previous metal
shot and water into a strainer in a sink so that it may
be dried and used by others doing the experiment
later.)
8. Compute the specific heat of each metal, using
Eq. (17.4). Look up the accepted values in Appendix A,
Table A4, and compute the percent errors.
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Specific Heats of Metals
Laboratory Report
DATA TABLE
Purpose: To determine the specific heats of metal samples.
Type
of
metal
Calculations
(show work)
Mass of
metal
mm (
)
Mass of
calorimeter
and stirrer
mcs (
)
Room temperature Tr ___________________
Specific heat
of calorimeter
and stirrer
ccs (
)
Mass of
water
mw
(
)
Tm
(
Tw
)
(
Tf
)
(
)
Type of metal
cm (experimental)
cm (accepted)
Percent
error
________________
________________
________________
________________
________________
________________
________________
________________
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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Specific Heats of Metals
Laboratory Report
QUESTIONS
1. (a) The percent errors of your experimental values of the specific heats may be quite large.
Identify several sources of experimental error.
(b) Why does it improve the accuracy of the experiment if Tf 2 Tr < Tr 2 Tw?
2. The specific heat of aluminum is 0.22 cal/g-°C. What is the value of the specific heat in
(a) kcal/kg-°C, (b) J/kg-°C? (Show your calculations.)
3. (a) If wet shot had been poured into the calorimeter cup, how would the experimental value
of the specific heat have been affected?
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Specific Heats of Metals
Laboratory Report
(b) If some water had splashed out as you were pouring dry shot into the cup, how would
the experimental value of the specific heat have been affected?
4. In solar heating applications, heat energy is stored in some medium until it is needed
(for example, to heat a home at night). Should this medium have a high or a low specific
heat? Suggest a substance that would be appropriate for use as a heat-storage medium,
and explain its advantages.
5. Explain why specific heat is specific and how it gives a relative indication of molecular
configuration and bonding.
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Archimedes’ Principle:
Buoyancy and Density
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. Describe the physical reason for the buoyant force in terms of pressure.
2. Show that the buoyant force is given by Fb 5 rf gVf using the development in the
Theory section.
3. Give the conditions on densities that determine whether an object will sink or float
in a fluid.
4. Distinguish between density and specific gravity, and explain why it is convenient to
express these quantities in cgs units.
(continued)
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Advance Study Assignment
5. Describe how the density of an object less dense than water can be determined using
Archimedes’ principle. How about the density of a liquid?
6. Why is it important to make certain that no air bubbles adhere to objects during the
submerged weighing procedures? How would the experimental results be affected if
bubbles were present? Is this a random or systematic error? (See Experiment 1.)
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Archimedes’ Principle:
Buoyancy and Density
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
After performing this experiment and analyzing the
data, you should be able to:
Some objects float and others sink in a given fluid—a liquid
or a gas. The fact that an object floats means it is “buoyed
up” by a force equal to its weight. Archimedes (287–212
BCE), a Greek scientist, deduced that the upward buoyant
force acting on a floating object is equal to the weight of the
fluid it displaces. Thus, an object sinks if its weight exceeds
that of the fluid it displaces.
In this experiment, Archimedes’ principle will be
studied in an application: determining the densities and
specific gravities of solid and liquid samples.
1. Tell whether an object will sink or float in a fluid,
knowing the density of each.
2. Distinguish between density and specific gravity.
3. Describe how the densities of objects that sink or float
may be determined experimentally.
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
• Metal cylinder, irregularly shaped metal object, or
metal sinker
• Waxed block of wood
• Saltwater solution and alcohol
• String
• Hydrometer and cylinder
• Triple-beam pan balance with swing platform (or
single-beam double-pan balance with swing platform
and set of weights).
• Overflow can (or graduated cylinder and eye dropper)
• Two beakers
is sinking in the atmosphere, whereas other objects float
(● Fig. 18.1).
Objects float because they are buoyant, or are buoyed
up. That is, when submerged there must be an upward
force that is greater than the downward force of the object’s
THEORY
When placed in a fluid, an object either floats or sinks.
This is most commonly observed in liquids, particularly
water, in which “light” objects float and “heavy” objects
sink. But the same effect occurs for gases. A falling object
Figure 18.1 Gas buoyancy. Archimedes’ principle applies to fluids—liquids or gases. Here, a helium-filled blimp floats in air.
(Bill Aron/PhotoEdit.)
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/ Archimedes’ Principle: Buoyancy and Density
If the object is completely submersed in the fluid, then
Vo 5 Vf, and dividing one equation by the other yields
rf
Fb
5
ro
wo
F
h1
p1 ρfgh1
p2 ρfgh2
Fb 5 a
rf
bw
ro o
(18.1)
Hence, whether the buoyant force (Fb) or the weight of the
object (wo) is greater depends on the densities, and
h2
mg
or
Fb
p ρfg(h2 h1)
Figure 18.2 Buoyancy. A buoyant force arises from the
difference in pressure at different depths. The pressure
at the bottom of the submerged block (p2) is greater than
that at the top (p1), so there is a (buoyant) force directed
upward (the arrow is shifted for clarity).
weight, and on release the object will be buoyed up and
float. When floating, the upward buoyant force is equal to
the object’s weight. The upward force resulting from an object being wholly or partially immersed in a fluid is called
the buoyant force. How the buoyant force arises can be understood by considering a buoyant object being held under
the surface of a liquid (● Fig. 18.2).
The pressures on the upper and lower surfaces of
the block are given by the pressure-depth equations
p1 5 rfgh1 and p2 5 rfgh2, respectively, where rf is the
density of the fluid. Thus there is a pressure difference,
Dp 5 p2 2 p1 5 rfg(h2 2 h1), which gives an upward
force (the buoyant force). In this case, the buoyant force is
balanced by the downward applied force and the weight of
the block.
It is not difficult to derive an expression for the magnitude of the buoyant force. If both the top and bottom areas of the block are A, the buoyant force (Fb) is given by
Fb 5 DpA 5 rfgVf, where Vf is the volume of the fluid displaced. But rfVf is simply the mass of the fluid displaced by
the block (recall that r 5 m/V). Hence the magnitude of the
buoyant force is equal to the weight of the fluid displaced
by the block. This general result is known as Archimedes’
principle:
An object immersed wholly or partially in a fluid experiences a buoyant force equal in magnitude to the weight of
the volume of fluid that it displaces.
Thus the magnitude of the buoyant force depends only on
the weight of the fluid displaced by the object, not on the
weight of the object.*
Whether an object will float or sink can be shown
mathematically as follows. The weight of an object is wo 5
mog 5 rogVo, where Vo is the volume of the object and ro 5
mo/Vo. Similarly, the weight of the fluid displaced by the
object, or the buoyant force, is Fb 5 wf 5 mfg 5 rfgVf.
1. An object will float in a fluid if the density of the object,
ro, is less than the density of the fluid, rf , that is, ro , rf;
2. An object will sink if the object’s density is greater
than that of the fluid, ro . rf;
3. An object will float in equilibrium at any submerged
depth where it is placed if its density is equal to that of
the fluid, ro 5 rf.
Specific Gravity and Density
Specific gravity will be used in the study and determination
of density. The specific gravity of a solid or liquid is defined
as the ratio of the weight of a given volume of the substance
(ws) to the weight of an equal volume of water (ww):
specific gravity (sp. gr.) 5
5
ws
ww
weight of a substance (of given volume)
weight of an equal volume of water
(18.2)
where the subscripts s and w refer to the substance and
water, respectively.
Specific gravity is a density-type designation that uses
water as a comparison standard. Since it is a weight ratio,
specific gravity has no units. The specific gravity can also
be expressed as a ratio of densities.
sp. gr. 5
rs
rw
(18.3)
For practical purposes, the density of water is 1 g/cm3
over the temperature range in which water is liquid,
sp. gr. 5
rs (g/cm3 )
rs
5 rs
5
rw
1 (g/cm3 )
*Archimedes (287–212 BCE) was a Greek scientist with many accomplishments. He is probably best known from the legend of determining whether
a gold crown made for the king was pure gold or whether the craftsman had
substituted a quantity of silver for an equivalent amount of gold. According
to a Roman account, while pondering the question Archimedes went to the
baths, and on immersing himself in a full bath noticed that water flowed out,
presumably equal to his body volume. Archimedes recognized a solution to
the problem and excitedly jumped out of the bath, running home (unclothed)
through the streets shouting Eureka! Eureka! (Greek for “I have found it!”).
Supposedly he then put quantities of pure gold and silver equal in weight to
the king’s crown in basins full of water. More water overflowed for the silver
than the gold. Testing the crown, more overflowed than for pure gold, implying some silver content. Although Archimedes’ solution to the problem involved density and volume, it may have gotten him thinking about buoyancy.
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EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
sp. gr. 5 rs
(18.4)
That is, the specific gravity is equal to the numerical value
of the density of a substance when expressed in g/cm3.
For example, the density of mercury is 13.6 g/cm3, and
mercury has a specific gravity of 13.6. A specific gravity of
13.6 indicates that mercury is 13.6 times more dense than
water, rs 5 (sp. gr.)rw, or that a sample of mercury will
weigh 13.6 times as much as an equal volume of water.
Archimedes’ principle can be used to determine the
specific gravity and density of a submerged object. By
Eq. (18.2),
sp. gr. 5
vo
vo
5
vw
Fb
(18.5)
where vo is the weight of the object, vw is the weight of the
water it displaces, and, by Archimedes’ principle, vw 5 Fb.
For a heavy object that sinks, the net force as it does
so is equal to vo 2 Fb. (Why?) If attached to a scale while
submerged, it would have a measured apparent weight
v or and v or 5 v o 5 Fb. Thus Fb 5 v o 5 v or, and Eq. 18.5
may be written
sp. gr. 5
A. Direct Proof of Archimedes’ Principle
1. Weigh the metal sample and record its mass, mo, and
the type of metal in the laboratory report. Also, determine the mass of an empty beaker, mb, and record. Fill
the overflow can with water, and place it on the balance
platform. Attach a string to the sample and suspend it
from the balance arm, as illustrated in ● Fig. 18.3.*
2. The overflow from the can when the sample is immersed is caught in the beaker. Take a mass reading
mro of the submerged object. Make certain that no
bubbles adhere to the object. (It is instructive to place
the overflow can on a second balance, if available, and
note that the “weight” of the overflow does not change
as the sample is submerged.)
Next weigh the beaker and water so as to determine
the mass of the displaced water, mw. (If the can does not
fit on the balance platform, first suspend and immerse
the object in the full overflow can, and catch the overflow in the beaker and find mw. Then attach the sample
to the balance arm and suspend it in a beaker of water
that will fit on the balance platform to find mro.)
vo
vo
5
vw
v o 2 v or
or, in terms of mass measured on a balance (m 5 v /g),
sp. gr. 5
mo
5 ro
mo 2 mro
(18.6)
(of a heavy object that sinks)
where ro is the magnitude of the density of the object in g/cm3.
This provides us with an experimental method to determine
the specific gravity and density of an object that sinks.
To measure the specific gravity and density of an object
that floats, or is less dense than water, using Archimedes’
principle, it is necessary to use another object of sufficient
weight and density to submerge the light object completely.
Letting v9 indicate a submerged weight, v 1 5 v o 1 v sr
is the measured weight of the object (vo) and the sinker
(v9s), with only the sinker submerged, and v 2 5 v or 1 v sr is
the measured weight when both object and sinker are submerged. Then
v 1 2 v 2 5 (v o 1 v sr) 2 (v or 1 v rs) 5 v o 2 v or
or, in terms of mass,
m1 2 m2 5 mo 2 mro
and the specific gravity and density can be found from
Eq. 18.6. That is,
sp. gr. 5
mo
5 ro
m1 2 m2
(of a heavy object that sinks)
(18.7)
The arrangement for
proving Archimedes’ principle. The weight of the displaced liquid that overflows into the beaker is equal to the
reduction in weight of the metal sample when it is submerged, which is equal to the buoyant force.
Figure 18.3 Archimedes’ principle.
*You may use an alternative method if no overflow can is available. Attach
a string to the sample and place it in a graduated cylinder. Fill the cylinder
with water until the sample is completely submerged. Add water (with an
eyedropper) until the water level is at a specific reference mark on the cylinder (for example, 35 mL). Remove the sample, shaking any drops of water back into the cylinder, and weigh the cylinder and water (mb). Refill the
cylinder to the reference mark and weigh it again (mw 1 mb). The mass of
the “overflow” water is then the difference between these measurements.
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3. The buoyant force is then the difference between
the object’s true weight and its submerged weight,
Fb 5 mog 2 mro g. According to Archimedes’ principle,
the magnitude of the buoyant force Fb should equal the
weight of the displaced water:
Fb 1 v w 1 mwg
or
Fb 5 1 mo 2 mro 2 g 5 mwg
Compute the buoyant force, and compare it with the
weight of the displaced water by finding the percent
difference.
B. Density of a Heavy Solid Object (ro + rw)
4. Determine the specific gravity and density of the metal
sample. This can be computed using the data from
Part A.
C. Density of a Light Solid Object (ro * rw)
section. First, measure the mass of the wooden block
alone (in air). Then set up as in Fig. 18.3.
Tie the sinker to the wood block, and tie the block to
the lower hook of the balance. With the beaker empty,
check that the sinker does not touch the bottom of the
beaker and that the top of the wooden block is below
the top of the beaker. Pour enough water into the beaker to cover the sinker, weigh, add more water until
the wooden block is submerged, and then weigh again.
Make certain that no air bubbles adhere to the objects
during the submerged weighing procedures. The block
is waxed so that it does not become waterlogged.
D. Density of a Liquid (r/)
A convenient way to measure the density of a liquid is
with a hydrometer, which is a weighted glass bulb and
a calibrated stem that floats in liquid. The higher the
bulb floats, the greater the density of a liquid. To gain
familiarity with a hydrometer, measure the densities of
water, saltwater, and alcohol, and record in the Data
Table for Part D. Comment on their relative densities.
5. Determine the specific gravity and density of the
wooden block by the procedure described in the Theory
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Archimedes’ Principle:
Buoyancy and Density
Laboratory Report
A. Direct Proof of Archimedes’ Principle
Buoyant force
(in newtons) ___________________
Type of metal ___________________
Mass of metal mo in air ___________________
Weight of displaced water
(in newtons) ___________________
Mass of beaker mb ___________________
Mass of metal mro
submerged in water ___________________
Percent difference ___________________
Mass of beaker and
displaced water mw 1 mb ___________________
Mass of displaced
water mw ___________________
Calculations
(show work)
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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Laboratory Report
B. Density of a Heavy Solid (ro + rw)
Calculations
(show work)
Specific gravity ___________________
Density ___________________
C. Density of a Light Solid (ro * rw)
Mass of block in air ___________________
Specific gravity ___________________
Mass of block and sinker
with only sinker
submerged ___________________
Density ___________________
Mass of block and sinker
with both submerged ___________________
Calculations
(show work)
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Archimedes’ Principle: Buoyancy and Density
Laboratory Report
D. Density of a Liquid (r/)
Measured density of water
_________________
Measured density of saltwater _________________
Measured density of alcohol _________________
Comments:
QUESTIONS
1. Look up the density of the metal of the object used in Parts A and B of the procedure,
and compare it with the experimental value. If there is any difference, comment on the
reason(s).
(continued)
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Laboratory Report
2. In Part B, the string will cause error. When does it lead to an experimental density
that is too high? Too low?
3. Discuss the situation that occurs when an object is immersed in a fluid that has the
same density as the object.
4. (a) Explain how a submarine is caused to submerge and surface without the use of
its propulsion propeller and fins.
(b) Which has the greater density, (1) ice or water, (2) milk or cream?
5. A block of wood floats in a beaker of water. According to Archimedes’ principle, the
block experiences an upward buoyant force. If the beaker with the water and floating
block were weighed, would the measured weight be less than the sum of the weights
of the individual components? Explain.
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Archimedes’ Principle: Buoyancy and Density
Laboratory Report
6. A person can lift 45 kg (< 100 lb). Using the experimental value of the specific
gravity for the metal object in Part B, how many cubic meters of the metal could
the person lift (a) in air, (b) in water? How many actual kilograms of metal is this
in air, and in water?
7. Explain the principle and construction of a hydrometer. What is the purpose of the
common measurements of the specific gravities of an automobile’s radiator coolant
and battery electrolyte?
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Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
1 9
Fields and Equipotentials
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
A. Electric Field
1. What is an electric field, and what does it tell you?
2. What are “lines of force,” and what force is it?
3. What are equipotentials, and how are they experimentally determined? What is their
relationship to the electric field lines?
(continued)
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Advance Study Assignment
B. Magnetic Field
4. What is a magnetic field, how is it defined, and what does it tell you?
5. Does the magnetic B field have the same relationship to electric charge as the electric
E field? Explain.
6. How may a magnetic pole be moved in a magnetic field without doing work?
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INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
(1791–1867) introduced the concept of lines of force as an aid
in visualizing the magnitude and direction of an electric field.
Similarly, the magnetic force per unit pole is a vector
quantity called the magnetic field intensity, or magnetic
field (B). In this case, the field is mapped out by using the
pole of a magnetic compass.
In this experiment, the concept of fields will be investigated and some electric and magnetic field configurations
will be determined experimentally.
After performing this experiment and analyzing the
data, you should be able to:
When buying groceries, we are often interested in the price
per pound. Knowing this, the price for a given amount of
an item can be determined. Analogously, it is convenient
to know the electric force per unit charge at points in space
due to an electric charge configuration, or for the magnetic
case, the magnetic force per unit pole or “moving charge.”
Knowing these, the electric force or magnetic force an
interacting object would experience at different locations
can easily be calculated.
The electric force per unit charge is a vector quantity called the electric field intensity, or simply the electric
field (E). By determining the electric force on a test charge
at various points in the vicinity of a charge configuration,
the electric field may be “mapped,” or represented graphically, by lines of force. The English scientist Michael Faraday
1. Describe clearly the concept of a force field.
2. Explain lines of force and the associated physical
interpretations.
3. Distinguish between lines of force and equipotentials,
and describe their relationships to work.
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
• Single-throw switch
• 3 sheets of Cartesian graph paper
A. Electric Field
•
•
•
•
•
•
Field mapping board and probes
Conducting sheets with grids
Conducting paint
Connecting wires
1.5-V battery (or 10-V dc source)
Galvanometer [or high-resistance voltmeter or
multimeter, or vacuum-tube voltmeter (VTVM)
with two-point contact field probe*]
B. Magnetic Field
•
•
•
•
•
2 bar magnets and 1 horseshoe magnet
Iron filings
3 sheets of paper or overhead transparency material
Small compass
3 sheets of Cartesian graph paper or regular paper
*Leads from the dc input of an oscilloscope work nicely.
positive test charge qo. In the case of the electric field associated with a single-source charge q, the magnitude of the
electric field a distance r away from the charge is
THEORY
A. Electric Field
The magnitude of the electrostatic force between two point
charges q1 and q2 is given by Coulomb’s law:
F5
kq1q2
r2
E5
kqoq
kq
F
5
5 2
2
qo
qor
r
(19.2)
(electric field)
(19.1)
The direction of the electric field may be determined by
the law of charges—that is, in the direction of the force
experienced by the positive test charge.
The electric field vectors for several series of radial
points from a positive source charge are illustrated in
● Fig. 19.1a. Notice that the lengths (magnitudes) of
the vectors are smaller the greater the distance from the
charge. (Why?)
By drawing lines through the points in the direction of
the field vectors, the lines of force are formed (Fig. 19.1b),
where r is the distance between the charges and the constant k 5 9.0 3 109 N-m2/C2. The direction of the force
on a charge may be determined by the law of charges or
charge-force law:
Like-charges repel, and unlike charges attract.
The magnitude E of the electric field (E) is defined
as the electrical force per unit charge, or E 5 F/qo (N/C).
By convention, the electric field is determined by using a
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EXPERIMENT 19
/ Fields and Equipotentials
Figure 19.1 Electric field. (a) Electric field vectors near a positive charge. (b) Lines of force with equipotentials for a positive
charge. (c) An electric dipole and its electric field. The direction of the electric field at a particular location is tangent to the line
of force through that point, as illustrated on the bottom line of force.
which give a graphical representation of the electric field.
The direction of the electric field at a particular location is
tangent to the line of force through that point (Fig. 19.1c).
The magnitudes of the electric field are not customarily
listed, only the direction of the field lines. However, the
closer together the lines of force, the stronger the field.
If a positive charge were released in the vicinity of a
stationary positive source charge, it would move along a line
of force in the direction indicated (away from the source
charge). A negative charge would move along the line of
force in the opposite direction. Once the electric field for a
particular charge configuration is known, we tend to neglect
the charge configuration itself, since the effect of the configuration is given by the field.
Since a free charge moves in an electric field by the
action of the electric force, work (W 5 Fd) is done by
the field in moving charges from one point to another (for
example, from A to B in Fig. 19.1b).
To move a positive charge from B to A would require
work supplied by an external force to move the charge
against the electric field (force). The work W per charge qo
in moving the charge between two points in an electric
field is called the potential difference, DV, between the
points:
DVBA 5 VB 2 VA 5
W
qo
(19.3)
(It can be shown that the potential at a particular point a
distance r from the source charge q is V 5 kq/r. See your
textbook.)
If a charge is moved along a path at right angles or
perpendicular to the field lines, no work is done (W 5 0),
since there is no force component along the path. Then
along such a path (dashed-line paths in Fig. 19.1b), DV 5
VB 2 VC 5 W/qo 5 0, and VC 5 VB. Hence, the potential is
constant along paths perpendicular to the field lines. Such
paths are called equipotentials. (In three dimensions, the
path is along an equipotential surface.)
An electric field may be mapped experimentally by
determining either the field lines (of force) or the equipotential lines. Static electric fields are difficult to measure,
and field lines are more easily determined by measuring
small electric currents (flow of charges) maintained in a
conducting medium between charge configurations in the
form of metal electrodes.
The steady-state electric field lines closely resemble
the static field that a like configuration of static charges
would produce. The current is measured in terms of the
voltage (potential) difference by a high-resistance voltmeter or multimeter (or VTVM).
In other instances, equipotentials are determined, and
hence the field lines, using a simple galvanometer as a
detector. When no current flows between two probe points,
as indicated by a zero deflection on the galvanometer, there
is no potential difference between the points (DV 5 0),
and the points are on an equipotential.
B. Magnetic Field
Analogous to an electric field, a magnetic field (B) was
originally defined as the magnetic force per unit pole. The
direction of the force at a particular location is that of the
force experienced by a north magnetic pole.
Just as the electric field may be mapped around an
electric charge, magnetic lines of force may be mapped
around a magnet. A single magnetic pole, or magnetic
monopole, has never been observed, so the magnetic field
is mapped using the north pole (by convention) of a magnetic dipole, for example, the magnetic needle of a compass. The torque on the compass needle resulting from the
magnetic force causes the needle to line up with the field,
and the north pole of the compass points in the direction
of the field (● Fig. 19.2). If the compass is moved in the
direction indicated by the north pole, the path of the compass traces out a field line.
Another observation is that an electric charge q moving nonparallel to a magnetic field experiences a force.
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EXPERIMENT 19
/ Fields and Equipotentials
285
The magnetic force causes a
compass needle to line up with the field, and the north pole
of the compass points in the direction of the field. If the
compass is moved in the direction indicated by the north
pole, the path of the compass needle traces out a magnetic
field line.
Figure 19.2 Magnetic field.
For the special case in which the velocity vector v of the
charge is perpendicular to the magnetic field B, the magnitude of the force is given by
F 5 qvB
This gives an expression for the strength (magnitude) of
the magnetic field in terms of familiar quantities:
B5
F
qv
Figure 19.3 Iron filing pattern for a bar magnet. The iron
filings become induced magnets and line up with the field,
as would a compass needle. (Courtesy of PSSC Physics,
D.C. Heath and Company with Educational Development
Center, Inc., Newton, Massachusetts.)
(19.4)
(magnetic field)
where the direction of B is perpendicular to the plane of v
and F. Note that the SI unit of magnetic field is N/A-m, or
tesla (T).*
The magnetic field may then be thought of as the magnetic force “per unit charge” per velocity. The B field has
the same form as that mapped out using compass-needle
poles.
It is instructive for comparative purposes to draw
equipotential lines perpendicular to the field lines, as in
the electric field case. No work would be done on a magnetic pole (or electric charge) when it is moved along these
equipotential lines. (Why?)
A common method of demonstrating a magnetic field is
to sprinkle iron filings over a paper or transparency material
covering a magnet (● Fig. 19.3). The iron filings become
induced magnets and line up with the field as would a compass needle. This method allows one to visualize the magnetic field configuration quickly.
*Other units of magnetic field are the weber/m 2 (Wb/m 2) and the
gauss (G). These units are named after early investigators of magnetic
phenomena.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
A. Electric Field
1. An electric field mapping setup is shown in ● Fig. 19.4a.
The apparatus consists of a flat board on which is placed
a sheet of carbonized conducting paper imprinted with
a grid. The sheet has an electrode configuration of conducting silver paint, which provides an electric field
when connected to a voltage source (for example, a
battery).
The common electrode configurations ordinarily
provided are two dots representing point charges of
an electric dipole configuration and two parallel linear
electrodes representing a two-dimensional cross section of a parallel-plate capacitor (Fig. 19.4b).
2. Draw the electric dipole configuration on a sheet of
graph paper to the same scale and coordinates as those
of the painted dipole on the imprinted grid on the
conducting sheet. Then place the dipole conducting
sheet on the board, and set the contact terminals firmly
on the painted electrode connections. If you are using
a galvanometer, do Procedures 3 through 7. If you are
using a voltmeter, do Procedures 8 through 12.
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EXPERIMENT 19
/ Fields and Equipotentials
(a)
(b)
Figure 19.4 Electric field mapping equipment. (a) Equipment for painting electrodes on conductive paper in preparation for mea-
suring voltages to map equipotentials. (b) A parallel-plate capacitor configuration on the board and an electric dipole configuration
to the right. (Photos Courtesy of Sargent-Welch.)
Galvanometer Measurements
3. Connect the probes to the galvanometer as shown in
Fig. 19.4b. The probes are used to locate points in
the field that are at equipotential. Connect the voltage
source (1.5-V battery) to the board terminals. Place a
switch in the circuit (not shown in the figure), and leave
it open until you are ready to take measurements.
Place the stationary probe on the electric dipole
sheet at some general point near the edge of the grid
area in the region between the electrodes. The potential at this point will serve as a reference potential.
Mark the probe position on your graph-paper map.
The movable probe is then used to determine the
location of a series of other points that have the same
potential. When the movable probe is at a point with the
same potential as that of the stationary reference probe,
no deflection will be observed on the galvanometer.
4. Close the switch and place the movable probe on the
conducting paper at some location an appreciable distance away from the stationary probe. Move the probe
until the galvanometer shows zero deflection (indicating a point of equipotential), and record this point on
the graph-paper map.
Locate a series of eight or ten points of the same
potential across the general field region, and draw a
dashed-line curve through these points on the graphpaper map.
5. Choose a new location for the reference probe, 2 to
3 cm from the previous reference position, and locate
another series of equipotential points. Continue this
procedure until you have mapped the field region.
Open the switch.
Draw curves perpendicular to the equipotential
lines on the graph-paper map to represent the electric
field lines. Do not forget to indicate the field direction
on the field lines.
6. Repeat the procedure for the parallel linear (plate)
electrode configuration. Be sure to investigate the
regions around the ends of the plate electrodes.
7. (Optional) Your instructor may wish to have you map
the electric field for a nonsymmetric electrode configuration or a configuration of your own choosing. These
can be prepared by painting the desired electrode configuration on a conducting sheet with silver paint.
Voltmeter Measurements
8. For the high-resistance voltmeter (or VTVM), the
field probe should have two contacts mounted about
2 cm apart. Connect the voltage source (10-V dc) to
the board terminals. Place a switch in the circuit (not
shown in Fig. 19.4b), and leave it open until you are
ready to take measurements.
Close the switch, and with the zeroed voltmeter
set on the 10-V scale, position the negative (2) contact
of the field probe near the negative electrode. Using the
negative probe point as a pivot, rotate the positive (1)
contact around the fixed negative contact until the position with the maximum meter reading is found.
Record the positions of the probe contacts on the
graph-paper map. (The sensitivity of the voltmeter
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EXPERIMENT 19
may be increased by switching to a lower scale.
A midscale reading is desirable.)
9. Using the second probe point as a new negative probe
point, repeat the procedure to determine another point
of maximum meter reading, and record. Continue this
procedure until the positive electrode is approached.
Draw a smooth curve through these points on the
graph-paper map.
Then, starting again at a new position near the negative electrode, repeat these procedures for another field
line. Trace out four to six field lines in this manner. Do
not forget to indicate the field direction on the lines.
10. Place the negative probe near the center of the field
region, and rotate the positive contact until a position
is found that gives a zero meter reading. Record
several of these points on the graph paper with a symbol different from that used for the field lines. Check
the zero on the voltmeter frequently, particularly when
changing scales.
Use the second point as a new pivot point, as
before, and determine a series of null (zero) points.
Draw a dashed-line curve through these equipotential
points. Determine three to five equipotential lines in
this manner.
11. Repeat this procedure for the parallel linear (plate)
electrode configuration. Be sure to investigate the
regions around the ends of the plate electrodes.
12. (Optional) Your instructor may wish to have you map
the electric field for a nonsymmetric electrode configuration or a configuration of your own choosing.
/ Fields and Equipotentials
287
These can be prepared by painting the desired electrode configuration on a conducting sheet with silver
paint.
B. Magnetic Field
13. Covering the magnets with sheets of paper or transparency material, sprinkle iron filings to obtain an
iron filing pattern for each of the arrangements shown
in ● Fig. 19.5 (Laboratory Report).
For the bar magnet arrangements, the magnets
should be separated by several centimeters, depending
on the pole strengths of the magnets. Experiment with
this distance so that there is enough space between the
ends of the magnets to get a good pattern.
14. Sketch the observed magnetic field patterns on Fig. 19.5.
After the patterns have been sketched, collect the iron
filings on a piece of paper and return them to the filing
container (recycling them for someone else’s later use).
Economy in the laboratory is important.
15. Place the magnets for each arrangement on a piece
of graph paper or regular paper. Draw an outline
of the magnets for each arrangement on the paper,
and label the poles N and S. Using a small compass,
trace out (marking on the paper) the magnetic field
lines as smooth curves. Draw enough field lines so
that the pattern of the magnetic field can be clearly
seen. Do not forget to indicate the field direction on
the lines.
16. Draw dashed-line curves perpendicular to the field
lines.
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Section
Date
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E X P E R I M E N T
1 9
Fields and Equipotentials
Laboratory Report
Attach graphs to Laboratory Report.
Figure 19.5
See Procedure Section B.
QUESTIONS
1. Directions of the fields are indicated on field lines. Why are no directions indicated on
equipotential lines?
2. For the dipole configuration, in what region(s) does the electric field have the greatest
intensity? Explain how you know from your map, and justify.
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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Fields and Equipotentials
Laboratory Report
3. Comment on the electric field of the parallel plates (a) between the plates, and (b) near the
edges of the plates.
4. Sketch the electric field for (a) a negative point charge near a positively charged plate, and
(b) two positive point charges.
5. Compare the electric fields and magnetic fields of the experimental arrangements.
Comment on any field similarities and differences.
6. Explain how a gravitational field might be mapped. Sketch the gravitational field for two
point masses a short distance apart.
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Section
Date
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E X P E R I M E N T
2 0
Ohm’s Law
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. What is the definition of electrical resistance?
2. What is an “ohmic” resistance? Are all resistances ohmic in nature?
3. In what ways are liquid and electrical circuits analogous?
4. For a series circuit, what is the terminal voltage of a battery or power supply equal to in
terms of the potential differences or voltage drops across circuit components?
(continued)
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2 0
Advance Study Assignment
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. What is a triangle-wave voltage function?
2. What is a nonohmic resistance? How can we distinguish between an ohmic
and a nonohmic resistance?
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2 0
Ohm’s Law
(constant voltage). The CI procedure looks at the voltagecurrent relationship not only for an ohmic resistance
but also for a nonohmic resistance. Steadily increasing
and decreasing voltages are obtained by using a signal
generator to produce a triangle-wave voltage.
OVERVIEW
Experiment 20 examines Ohm’s law by TI and CI procedures. In the TI procedure, an experimental circuit makes it
possible to investigate (1) the variation of current with
voltage, and (2) the variation of current and resistance
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
OBJECTIVES
One of the most frequently applied relationships in current electricity is that known as Ohm’s law. This relationship, discovered by the German physicist Georg Ohm
(1787–1854), is fundamental to the analysis of electrical
circuits. Basically, it relates the voltage (V) and current (I)
associated with a resistance (R).
Ohm’s law applies to many, but not all, materials.
Many materials show a constant resistance over a wide
range of applied voltages and are said to be “ohmic.”
Those that do not are said to be “nonohmic.” Common
circuit resistors are ohmic, which allows Ohm’s law to
be used in simple circuit analysis. As will be seen in the
theory section, Ohm’s law is really a special case of the
definition of resistance.
In this experiment, Ohm’s law will be investigated as
applied to components in a simple circuit.
After performing this experiment and analyzing the data,
you should be able to:
1. Distinguish between ohmic and nonohmic resistances.
2. Explain current-voltage relationships by Ohm’s law.
3. Apply Ohm’s law to obtain values of current or voltage in investigating a circuit resistance.
OBJECTIVES
1. Verify Ohm’s law experimentally.
2. Study the behavior of the current in both an ohmic and
a nonohmic resistance.
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T I
E X P E R I M E N T
2 0
Ohm’s Law
EQUIPMENT NEEDED*
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Ammeter (0 to 0.5 A)
Voltmeter (0 to 10 V dc) or multimeters
Decade resistance box (0.1 V to 99.9 V)
Rheostat (< 200 V)
Unknown resistance
Battery or power supply (6 V)
Switch
Connecting wires
2 sheets of Cartesian graph paper
*The ranges of the equipment are given as examples. These may be
varied to apply to available equipment.
Ohm’s law are said to be “nonohmic” and have a nonlinear
voltage-current relationship. Semiconductors and transistors are nonohmic.
In common practice, Ohm’s law is written
THEORY
When a voltage or potential difference (V) is applied
across a material, the current (I ) in the material is found
to be proportional to the voltage, I ~ V. The resistance (R)
of the material is defined as the ratio of the applied voltage
and the resulting current—that is,
V
I
(definition of electrical resistance)
R5
V 5 IR
(TI 20.2)
where it is understood that R is independent of V. Keep
in mind that Ohm’s law is not a fundamental law such
as Newton’s law of gravitation. It is a special case, there
being no law that materials must have constant resistance.
To understand the relationships of the quantities in
Ohm’s law, it is often helpful to consider the analogy of
a liquid circuit. (● TI Fig. 20.2).* In a liquid circuit, the
force to move the liquid is supplied by a pump. The rate
(TI 20.1)
For many materials, the resistance is constant, or at
least approximately so, over a range of voltages. A resistor
that has constant resistance is said to obey Ohm’s law or
to be “ohmic.” From TI Eq. (20.1), it can be seen that the
unit of resistance is the volt/ampere (V/A). However, the
combined unit is called the ohm (V), in honor of Georg
Ohm (1787–1854), a German physicist, who developed
this relationship known as Ohm’s law. Note that to avoid
confusion with a zero; the ohm is abbreviated with a capital omega (V) instead of a capital O.
A plot of V versus I for an ohmic resistance is a
straight line (● TI Fig. 20.1). Materials that do not obey
V
Voltage
V
e
lop
R
TI Figure 20.2 Analogy to a liquid circuit. In the analogy
between a simple electric circuit and a liquid circuit, the
pump corresponds to a voltage source, the liquid flow
corresponds to electric current, and the paddle wheel
hindrance to the flow is analogous to a resistor.
S
Current
l
TI Figure 20.1 Ohmic resistance. A voltage-versus-current
graph for an ohmic resistance is a straight line, the slope of
which is equal to the value of the resistance (R = V/I ).
*Keep in mind that an analogy only illustrates a resemblance. Liquid and
electrical circuits are physically quite different.
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/ Ohm’s Law
of liquid flow depends on the resistance to the flow (for
example, due to some partial obstruction in the circuit
pipe, here a paddle wheel)—the greater the resistance, the
less the liquid flow.
Analogously, in an electrical circuit, a voltage source
(a battery or power supply) supplies the voltage (potential
difference) for charge flow, and the magnitude of the current is determined by the resistance R in the circuit. For a
given voltage, the greater the resistance, the less current
through the resistance, as may be seen from Ohm’s law,
I = V/R. Notice that the voltage source supplies a voltage
“rise” that is equal to the voltage “drop” across the resistance and is given by V = IR (Ohm’s law).
In an electrical circuit with two or more resistances
and a single voltage source, Ohm’s law may be applied to
the entire circuit or to any portion of the circuit. When it
is applied to the entire circuit, the voltage is the terminal
input voltage supplied by the voltage source, and the resistance is the total resistance of the circuit. When Ohm’s law
is applied to a particular portion of the circuit, the individual voltage drops, currents, and resistances are used for
that part of the circuit.
Consider the circuit diagram shown in ● TI Fig. 20.3.
This is a series circuit. The applied voltage is supplied by
a power supply or battery. Rh is a rheostat, a variable resistor that allows the voltage across the resistance Rs to be
varied. (This combination is sometimes called a voltage
divider because the rheostat divides the applied voltage
across itself and Rs.)
An ammeter A measures the current through the
resistor Rs, and a voltmeter V registers the voltage drop
across both Rs and the ammeter A . S is a switch for closing and opening (activating and deactivating) the circuit.
Any component in a circuit that does not generate or
supply a voltage acts as a resistance in the circuit. This is
true for the connecting wires, the ammeter, and the voltmeter. However, the metallic connecting wires and the
ammeter have negligibly small resistances, so they do not
greatly affect the current.
A voltmeter has a high resistance, so there is little
current through the voltmeter. Hence, to good approximations, the ammeter registers the current in the resistor, and
the voltmeter reads the voltage drop across the resistance.
These approximations are adequate for most practical
applications.
Applying Ohm’s law to the portion of the circuit with
Rs only,
Vs 5 IRs
where Vs and I are the voltmeter and ammeter readings,
respectively. Notice that the same current I flows through
the rheostat Rh and the resistance Rs. The voltage drop
across Rh is then
Vh 5 IRh
(TI 20.4)
To apply Ohm’s law to the entire circuit, we use the fact
that the applied voltage “rise” or the terminal voltage Vt of
the voltage source must equal the voltage “drops” of the
components around the circuit. Then,
Vt 5 Vh 1 Vs
or
Vt 5 IRh 1 IRs 5 I(Rh 1 Rs)
Vs
(TI 20.3)
(TI 20.5)
From TI Eq. (20.5), it can be seen that for a constant Rs,
the current through this resistance, and hence its voltage
drop Vs, can be varied by varying the rheostat resistance
Rh. (The terminal voltage, Vt, is constant.) Similarly, when
Rs is varied, the voltage Vs can be maintained constant by
adjusting Rh.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
The voltmeter is connected in parallel across the ammeter and the resistance Rs.
The other resistance, Rh, is that of the rheostat (continuously variable resistor).
TI Figure 20.3 Circuit diagram.
1. With the voltmeter, measure the terminal voltage of
the power supply or battery, and record it in the laboratory report. Start with the voltmeter connection
to the largest scale, and increase the sensitivity by
changing to a smaller scale if necessary. Most common laboratory voltmeters and ammeters have three
scale connections and one binding post common to all
three scales.
It is good practice to take measurements initially
with the meters connected to the largest scales. This
prevents the instruments from being “pegged” (the
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EXPERIMENT 20
needle forced off scale in galvanometer-type meters)
and possibly damaged, should the magnitude of the
voltage or current exceed the smaller scale limits.
A scale setting may be changed for greater sensitivity
by moving the connection (or turning the switch on a
multimeter) to a lower scale after the general magnitude and measurement are known.
Also, take care to ensure the proper polarity (1
and 2); connect plus (1) to plus (1), and minus (2)
to minus (2). Otherwise, the meter will be “pegged”
in the opposite direction.
2. Set up the circuit shown in the circuit diagram (TI Fig.
18.3) with the switch open. A standard decade resistance
box is used for Rs. Set the rheostat resistance Rh for
maximum resistance and the value of the Rs to about
50 V. Have the instructor check the circuit before
closing the switch.
A. Variation of Current with Voltage
3. After the instructor has checked the circuit, close the
switch and read the voltage and current on the meters.
Open the switch after the readings are taken, and
record them in TI Data Table 1. Repeat this procedure
for a series of four successively lower rheostat settings
along the length of the rheostat.
It is convenient for data analysis to adjust the
rheostat (after closing the switch) so that evenly spaced
and convenient ammeter readings are obtained. The
switch should be closed only long enough to obtain
the necessary readings. This prevents unnecessary
heating in the circuit and running the battery down.
4. Repeat Procedure 3 for another value of Rs (about 30 V).
5. Repeat Procedure 3 for the unknown resistance, and
record the data in TI Data Table 2. Relatively low
values of voltage may be required. Your instructor
will discuss this and the proper connection. Do not
perform this procedure without instructions.
/ Ohm’s Law
297
6. Plot the results for both decade box resistances on a
single Vs-versus-Is graph, and draw straight lines that
best fit the sets of data. Determine the slopes of the
lines, and compare them with the constant values of
Rs of the decade box by computing the percent errors.
According to Ohm’s law, the corresponding values
should be equal.
7. Plot Vs versus Is for the unknown resistance. What
conclusions about the unknown resistance can you
draw from the graphs?
B. Variation of Current and Resistance
(Vs constant)
8. This portion of the experiment uses the same circuit
arrangement as before. In this case, the voltage Vs is
maintained constant by adjusting the rheostat resistance Rh when the Rs is varied.
Initially, set the rheostat near maximum resistance
and the resistance. Rs of the decade box to about 100 V.
Record the value of Rs in TI Data Table 3.
Close the circuit and adjust the rheostat for a
convenient voltmeter reading (about 4 V). Record the
voltmeter reading as the constant voltage Vs in TI Data
Table 3. Record the current and resistance in the table.
Open the circuit after making the readings.
9. Repeat this procedure for four more successive steps
of current by reducing the value of Rs of the decade
box. Keep the voltage across Rs constant for each setting by adjusting the rheostat resistance Rh. Do not
reduce Rs below 30 V.
10. Plot the results on an Is-versus-1/Rs graph, and draw
a straight line that best fits the data. (Reciprocal
ohms, 1/R, is commonly given the unit name “mhos.”)
Determine the slope of the line, and compare it with
the constant value of Vs by computing the percent
error. According to Ohm’s law, these values should be
equal.
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
T I
E X P E R I M E N T
2 0
Ohm’s Law
Laboratory Report
A. Variation of Current with Voltage
Terminal voltage Vt
DATA TABLE 1
Constant Rs _____________________
Constant Rs _____________________
Reading
Voltage Vs (
)
Current Is (
)
Voltage Vs (
)
Current Is (
)
1
2
3
4
5
Calculations
(show work)
Don’t forget units
Slope of lines
Percent error from Rs
___________________
___________________
___________________
___________________
(continued)
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DATA TABLE 2
Reading
2 0
Laboratory Report
Ohm’s Law
Unknown Resistance
Voltage Vs (
)
Current Is (
)
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Conclusions from graph:
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
2 0
Laboratory Report
Ohm’s Law
B. Variation of Current with Resistance (Vs constant)
Constant voltage Vs
DATA TABLE 2
Reading
Current Is
(
)
Resistance Rs
(
)
1/Rs
(
)
1
2
3
4
5
Calculations
(show work)
Slope of lines ___________________
Percent error from Vs ___________________
QUESTIONS
1. If the switch were kept closed during the procedures and the circuit components heated up,
how would this affect the measurements? (Hint: See Experiment 22.)
(continued)
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Ohm’s Law
Laboratory Report
2. Devise and draw a circuit using a long, straight wire resistor, instead of a decade box, that
would allow the study of the variation of voltage with resistance (Is constant). According to
Ohm’s law, what would a graph of the data from this circuit show?
3. Compute the values of Rh and the voltage drops across this resistance for the two situations
in TI Data Table 1, reading 1. How do the values compare?
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E X P E R I M E N T
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Ohm’s Law
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
•
•
•
•
•
This activity is designed for the Science Workshop 750
Interface, which has a built-in function generator. It is easily adapted to use with an external wave function generator. Just substitute the available triangle-function generator
for the signal generator in the procedure.
in the opposite direction. This repeats with a certain fixed
frequency.
THEORY
As discussed in the TI Theory section, for many materials the
resistance remains constant over a range of voltages. Such
materials are called “ohmic” and they obey Ohm’s law:
V 5 IR
100-V resistor
2 cables with alligator clips
6-V lightbulb
Voltage sensor (PASCO CI-6503)
Science Workshop 750 Interface
SETTING UP DATA STUDIO
1. Open Data Studio and choose “Create Experiment.”
2. The Experiment Setup window will open and you will
see a picture of the Science Workshop interface. There
are seven channels to choose from, and a signal generator. (Digital Channels 1, 2, 3 and 4 are the small
buttons on the left; analog Channels A, B and C are the
larger buttons on the right; the signal generator is all
the way to the right, as shown in ● CI Fig. 20.2.)
3. Click on the Channel A button in the picture. A window with a list of sensors will open.
4. Choose the Voltage Sensor from the list and press OK.
5. Connect the sensor to Channel A of the interface, as
shown on the computer screen.
6. Click on the picture of the signal generator. The Signal
Generator window will open (See ● CI Fig. 20.3.)
7. The default form of the signal generator function is a
sine wave. Change it to a triangle wave by selecting
from the drop menu.
8. Set the amplitude to 5.00 V.
9. Set the frequency to 0.500 Hz. This will produce a triangle wave with a period of 2 seconds.
10. Click on the Measurement and Sample Rate button on
the Signal Generator window. A list of measurements
will open. Choose to measure the output current, and
deselect all others.
11. Do not close the Signal Generator window. Move it
toward the bottom of the screen.
12. The Data list should now have two icons: one for the
voltage reading of the sensor and one for the output
current of the source.
13. Create a graph by dragging the “Voltage” icon from
the Data list and dropping it on the “Graph” icon in the
Displays list. A graph of voltage versus time will open.
The graph window will be called Graph 1.
14. Drag the “Output Current” icon from the Data list,
and drop it on top of the x-axis of the graph. The time
axis should change to a current axis. Graph 1 is now a
graph of voltage versus current.
(CI 20.1)
For such a material, a graph of voltage versus current is a
straight line, the slope of which is the value of the resistance, as shown in TI Fig. 20.1.
In this CI part of the experiment, the relationship
between current and voltage for both an ohmic and a
nonohmic component of a circuit will be investigated. The
current will be measured as the voltage across a component is
steadily increased and decreased. If the component is ohmic,
the current should be directly proportional to the voltage.
To achieve a steadily increasing and decreasing voltage, a signal generator is used, which can produce what is
called a triangle-wave voltage. ● CI Fig. 20.1 shows how
the voltage from such a source varies with time. Notice that
it increases up to a maximum value, then drops steadily
back to zero, and then, with a change of polarity, increases
Voltage
Vmax
Voltage
Voltage
increasing decreasing
Time
Vmax
CI Figure 20.1 A triangle-wave voltage function. With a
triangle-wave voltage function, the voltage will increase up
to a maximum value, drop steadily back to zero, and then
change the polarity and increase in the opposite direction.
This will repeat with a certain fixed frequency.
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EXPERIMENT 20
/ Ohm’s Law
The voltage sensor is connected to Channel A and works as a multimeter.
The signal generator of the Science Workshop interface is used as the voltage source that produces a triangle-wave function.
(Reprinted courtesy of PASCO Scientific.)
CI Figure 20.2 The Experiment Setup window.
Choose a triangle-wave function, adjust the amplitude and the frequency as
specified in the setup procedure, and choose to measure the output current. (Reprinted courtesy of PASCO Scientific.)
CI Figure 20.3 The Signal Generator window.
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EXPERIMENT 20
/ Ohm’s Law
305
A graph of voltage versus current will show the variations for an ohmic and a nonohmic
resistor. The Signal Generator window remains active to manually control the output during experimental Procedure B.
(Reprinted courtesy of PASCO Scientific.)
CI Figure 20.4 Data Studio setup.
15.
● CI Fig. 20.4 shows what the screen should look like
once the setup is complete. The size of the graph window can be changed, if needed. The Signal Generator window will need to stay visible for Procedure B
of the experiment, where the output voltage will be
manually controlled.
Signal
generator
Voltage
sensor
(output
voltage)
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
A. Ohmic Component
1. Connect the signal generator to the 100-V resistor. The voltage sensor will measure the voltage
drop across the resistor, as shown in the circuit of
● CI Fig. 20.5.
2. Press the START button and click on the Scale-to-Fit
button of the graph toolbar. (That is the leftmost button of the graph toolbar.) After a few seconds, press
the STOP button. A cycle is complete after 2 seconds,
but it will not affect the experiment if it runs longer
than that. In fact, let it run longer and follow the plot
on the screen as it appears. What is happening to the
current as the voltage changes?
The resistor
(ohmic or nonohmic) is connected to the signal generator.
The voltage sensor measures the voltage drop across the
resistor.
CI Figure 20.5 The experimental setup.
3. Print a copy of the graph and paste it to the laboratory
report.
4. As expected, the graph for the ohmic resistor is a
straight line. Use the Fit drop menu (on the graph toolbar) to select a “Linear Fit” for the data. Record the
slope of the line, and compare it to the known value of
the resistance by calculating a percent error.
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EXPERIMENT 20
/ Ohm’s Law
B. Nonohmic Component
1. Change the 100-V resistor for a small 6-V lightbulb.
2. Click on the button labeled “Auto” in the Signal Generator window. This will cancel the automatic ON/
OFF feature of the generator and give manual control
of the signal.
3. Press the “On” button of the signal generator.
4. Press the START button, and collect data for a few
seconds, enough to observe the pattern on the screen.
Press the Scale-to-Fit button if needed to see the data
better. What is happening to the current now, as the
voltage changes?
5. Press the STOP button to end the data collection.
6. Press the “Off” button of the signal generator to turn
off the output voltage.
7. Print a copy of the graph and paste it to the laboratory
report.
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Name
Section
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Lab Partner(s)
C I
E X P E R I M E N T
2 0
Ohm’s Law
Laboratory Report
A. Ohmic Component
Don’t forget to attach the graph to the laboratory report.
Calculations
(show work)
Slope of line ___________________
Percent error from R ___________________
B. Nonohmic Component
Don’t forget to attach the graph to the laboratory report.
QUESTIONS
1. The graph of voltage versus current for the nonohmic resistor was not a straight line.
Describe what happened to the current as the voltage increased, compared to what
happened for the ohmic resistor.
2. Why does the graph for the nonohmic resistor “loop”? (Hint: What happens to the
lightbulb filament as the current increases?)
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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Ohm’s Law
Laboratory Report
3. Describe what is happening to the resistance of the lightbulb as the voltage increases.
(Hint: Look at the graph in segments, and treat each segment as though it were a straight
line with slope equal to the resistance.)
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E X P E R I M E N T
2 1
The Measurement of Resistance:
Ammeter-Voltmeter Methods and
Wheatstone Bridge Method
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
A. Ammeter-Voltmeter Method
1. When one is measuring a resistance with an ammeter and voltmeter, is the resistance given
exactly by R 5 V/I? Explain.
2. Comment on the relative magnitudes of the resistances of an ammeter and a voltmeter.
3. Is (a) an ammeter and (b) a voltmeter connected in series or parallel with a circuit
component (a resistance)? Explain.
(continued)
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Advance Study Assignment
B. Wheatstone Bridge Method
4. Why is the Wheatstone bridge called a “null” instrument?
5. When the galvanometer in a Wheatstone bridge circuit shows no deflection, why are the
voltages across opposite branches on each side of the galvanometer necessarily equal?
6. For a slide-wire Wheatstone bridge, why should the sliding key not be moved with the key
depressed?
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The Measurement of Resistance:
Ammeter-Voltmeter Methods and
Wheatstone Bridge Method
After performing this experiment and analyzing the
data, you should be able to:
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
The magnitude of a resistance can be measured by several
methods. One common method is to measure the voltage
drop V across a resistance in a circuit with a voltmeter and
the current I through the resistance with an ammeter. By
Ohm’s law, then, R 5 V/I. However, the ratio of the measured voltage and current does not give an exact value of
the resistance because of the resistances of the meters.
This problem is eliminated when one measures a resistance, or, more properly, compares a resistance with a
standard resistance in a Wheatstone bridge circuit [named
after the British physicist Sir Charles Wheatstone (1802–
1875)].* In this experiment, the ammeter-voltmeter and
the Wheatstone bridge methods of measuring resistances
will be investigated.
1. Describe the two ways to measure resistance with an
ammeter and voltmeter, and explain how they differ.
2. Describe the basic principle and operation of the
Wheatstone bridge.
3. Discuss the relative accuracy of the ammeter-voltmeter methods and the Wheatstone bridge method of
measuring resistance.
*The Wheatstone bridge was popularized and promoted by Sir Charles
Wheatstone; however, the British mathematician Samuel Christie
invented it.
EQUIPMENT NEEDED†
B. Wheatstone Bridge Method
• Slide-wire Wheatstone bridge
• Galvanometer
• Standard decade resistance box (0.1 Ω to 99.9 Ω)
• Single-pole, single-throw switch
A. Ammeter-Voltmeter Methods
• Ammeter (0 A to 0.5 A)
• Voltmeter (0 V to 3 V)
• Rheostat (10 Ω)
• Resistors (for example, 10 Ω and 25 Ω)
• Battery or power supply (3 V)
• Connecting wires
†
The ranges of the equipment are given as examples. These may be varied
to apply to available equipment.
THEORY
voltmeter resistance Rv is much greater than R. Hence, it is
more appropriate to write
A. Ammeter-Voltmeter Methods
There are two basic arrangements by which resistance is
measured with an ammeter and a voltmeter. One circuit is
shown in ● Fig. 21.1. The current I through the resistance
R is measured with an ammeter, and the potential difference or voltage drop V across the resistance is measured
with a voltmeter. Then, by Ohm’s law, R 5 V/I.
Strictly speaking, however, this value of the resistance is not altogether correct, since the current registered
on the ammeter divides between the resistance R and the
voltmeter in parallel. A voltmeter is a high-resistance instrument and draws relatively little current, provided that
R.
V
I
if Rv W R
(21.1)
For more accurate resistance measurement, one must take the
resistance of the voltmeter into account. The current drawn by
the voltmeter is Iv 5 V/Rv. Since the total current I divides between the resistance and the voltmeter in the parallel branch,
I 5 IR 1 Iv
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EXPERIMENT 21
/ The Measurement of Resistance: Ammeter-Voltmeter Methods and Wheatstone Bridge Method
where Ra, is the resistance of the ammeter. When Ra ,, R,
the voltage drop across Ra—that is, Va 5 IRa—is small
compared to that across R, which is VR 5 IR.
Taking the voltage drop or the resistance of the ammeter
into account,
V 5 VR 1 Va 5 IR 1 IRa
5 I(R 1 Ra) 5 IRr
and
One of the basic arrangements for measuring resistance with an ammeter and
a voltmeter. The ammeter measures the sum of the currents through the resistance and the voltmeter. Therefore,
the true value of R is greater than the measured value, if
the measured value is taken to be V/I.
Rr 5 R 1 Ra
Figure 21.1 Resistance measurement.
or
(21.5)
Solving for R and substituting for R9 from the first equation:
R5
V
2 Ra
I
(21.6)
B. Wheatstone Bridge Method
IR 5 I 2 Iv
(21.2)
where IR is the true current through the resistance. Then,
by Ohm’s law,
R5
V
V
V
5
5
IR
I 2 Iv
I 2 1 V / Rv 2
(21.3)
Another possible arrangement for measuring R is
shown in the circuit diagram in ● Fig. 21.2. In this case,
the ammeter measures the current through R alone, but
now the voltmeter reads the voltage drop across both the
ammeter and the resistance. Since the ammeter is a lowresistance instrument, to a good approximation
R.
V
I
if
Ra V R
(21.4)
Figure 21.2 Resistance measurement. Another basic arrangement for measuring resistance with an ammeter and
a voltmeter. The ammeter measures the current through R,
but the voltmeter is across R and the ammeter. Therefore,
the true value of R is less than the measured value, if the
measured value is taken to be V/I.
The basic diagram of a Wheatstone bridge circuit is shown
in ● Fig. 21.3. In its simplest form, the bridge circuit consists of four resistors, a battery or voltage source, and a
sensitive galvanometer. The values of R1, R2, and Rs are all
known, and Rx is the unknown resistance.
Switch S is closed, and the bridge is balanced by adjusting the standard resistance Rs until the galvanometer
shows no deflection (indicating no current flow through
the galvanometer branch). As a result, the Wheatstone
bridge is called a “null” instrument. This is analogous to an
ordinary double-pan beam balance, which shows a null or
zero reading when there are equal masses on its pans.
Assume that the Wheatstone bridge is balanced so that
the galvanometer registers no current. Then points b and c in
the circuit are at the same potential; current I1 flows through
both Rs and Rx, and current I2 flows through both R1 and R2.
Figure 21.3 Wheatstone bridge circuit diagram.
See text
for description.
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EXPERIMENT 21
/ The Measurement of Resistance: Ammeter-Voltmeter Methods and Wheatstone Bridge Method
313
(b)
Figure 21.4 Slide-wire Wheatstone bridge. (a) Circuit diagram for resistance measurements. The resistances R1 and R2 are
varied by sliding the contact C along the wire. The galvanometer G is used to indicate when the bridge is “balanced.” (b) The
contact slides over the wire on a meter stick. When contact is made, the lengths L1 and L2 on either side of C are easily read.
(Photo Courtesy of Sargent-Welch.)
Also, the voltage drop Vab across Rs is equal to the voltage
drop across R1, Vac, for a zero galvanometer deflection:
Vab 5 Vac
Similarly,
Vbd 5 Vcd
(21.7)
(Why?)
Writing these equations in terms of currents and
resistances, by Ohm’s law,
I1Rx 5 I2 R2
(21.8)
I1Rs 5 I2 R1
Then, dividing one equation by the other and solving for
Rx yields
R2
Rx 5 a b Rs
R1
(21.9)
Hence, when the bridge is balanced, the unknown resistance Rx can be found in terms of the standard resistance Rs
and the ratio R2/R1.
Notice that the difficulties of the ammeter-voltmeter
methods are eliminated. The Wheatstone bridge in effect
compares the unknown resistance R with a standard resistance Rs. Should R1 5 R2, then Rx 5 Rs.
The circuit diagram for a slide-wire form of the
Wheatstone bridge is shown in ● Fig. 21.4 along with a
photo of an actual bridge. The line from a to d represents a
wire, and C is a contact key that slides along the wire so as
to divide the wire into different-length segments.
The resistances of the segments are proportional to
their lengths, so the resistance ratio may be expressed in
terms of a length ratio:
R2
L2
5
R1
L1
(21.10)
Equation 21.9 can then be written in terms of the length
ratio:
Rx 5 a
L2
b Rs
L1
(21.10)
This type of bridge is convenient since the length segments can be measured easily. The resistances R1 and R2 of
the length segments may be quite small relative to Rx and
Rs because the bridge equation depends only on the ratio
R2/R1 or L2/L1. This fact makes it possible to use a wire as
one side of the bridge.
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EXPERIMENT 21
/ The Measurement of Resistance: Ammeter-Voltmeter Methods and Wheatstone Bridge Method
Figure 21.5 Resistance measurement.
Circuit diagrams for experimental procedures for ammeter-voltmeter methods of
measuring resistance.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
A. Ammeter-Voltmeter Methods
1. Set up a circuit as shown in ● Fig. 21.5a, where R is
a small known resistance and Rh is the rheostat. However, do not connect the wire to the positive side of the
battery until the instructor has checked it. Record the
value of R in the first of the spaces provided for this
purpose in Part A of the laboratory report.
Most common meters have three scale connections, with a binding post common to all three scales.
It is good practice initially to make connections to
the largest scale. This prevents the instruments from
being “pegged” (and possibly damaged) should the
magnitudes of the current and voltage exceed the
smaller scales’ limits.
The scale setting may be changed for greater sensitivity by moving the connection to a lower scale after
the general magnitude of a measurement is known.
Also, attention should be given to the proper
polarity (1 and 2). Otherwise, the meter will be
“pegged” in the opposite direction. Connect 1 to 1
and – to –. However, do not activate the circuit until
your laboratory instructor has checked it.
2. The current in the circuit is varied by varying the
rheostat resistance Rh. Activate the circuit and take
three different readings of the ammeter and voltmeter
for three different currents. Adjust Rh so that the three
currents differ as much as possible. Record the data in
Data Table 1, and deactivate the circuit after each of
the three readings until the rheostat is set for the next
reading.
Also, record the resistance of the voltmeter. The
resistance of the meter will be found on the meter face
or will be supplied by the instructor. The voltmeter resistance is commonly given as so many ohms per volt,
which is the total resistance of the meter divided by
the full-scale reading.
For example, if the meter has a resistance of 1000 Ω/V
and the full-scale reading of a particular range is 3 V,
then Rv 5 3 V(1000 Ω/V) 5 3000 Ω. The resistance
in ohm/volt applies to any range setting of the meter.
(Note: If voltmeter scales are changed during readings, Rv will be different for different sets of V and I
measurements. Be sure to record this if it occurs.)
3. Using Eq. 21.3, compute the value of R for each current setting and find the average value. Compare this
with the accepted value by finding the percent error.
4. Set up a circuit as shown in Fig. 21.5b. This is accomplished by changing only one wire in the previous circuit. Repeat the measurements as in Procedure 2 for
this circuit, recording your findings in Data Table 2.
5. (a) Compute the resistance R9 5 V/I directly from
each set of current and voltage measurements,
and find the average value.
(b) When one is not taking into account the ammeter
resistance, R9 is taken to be the value of the resistance R. Compare the average experimental value of
R9 with the accepted value of R by finding the percent error.
(c) Using the values of R and R9, compute R a
[Eq. 21.5]. Mentally compare the magnitudes of
the ammeter and voltmeter resistances.
6. Repeat the previous procedures with a large known
resistance. Record its accepted value in the space provided in Data Table 3, and use Data Tables 3 and 4 for
your findings.
B. Wheatstone Bridge Method
7. Set up a slide-wire Wheatstone bridge circuit as in
Fig. 21.4a, using the previous small known resistance R
as Rx. Leave the switch open until the instructor checks
the circuit. The wires connecting the resistances and
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EXPERIMENT 21
/ The Measurement of Resistance: Ammeter-Voltmeter Methods and Wheatstone Bridge Method
the bridge should be as short as practically possible.
The decade resistance box is used for Rs. This should
be initially set for a value about equal to Rx.
Contact is made to the wire by sliding contact key
C. Do not slide the key along the wire while it is pressed
down. This will scrape the wire, causing it to be nonuniform. Have the instructor check your setup before activating the circuit.
8. Activate the circuit by closing the switch S, and balance the bridge by moving the slide-wire contact.
Open the switch and record Rs, L1, and L2 in Data
315
Table 5. Leave the switch open except when you are
actually making measurements.
9. Repeat Procedures 7 and 8 for Rs settings of (a) Rs < 3Rx,
and (b) Rs < 0.3Rx.
10. Compute the value of Rx for each case and find the average value. Compare this value to the accepted value
of R by finding the percent error.
11. Repeat the previous procedures with a large known
resistance. Record your findings in Data Table 6.
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
2 1
The Measurement of Resistance:
Ammeter-Voltmeter Methods and
Wheatstone Bridge Method
Laboratory Report
A. Ammeter-Voltmeter Methods
Accepted value of R __________________
DATA TABLE 1
Purpose: To measure resistance values.
DATA TABLE 2
Purpose: To measure resistance values.
Voltmeter resistance Rv ____________________
Rheostat
setting Rh
Current I
(
)
Voltage V
(
)
Rheostat
setting Rh
Resistance R
(
)
1
1
2
2
3
3
Average R
Current I
(
)
Voltage V
(
)
R9 5 V/I
(
)
Average R9
Percent error of R ___________________
Percent error of R9 __________________
Ammeter resistance Ra __________________
Calculations
(show work)
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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Laboratory Report
The Measurement of Resistance
Accepted value of R __________________
DATA TABLE 3
Purpose: To measure resistance values.
DATA TABLE 4
Voltmeter resistance Rv ____________________
Rheostat
setting Rh
Current I
(
)
Voltage V
(
)
Resistance R
(
)
Purpose: To measure resistance values.
Rheostat
setting Rh
1
1
2
2
3
3
Average R
Percent error of R ___________________
Current I
(
)
Voltage V
(
)
R9 5 V/I
(
)
Average R9
Percent error of R9 __________________
Ammeter resistance Ra __________________
Calculations
(show work)
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E X P E R I M E N T
Laboratory Report
The Measurement of Resistance
2 1
B. Wheatstone Bridge Method
DATA TABLE 5
DATA TABLE 6
Purpose: To measure resistance values.
Purpose: To measure resistance values.
Accepted value of R ____________________
Rs
(
L1
)
(
L2
)
(
Accepted value of R ____________________
R
)
(
Rs
)
(
L1
)
1
1
2
2
3
3
(
L2
)
Average R
Percent error ___________________
(
R
)
(
)
Average R
Percent error __________________
Calculations
(show work)
QUESTIONS
A. Ammeter-Voltmeter Methods
1. An ideal ammeter would have zero resistance, and an ideal voltmeter would have an
infinite resistance. Explain why we would desire these ideal cases when using the meters.
(continued)
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2 1
The Measurement of Resistance
Laboratory Report
2. If in general R were calculated as R 5 V/I, which circuit arrangement in Part A of the
experiment would have the smallest error? Explain.
3. (a) Prove that the true resistance R is given by
R 5 Rr a1 2
Ra
b
Rr
where R9 5 V/I is the measured resistance as given by the voltmeter and ammeter
readings for measurements done by the arrangement in Fig. 21.2 or Fig. 21.5b. Is the
true resistance larger or smaller than the apparent resistance?
(b) Prove that the true resistance R is given approximately by
R 5 Rr a1 1
Rr
b
Rv
where R9 5 V/I is the measured resistance as given by the voltmeter and ammeter
readings for measurements done by the arrangement in Fig. 21.1 or Fig. 21.5a.
(Hint: Use the binomial theorem),
1
Rr
12
Rv
.11
Rr
Rv
Is the true resistance larger or smaller than the apparent resistance? Explain.
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2 1
The Measurement of Resistance
Laboratory Report
4. For each of the circuits used in the preceding question, for what values of R (large or small)
does the error in taking R as equal to V/I become large enough to be important?
B. Wheatstone Bridge Method
5. Why should the wires connecting the resistances and the bridge be as short as possible?
6. Suppose that the slide-wire on the bridge did not have a uniform cross section. How would
this affect your measurements? Was there any experimental evidence of this?
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E X P E R I M E N T
2 2
The Temperature Dependence
of Resistance
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. Does the resistance of all substances increase with temperature? Explain.
2. What is the temperature coefficient of resistance, and what are its units?
3. Distinguish between a positive and a negative temperature coefficient of resistance.
4. Are the a of a metal conductor and the b of a thermistor the same? Explain.
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
2 2
Advance Study Assignment
5. What are the circuit conditions when a Wheatstone bridge is “balanced”?
6. In using the equations to determine the temperature dependence of resistance, what temperature scale is used?
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E X P E R I M E N T
2 2
The Temperature Dependence
of Resistance
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
electrical applications, it is important to know temperature coefficients and to take into account the temperature
dependence of resistances. In this experiment, this temperature dependence will be investigated and the temperature
coefficients of some materials determined.
After performing this experiment and analyzing the
data, you should be able to:
The electrical resistance of all substances varies somewhat
with temperature. For pure metals and most alloys, the resistance increases with increasing temperature. However,
for some substances, such as carbon and many electrolytes
(conducting solutions), the resistance decreases with increasing temperature. Then, too, for some special alloys [for
example, constantan (55% Cu–45% Ni)] the resistance is
virtually independent of temperature over a limited range.
The temperature dependence of resistance for a substance is commonly expressed in terms of its temperature
coefficient of resistance, which is the fractional change in
the resistance per degree change in temperature. For many
1. Explain how the resistances of common metallic conductors vary with temperature.
2. Discuss the temperature coefficient of resistance for
various materials and the differences among them.
3. Describe what is meant by the exponential temperature coefficient of a thermistor.
• Immersion vessel and stirrer
• Thermometer
• Immersion heater and power source (or Bunsen
burner and stand or hot plate)
• 2 sheets of Cartesian graph paper
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
• Slide-wire Wheatstone bridge assembly (with a 3-V
battery and a single-pole, single-throw switch)
• Standard decade resistance box
• Copper coil (and optional constantan or manganese coil)
• Thermistor
where R is then the resistance of the conductor at some
temperature T (oC), and Ro is the resistance at To 5 0 oC.
The linearity of the temperature dependence is only
approximate, but Eq. 22.2 can be used over moderate
temperature ranges for all but the most accurate work.
In contrast to pure metals, which have positive temperature coefficients of resistance (increase in resistance
with increase in temperature), some materials have negative temperature coefficients (decrease in resistance with
an increase in temperature). Carbon is an example, and
negative temperature coefficients of resistance generally
occur in materials of intermediate conductivity, or semiconducting materials.
Carbon has a relatively small negative temperature
coefficient of resistance compared to other semiconducting materials. Such materials with large negative temperature coefficients are used in commercial components
called thermistors. A thermistor is a thermally sensitive
resistor made of semiconducting materials such as oxides
of manganese, nickel, and cobalt.
Because of relatively large (negative) temperature
coefficients, thermistors are very sensitive to small temperature changes and are used for temperature measurements
THEORY
The change in resistance, DR, of a substance is proportional to the change in temperature, DT . This change in
resistance is commonly expressed in terms of the fractional
change DR/Ro, where Ro is the initial resistance. For many
substances, for example metals, the change in resistance is
to a good approximation a linear function of temperature:
DR
5 aDT
Ro
(22.1)
where the constant of proportionality a is called the
temperature coefficient of resistance and has the units of
inverse temperature, 1/ oC, or oC21.
For the change in temperature DT 5 T 2 To, it is convenient to take the initial temperature To as 0 oC and with
DR 5 R 2 Ro. Eq. 22.1 can be written
R 2 Ro
5 aT
Ro
or
R 5 Ro 1 RoaT 5 Ro(1 1 aT)
(22.2)
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EXPERIMENT 22
/ The Temperature Dependence of Resistance
in a variety of temperature-sensing applications, such as
for voltage regulation and time-delay switches.
Unlike common metal conductors, for a thermistor,
the change of resistance with a change of temperature is
nonlinear, and the a in Eq. (22.1) is not constant. The temperature dependence of a thermistor is given by an exponential function,
R 5 Raeb(1/T21/Ta)
(22.3)
where R 5 resistance at a temperature T (in kelvins, K)
Ra 5 resistance at temperature Ta (K)
Ta 5 initial temperature (K), near ambient room
temperature in the experiment
e 5 2.718, the base of natural logarithms
b 5 exponential temperature coefficient of resistance, which has Kelvin temperature units (K).
In this case, as T increases, the exponential function, and
hence the resistance R, becomes smaller. This expression
can be written in terms of the natural logarithm (to the
base e) as
R
1
1
ln a b 5 b a 2 b
Ra
T
Ta
(22.4)
Hence, when y 5 ln(R/Ra) versus x 5 (1/T 2 1/Ta) is plotted on a Cartesian graph, b is the slope of the line. This,
too, is an approximation, but b is reasonably constant for
moderate temperature ranges.
The temperature coefficient of resistance of a material
can be determined by using an experimental arrangement
with a slide-wire Wheatstone bridge circuit, as illustrated
in ● Fig. 22.1. The resistance, Rc, of a material (coil of
wire) when the bridge circuit is balanced is given by
Rc 5 a
R2
b Rs
R1
Rc 5 a
L2
b Rs
L1
or
(22.5)
where Rs is a standard resistance and R2/R1 and L2/L1 are
the ratios of the resistances and lengths of the slide-wire
segments, respectively. (See Experiment 21 for the theory
of the Wheatstone bridge.) By measuring the resistance of
a material at various temperatures, the temperature coefficient can be determined.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
A. Metal Conductor(s)
1. Set up the circuit as in Fig. 22.1 with the copper coil
in the container of water (near room temperature) and
the heating arrangement for the water (immersion
heater or other heat source). Place the thermometer in
the water. Have the instructor check your setup.
Figure 22.1 Temperature dependence of resistance. The
circuit diagram for the experimental procedure to measure the temperature dependence of resistance. See text for
description.
2. After your setup has been checked, close the switch
and balance the bridge circuit to measure the resistance Rc of the coil at the initial water temperature. The value of the standard resistance Rs should
be selected so that the bridge is balanced with the
contact key C as near the center of the slide-wire as
possible. Then, with L1 . L2, it follows that Rc . Rs
[Eq. 22.5].
Record in Data Table 1 the initial temperature of
the water, the magnitude of Rs, and the lengths of the
wire segments of the bridge.
3. Slowly, raise the temperature of the water by about 10 oC.
Stir the water while heating, and discontinue heating
when the temperature is about 2 oC below the desired temperature. Continue stirring until a maximum
steady temperature is reached. Balance the bridge,
and record the measurements. Adjust Rs if necessary.
Record the measurements of temperature and bridge
length in the data table.
4. Repeat Procedure 3, taking a series of measurements
at approximately 10 oC temperature intervals until a
final temperature of about 90 oC is reached.
5. (Optional) Repeat the foregoing procedures using the
constantan wire coil, starting near room temperature.
(Use Data Table 1A.)
6. Compute Rc of the coil(s) at the various temperatures
and plot a graph of Rc versus T with a temperature
range of 0 oC to 100 oC. Draw the straight line(s)
that best fi t(s) the data, and extrapolate the line(s)
to the y-axis. Determine the slope and y-intercept of
the line(s).
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EXPERIMENT 22
From the slope, find the temperature coefficient
of resistance for the specimen(s) and compare with
the accepted value found in Appendix A, Table A6, by
computing the percent error.
B. Thermistor
7. Replace the coil with the thermistor in the bridge circuit,
and repeat the previous measurement Procedures 1–4,
starting at a temperature near room temperature. In this
portion of the experiment, exercise great care in order to
have temperatures as constant as possible when making
/ The Temperature Dependence of Resistance
327
resistance measurements, since a thermistor shows
considerable variation in resistance with temperature.
8. (a) Find the quantities listed in the second part of
Data Table 2.
(b) Plot a graph of y 5 ln(R/Ra) versus x 5 (1/T 2
1/Ta) K21, and draw the straight line that best fits
the data.
(c) Determine the slope of the line, which is the value
of b. Compare this to the accepted value provided
by the instructor by computing the percent error.
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Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
2 2
The Temperature Dependence
of Resistance
Laboratory Report
A. Metal Conductor(s)
DATA TABLE 1
Purpose: To determine the temperature coefficient of resistance.
Temperature
(
)
Decade box
resistance
Rs (
)
L1
(
L2
)
(
)
Material
Coil resistance
R 5 (L2 /L1)Rs
(
)
Calculations
(show work)
Slope Roa
Intercept Ro
Experimental a
Accepted a
Percent error
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
Laboratory Report
The Temperature Dependence of Resistance
2 2
DATA TABLE 1A (Optional)
Purpose: To determine the temperature coefficient of resistance.
Temperature
(
)
Calculations
(show work)
Decade box
resistance
Rs (
)
L1
(
L2
)
(
)
Material
Coil resistance
Rc (
)
Slope Roa
Intercept Ro
Experimental a
Accepted a
Percent error
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Laboratory Report
The Temperature Dependence of Resistance
2 2
B. Thermistor
DATA TABLE 2
Purpose: To determine the exponential temperature coefficient of resistance.
Temperature
T(
)
Decade box
resistance
Rs (
)
L1
(
L2
)
(
(Ta)
Temperature
(
)
TK 5 TC 1 273
)
Calculations
(show work)
Thermistor resistance
R 5 (L2 /L1)Rs (
)
(Ra)
1/T
1/T 2 1/Ta
R/Ra
ln(R/Ra)
Slope b
Accepted b
Percent error
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
2 2
The Temperature Dependence of Resistance
Laboratory Report
QUESTIONS
A. Metal Conductor
1. What is the value of a for copper in terms of Fahrenheit degrees? If the resistance is
a linear function on the Celsius scale, will it be a linear function on the Fahrenheit scale?
Explain.
2. Replot the copper data for Rc versus T with a smaller temperature scale extending to
2300 °C, and extrapolate the line to the temperature axis. At what temperature would the
resistance go to zero? What are the practical electrical implications for a conductor with
zero resistance?
[It is interesting to note that the value of a is roughly the same for many pure metals:
1
approximately 273
, or 0.004 oC21. This is the same as the value of the coefficient of expansion of an ideal gas. Also, some metals and alloys do become “superconductors,” or have
zero resistance, at low temperatures. Some “high-temperature” ceramic materials show
superconductivity at liquid nitrogen temperatures (77 K, or 2196 oC, or 2321 oF).]
3. A coil of copper wire has a resistance of 10.0 Ω, and a coil of silver wire has a resistance
of 10.1 Ω, both at 0 oC. At what temperature would the resistance of the coils be equal?
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E X P E R I M E N T
2 2
The Temperature Dependence of Resistance
Laboratory Report
B. Thermistor
4. Explain why the ambient temperature Ta for the thermistor cannot be taken as Ta 5 0 °C and
why the expression for the resistance is written R 5 Roeb/T, where T is in degrees Celsius.
5. Assuming that b remained constant, what would be the resistance of the thermistor in the
experiment as the temperature approached absolute zero?
6. Assume the temperature coefficient of resistance a to be defined over the temperature
range DT 5 T 2 Ta, where Ta . 273 K (0 °C), by R 2 Ra 5 2Raa(T 2 Ta ). Show that for
a thermistor, a is a function of temperature given by
a5
1 2 e b(1/T21/Ta2
T 2 Ta
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E X P E R I M E N T
2 3
Resistances in Series
and Parallel
Advance Study Assignment
QUESTIONS
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
TI-CI 1. Explain the difference between series and parallel connections.
TI-CI 2. Consider resistors connected in series.
a. How are the voltage drops across the individual resistors related to the voltage
supplied by the battery?
b. How are the currents through the individual resistors related to the current supplied
by the battery?
TI-CI 3. Consider resistors connected in parallel.
a. How are the voltage drops across the individual resistors related to the voltage
supplied by the battery?
b. How are the currents through the individual resistors related to the current supplied
by the battery?
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
2 3
Advance Study Assignment
TI 4. Give (draw and explain) an analogy to liquid flow for the series–parallel circuit in Part C
of the experiment.
CI 4. In a plot of voltage versus current, what physical quantity is represented by the slope of
the graph?
TI 5. How would the current divide in a parallel branch of a circuit containing two resistors R1
and R2 if (a) R1 5 R2 and (b) R1 5 4R2?
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E X P E R I M E N T
2 3
Resistances in Series
and Parallel
circuit will first be analyzed theoretically, and then those
predictions will be checked experimentally.
After performing this experiment and analyzing the
data, you should be able to:
OVERVIEW
Experiment 23 examines resistances in parallel and series
combinations with both TI and CI procedures. In the
TI procedure, the resistances are measured using a voltmeter
and ammeter. In the CI procedure, measurements are made
with a voltage (and current) sensor, and graphs of V versus I
are plotted, from which the resistances are given by the
slopes.
TI-CI 1. Describe the current-voltage relationships for
resistances in series.
TI-CI 2. Describe the current-voltage relationships for
resistances in parallel.
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
TI 3. Reduce a simple series–parallel resistance circuit
to a single equivalent resistance, and compute
the voltage drops across and the currents through
each resistance in the circuit.
The components of simple circuits are connected in series
and/or parallel arrangements. Each component may be represented as a resistance to the current in the circuit. In computing the voltage and current requirements of the circuit
(or part of the circuit), it is necessary to know the equivalent resistances of the series and parallel arrangements.
In this experiment, the circuit characteristics of resistors in series and parallel will be investigated. A particular
CI 3. Describe the changes in the slopes of V-versus-I
graphs as more resistors are connected in (a) series
and (b) parallel.
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T I
E X P E R I M E N T
2 3
Resistances in Series
and Parallel
• Four resistors (10 Ω, 20 Ω, 100 Ω, and 10 kΩ;
composition type, 1 W)
• Connecting wires
EQUIPMENT NEEDED*
•
•
•
•
Battery or power supply (3 V)
Ammeter (0 to 500 mA)
Voltmeter (0 to 3 V)
Single-pole, single-throw (SPST) switch
*The ranges of the equipment are given as examples. These may be
varied to apply to available equipment.
THEORY
A. Resistances in Series
Resistors are said to be connected in series when connected
as in ● T1 Fig. 23.1a. (The resistors are connected in line,
or “head to tail” so to speak, although there is no distinction
between the connecting ends of a resistor.) When connected
to a voltage source V and the switch is closed, the source
supplies a current I to the circuit.
By the conservation of charge, this current I flows
through each resistor. The voltage drop across each resistor
is not equal to V, but the sum of the voltage drops is:
V 5 V1 1 V2 1 V3
(TI 23.1)
In an analogous liquid-gravity circuit (T1 Fig. 23.1b), a
pump, corresponding to the voltage source, raises the liquid
a distance h. The liquid then falls or “drops” through three
series paddle wheel “resistors” and the distances h1, h2, and
h3. The liquid “rise” supplied by the pump is equal to the
sum of the liquid “drops,” h 5 h1 1 h2 1 h3. Analogously,
the voltage “rise” supplied by the source is equal to the sum
of the voltage drops across the resistors [TI Eq. 23.1].†
The voltage drop across each resistor is given by Ohm’s
law (for example,V1 5 IR1). TI Eq. 23.1 may be written
(a)
(a) A circuit diagram
for resistors connected in series. (The resistors are connected “head” to “tail.”) The (a) symbol represents an
ammeter that will be used in experimental setups. (b) A liquid analogy on the left for the circuit diagram of resistors
in series on the right. The analogies are: pump–voltage
source, valve–switch, liquid flow–current, and paddle
wheels–resistors. See text for more description.
(TI 23.2)
where Rs is the equivalent resistance of the resistors in
series. That is, the three resistors in series could be replaced
by a single resistor with a value of Rs, with the same current
I in the circuit.
5 I(R1 1 R2 1 R3)
For a voltage across a single resistance Rs in a circuit, V 5
IRs, and by comparison,
Rs 5 R1 1 R2 1 R3
(b)
TI Figure 23.1 Resistances in series.
V 5 V1 1 V2 1 V3
5 IR1 1 IR2 1 IR3
Valve
S
B. Resistances in Parallel
Resistors are said to be connected in parallel when connected as in ● TI Fig. 23.2a. (In this arrangement, all the
“heads” are connected together, as are all of the “tails.”)
The voltage drops across all the resistors are the same
and equal to the voltage V of the source. However, the
(TI 23.3)
(resistances in series)
†
Keep in mind that an analogy represents only a resemblance. Liquid and
electrical circuits are quite different physically.
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EXPERIMENT 23
/ Resistances in Series and Parallel
The previous developments for equivalent resistances may be extended to any number of resistors (that
is, Rs 5 R1 1 R2 1 R3 1 R4 1 c and 1/R p 5 1/R 1 1
1/R2 1 1/R3 1 1/R4 1 . . .).
In many instances, two resistors are connected in
parallel in a circuit, and
Valve
S
1
1
1
5
1
Rp
R1
R2
or
(a)
Rp 5
(b)
(a) A circuit
diagram for resistors in parallel. (All the “heads” are
connected together, as are all of the “tails.”) (b) A liquid
analogy on the left for the circuit diagram of resistors in
parallel on the right. See text for description.
TI Figure 23.2 Resistances in parallel.
current I from the source divides among the resistors
such that
I 5 I1 1 I2 1 I3
(TI 23.4)
In the liquid circuit analogy (TI Fig. 23.2b), the height h
the pump raises the liquid is equal to the distance the liquid
“drops” through each parallel paddle wheel “resistor.” The
liquid flow coming into the junction of the parallel arrangement divides among the three pipe paths, analogously
to the current dividing in the electrical circuit.
The current in a parallel circuit divides according to the
magnitudes of the resistances in the parallel branches— the
smaller the resistance of a given branch, the greater
the current through that branch. The current through each
resistor is given by Ohm’s law (for example, I1 5 V/R1), and
TI Eq. (23.4) may be written
I 5 I1 1 I2 1 I3 5
V
V
V
1
1
R1
R2
R3
5Va
1
1
1
1
1 b
R1
R2
R3
R1R2
R1 1 R2
(TI 23.7)
(two resistances in parellel)
This particular form of Rp for two resistors may be more
convenient for calculations than the reciprocal form.
Also, in a circuit with three resistors in parallel, the
equivalent resistance of two of the resistors can be found
by TI Eq. (23.7), and then the equation may be applied
again to the equivalent resistance and the other resistance
in parallel to find the total equivalent resistance of the
three parallel resistors. However, if your calculator has a
1/x function, the reciprocal form may be easier to use.
Note that the voltage drops across R1 and R2 in parallel
are the same, and by Ohm’s law,
I1R1 5 I2R2
or
I1
R2
5
I2
R1
(TI 23.8)
TI Example 23.1 Given two resistors R1 and R2,
with R2 5 2R1, in parallel in a circuit. What fraction
of the current I from the voltage source goes through
each resistor?
Solution With R2 5 2R1, or R2/R1 5 2, by TI Eq. (23.8)
(TI 23.5)
I1 5 a
R2
bI2 5 2I2
R1
Since I 5 I1 1 I2,
For the current through a single resistance Rp in a circuit,
I 5 V/Rp, and by comparison,
Rp 5
1
1
1
1
1
R1
R2
R3
(TI 23.6)
(two resistances in parellel)
where Rp is the equivalent resistance of the resistors in
parallel. That is, the three resistors in parallel could be
replaced by a single resistor with a value of Rp, and the
same current I would be drawn from the battery.
I 5 I1 1 I2 5 2I2 1 I2 5 3I2
or
I2 5
I
3
Hence, the current divides, with one-third going
through R2 and two-thirds going through R1.
Thus, the ratio of the resistances gives the relative magnitudes of the currents in the resistors.
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EXPERIMENT 23
(1)
(2)
/ Resistances in Series and Parallel
341
through each circuit component in series. Remember,
an ammeter is always connected in series, and for
proper polarity, 1 is connected to 1.
Connect the voltmeter across (in parallel with) the
voltage source. After having the circuit checked by the
instructor, close the switch. If using a variable power
supply, adjust the voltage, if necessary, to the suggested value (3.0 V). Read and record the voltmeter
value (V). This is the voltage “rise” of the source.
(Note: If the needle of the ammeter goes in the
wrong direction, reverse the polarity, that is, reverse
the hook-up of the leads of the ammeter.)
Open the circuit after completing the reading.
4. Using the resistor values and the measured voltage,
compute (a) the equivalent resistance Rs of the circuit,
(b) the current in the circuit, and (c) the voltage drop
across each resistor. Show your calculations in the
laboratory report.
TI Figure 23.3 Circuit reduction. Series and parallel resis-
tances are combined to find the equivalent resistance of a
series–parallel circuit. See text for description.
Consider the circuit in ● TI Fig. 23.3. To find the
equivalent resistance of this series–parallel circuit, one
first “collapses” the parallel branch into a single equivalent resistance, which is given by TI Eq. 23.7. This equivalent resistance is in series with R1, and the total equivalent
resistance R of the circuit is R 5 R1 1 Rp.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
1. Examine the resistors. The colored bands conform to
a color code that gives the value of a resistor. Look
up the color code in Appendix A, Table A5, read the
value of each resistor, and record in the laboratory
report. Designate the smallest resistance as R1 and
consecutively larger values as R2, R3, and R4.
2. In the following procedures, you will be asked to compute theoretically various quantities for a given circuit
arrangement. The quantities are then determined by
actual circuit measurements, and the calculated and
experimental results are compared. Before initially
activating each circuit arrangement, have the circuit
checked by the instructor, unless otherwise instructed.
A. Resistors in Series
3. Set up a series circuit with R 1, R 2, and R 3, as in
TI Fig. 23.1a, with a switch and ammeter in the circuit
next to the voltage source. A convenient way to check
a circuit to see whether it is properly connected is to
trace the path of the current (with your finger) through
the circuit. Do this making sure that the current goes
5. Returning to the experimental circuit, close the switch
and read the current I. Compare this with the computed value by finding the percent difference. Open
the switch and move the ammeter in the circuit to the
position “after” the first resistor [that is, on the opposite side of the resistor from the voltage source so as
to measure the current through (coming from) the
resistor]. Record this as I1.
Carry out this procedure for each resistor, and
record the currents in the laboratory report. Leave the
switch closed only while readings are being taken.
6. Remove the ammeter from the circuit, and with the
voltmeter, measure and record the voltage drop across
each resistor and across all three resistors as a group.
Remember, a voltmeter is always connected in parallel or
“across” a circuit element to measure its voltage drop.
7. Compare the experimentally measured values with the
theoretically computed values by finding the percent
error. (Use the theoretical values as the accepted values.)
B. Resistors in Parallel
8. Set up a parallel circuit with R 1, R 2, and R 3, as in
TI Fig. 23.2a, with the ammeter and voltmeter connected as before in Procedure 3. Check the circuit
arrangement by tracing the current from the source
through the circuit to see that it divides into three
parallel branches at the junction of the resistors and
comes together again at the opposite junction.
Close the circuit (after it has been checked), and
record the voltage and current readings in the laboratory report. (If using a variable power supply, adjust
the voltage if necessary.)
Open the circuit after taking the reading.
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EXPERIMENT 23
/ Resistances in Series and Parallel
9. Using the resistor values and the measured voltage,
compute (a) the equivalent resistance Rp of the circuit, (b) the current supplied by the source, and (c) the
current through each resistor. Show your calculations
in the laboratory report.
10. Returning to the experimental circuit, measure and
record the voltage drops across each resistor and
across all three resistors as a group.
Remove the voltmeter and connect the ammeter
so as to measure the current I supplied by the source.
Then move the ammeter to measure the current
through each resistor by connecting the meter between
a given resistor and one of the common junctions. The
ammeter positions are shown in TI Fig. 23.2. Leave
the switch closed only while readings are being taken.
11. Compare the theoretical and experimental values by
computing the percent errors.
12. (Optional) Repeat Procedures 8 through 11 with R2
replaced by R4.
C. Resistors in Series–Parallel
13. (Compute the following and record in the laboratory
report.) If R1 were connected in series with R2 and R3
in parallel (TI Fig. 23.3):
(a) What would be the equivalent resistance Rsp of
the resistors?
(b) How much current would be supplied by the
source?
(c) What would be the voltage drop across R1?
(d) What would be the voltage drop across R2 and R3?
(e) What would be the voltage drop across all three
resistors?
(f) What would be the currents through R2 and R3?
14. Set up the actual circuit and trace the current flow to
check the circuit. With the voltmeter and ammeter,
measure and record the calculated quantities.
You need not compute the percent errors in this
case. However, make a mental comparison to satisfy
yourself that the measured quantities agree with the
computed values within experimental error.
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T I
E X P E R I M E N T
2 3
Resistances in Series
and Parallel
Laboratory Report
Resistor values R1 ___________________
R3 ___________________
R2 ___________________
R4 ___________________
A. Resistors in Series
Calculations
(show work)
Source voltage V ___________________
Equivalent resistance Rs ___________________
Current
I ___________________
Voltage drops across resistors V1 ___________________
V2 ___________________
V3 ___________________
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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Laboratory Report
Resistances in Series and Parallel
Experimental measurements
Percent error
I ___________________
___________________
I1 ___________________
V1 ___________________
___________________
I2 ___________________
V2 ___________________
___________________
I3 ___________________
V3 ___________________ ___________________
V1 1 V2 1 V3 ___________________
V across resistors as a group ___________________
B. Resistors in Parallel
Calculations
(show work)
Source voltage V
___________________
Equivalent resistance Rp
___________________
Current I
___________________
Current through resistors I1
___________________
I2
___________________
I3
___________________
Experimental measurements
Percent error
I ___________________
___________________
V1 ___________________
I1 ___________________
___________________
V2 ___________________
I2 ___________________
___________________
V3 ___________________
I3 ___________________ ___________________
I1 1 I2 1 I3 ___________________
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Laboratory Report
Resistances in Series and Parallel
(Optional Procedure)
Calculations
(show work)
Source voltage V ___________________
Equivalent resistance Rp ___________________
I ___________________
Current
Current through
resistors I1 ___________________
I3 ___________________
I4 ___________________
Experimental measurements
Percent error
I ___________________
___________________
V1 ___________________
I1 ___________________
___________________
V3 ___________________
I3 ___________________
___________________
V4 ___________________
I4 ___________________ ___________________
(continued)
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Laboratory Report
Resistances in Series and Parallel
C. Resistors in Series–Parallel
Calculations
(show work)
Source voltage
V ___________________
Equivalent resistance Rsp ___________________
Current
I ___________________
Voltage drops
V1 ___________________
V2 5 V3 ___________________
Experimental measurements
Currents
I2 ___________________
I3 ___________________
I ___________________
V1 ___________________
V2 5 V3 ___________________
I2 ___________________
I3 ___________________
QUESTIONS
1. Discuss the sources of error in the experiment.
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Resistances in Series and Parallel
Laboratory Report
2. Suppose that the resistors in the various circuit diagrams represented the resistances
of lightbulbs. When a lightbulb “burns out,” the circuit is open through that particular
component, that is, R is infinite. Would the remaining bulbs continue to burn for the
following conditions? If so, would the bulbs burn more brightly (draw more current)
or burn more dimly (draw less current), if:
(a) R2 burned out in the circuit in Part A?
(b) R1 burned out in the circuit in Part B?
(c) Then R3 also burned out in the circuit in Part B?
(d) R3 burned out in the circuit in Part C?
(continued)
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Resistances in Series and Parallel
Laboratory Report
(e) Then R1 also burned out in the circuit in Part C?
3. Explain the effect of replacing R2 with R4 in Procedure 12. (Explain theoretically even if
Procedure 12 of the experiment was not done.)
4. For the circuit in Fig. 23.3, V 5 12 V, R1 5 4 V, R2 5 6 V, and R3 5 3 V. Show that the
power supplied by the battery (P 5 IV) is equal to that dissipated in the resistors (I 2R).
What principle does this illustrate? Use the accompanying table. (Consider
values significant to two decimal places.)
(Show calculations)
Circuit
element
Current
I
Power
dissipated
P
R1 5 4 V
R2 5 6 V
R3 5 3 V
(total)
Power
supplied
Battery
V 5 12 V
5. Given three resistors of different values, how many possible resistance values could
be obtained by using one or more of the resistors? (List the specific combinations, for
example, R1 and R2 in series.)
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Resistances in Series
and Parallel
•
•
•
•
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
This activity is designed for the Science Workshop 750
Interface, which has a built-in function generator.
In this experiment, the total amount of resistance in
a circuit will be varied by connecting resistors in series
and then in parallel. An increasing voltage will be applied,
and the overall current in the circuit (through the voltage
source) will be measured.
Rewriting Ohm’s law as V 5 IR, notice that a plot of
voltage (in the y-axis) versus current (in the x-axis) must
result in a straight line, with the slope equal to the overall
resistance in the circuit:
THEORY
According to Ohm’s law, the current through a resistor is
proportional to the voltage but inversely proportional to
the resistance:
I5
V
R
Voltage sensor (PASCO CI-6503)
Science Workshop 750 Interface
Cables and alligator clips
Three 1000-Ω resistors
(CI 23.1)
V5RI
T
T T
y5mx
Thus, if the resistance of a circuit increases, the current
decreases; and if the resistance of a circuit decreases, the
current increases. On the other hand, the larger the voltage,
the larger the current. The overall current in a circuit thus
depends on the interplay between the amount of voltage
and the amount of resistance.
Using voltage (and current) sensors, we will find the
resistances of the circuits by measuring the slope of a
voltage-versus-current plot.
SETTING UP DATA STUDIO
9. Set the amplitude to 2.0 V and the frequency to 0.20 Hz.
10. Click on the Measurements and Sample Rate button on
the Signal Generator window. A list of measurements
will open. Choose to measure the output current.
Deselect the measurement of the output voltage.
11. Press the Sampling Options button on the top toolbar of the Experiment Setup window. The Sampling
Options window will open. Under “Automatic Stop,”
set the time to 4.5 seconds. Click OK.
12. Click on the Calculate button on the main toolbar. The
calculator will open. Follow the next steps:
a. Clear the definition box at the top, and enter the
following formula in it:
1. Open Data Studio and choose “Create Experiment.”
2. The Experiment Setup window will open and you will
see a picture of the Science Workshop interface. There
are seven channels to choose from, and a signal generator. (Digital Channels 1, 2, 3 and 4 are the small
buttons on the left; analog Channels A, B and C are
the larger buttons on the right; the signal generator is
all the way to the right, as shown in ● CI Fig. 23.1.)
3. Click on the Channel A button in the picture. A window with a list of sensors will open.
4. Choose the Voltage Sensor from the list and press OK.
5. Connect the sensor to Channel A of the interface, as
shown on the computer screen.
6. The screen now shows you the properties of the Voltage Sensor directly under the picture of the interface.
Adjust the sample rate to 20 Hz.
7. Click on the picture of the Signal Generator. The Signal
Generator window will open. (See ● CI Fig. 23.2.)
8. The default form of the signal generator function is a
sine wave. Change it to a “Positive Up Ramp Wave”
by selecting from the drop menu.
Voltage 5 smooth (20, x)
b. Press the top Accept button after entering the
formula. Notice that the variable x will appear,
waiting to be defined.
c. To define the variable, click on the drop menu
button on the side of the variable. Define x as a
Data Measurement and when prompted choose
Voltage (ChA).
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EXPERIMENT 23
/ Resistances in Series and Parallel
CI Figure 23.1 The Experiment Setup window. The voltage sensor is connected to Channel A and works as a multimeter.
The signal generator of the Science Workshop interface is used as the voltage source that produces a positive ramp-up
function. (Reprinted courtesy of PASCO Scientific.)
13.
14.
Choose a
positive up ramp wave function, adjust the amplitude and the
frequency as specified in the setup procedure, and choose to
measure the output current. (Reprinted courtesy of PASCO
Scientific.)
CI Figure 23.2 The Signal Generator window.
15.
16.
d. Press the Accept button.
e. Click on the New button again to define another
calculation.
f. Clear the definition box and enter the following
formula in it:
Current 5 smooth (20, x)
g. Press the Accept button after entering the formula.
Notice that the variable x will again appear, waiting to be defined.
h. This time define x as a Data Measurement and,
when prompted, choose Output Current.
i. Press Accept again.
The data list on the top left of the screen should now
have the following items: Voltage ChA, Output Current,
Voltage, and Current, where a small calculator icon identifies the quantities that are calculated, not measured.
Drag the “Voltage” (calculator) icon from the data list and
drop it on the “Graph” icon of the displays list. A graph of
voltage versus time will open, in a window called Graph 1.
Drag the “Current” (calculator) icon from the data list
and drop it on top of the time axis of Graph 1. The time
axis will change into a current axis. The graph should
now be of voltage versus current. ● CI Fig. 23.3 shows
what the screen should look like at this point.
Double-click anywhere on the graph. The graph settings
window will open. Make the following selections:
Under the tab Appearance:
Data:
Connect data points in bold
Deselect the buttons marked “Show Data
Points” and “Show Legend Symbols.”
Click OK to accept the changes and exit the
graph settings window.
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EXPERIMENT 23
/ Resistances in Series and Parallel
351
CI Figure 23.3 Data Studio setup. A graph of voltage versus current will be used to examine different simple circuits. The
slope of the graph will represent the resistance of the circuit. (Reprinted courtesy of PASCO Scientific.)
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
Output
current
A. Measuring Resistance
1. Get three resistors and label them R1, R2, and R3.
2. Connect R1 to the output source of the 750 Interface,
using cables and alligator clips, if needed. A circuit
diagram for this setup is shown in ● CI Fig. 23.4.
3. Put alligator clips on the prongs of the voltage sensor, and connect the voltage sensor across the resistor.
Make sure that the positive of the voltage sensor (red
lead) is connected to the positive lead of the resistor.
4. Press the START button. Data collection will stop
automatically after 4.5 seconds.
5. Press the Scale-to-Fit button on the graph toolbar. The
Scale-to-Fit button is the leftmost button on the graph
toolbar. This will scale all data to fit the full screen.
Signal
generator
Resistor
Voltage
sensor
(output
voltage)
CI Figure 23.4 The experimental setup. A single resistor is
connected to the source, with the voltage sensor connected
across the resistor. The positive (red) lead of the voltage
sensor must connect to the positive lead of the resistor.
6. Use the Fit menu (on the graph toolbar) to do a “Linear
Fit” of the data. A box with information about the fit
will appear. Report the slope of the line in CI Data
Table 1 as the value of R1. Do not forget units.
7. Repeat the experiment two more times, and determine
an average value for R1.
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EXPERIMENT 23
/ Resistances in Series and Parallel
8. Repeat the process individually with R2 and R3.
10. Calculate the theoretical (expected) value of the
equivalent resistance of each circuit. Compare the
theoretical values with the measured ones by taking a
percent difference.
9. If the graph window gets too crowded, go to “Experiment” (in the main menu, top of the screen) and
choose “Delete all Data Runs.” This will completely
erase the data already collected. The fits can also be
removed by deselecting them in the Fit menu.
11. Using the printout of the graph or the Smart-Tool on
the graph toolbar, determine the maximum value of
the voltage and the maximum value of the current for
each run. Report them in CI Data Table 2.
B. Resistances in Series
1. Delete all the data to clear the graph. Also clear all
the fits.
C. Resistances in Parallel
2. Run 1: Connect resistor R1 alone to the voltage source
and take data, as before. Do a linear fit, and report the
measured resistance in CI Data Table 2.
1. Delete all the data to clear the graph. Also clear all
the fits.
3. Introduce resistor R2 to the circuit by connecting it in
series with resistor R1.
2. Run 1: Connect resistor R1 alone to the voltage source
and take data, as before. Do a linear fit, and report the
measured resistance in CI Data Table 3.
4. Connect the voltage sensor across both resistors, R2
and R1. (See ● CI Fig. 23.5.)
3. Introduce resistor R2 to the circuit by connecting it in
parallel with resistor R1.
5. Run 2: Press START and collect the data. Do a linear fit, and report the measured resistance in CI Data
Table 2.
4. Connect the voltage sensor across both R2 and R1.
(See ● CI Fig. 23.6.)
6. Now introduce resistor R3 to the circuit by connecting
it in series with R2 and R1.
5. Run 2: Press START and collect the data. Do a linear
fit, and report the measured resistance in CI Data
Table 3.
7. Connect the voltage sensor across all three resistors.
(See CI Fig. 23.5.)
6. Now introduce resistor R3 to the circuit by connecting
it in parallel with R2 and R1.
8. Run 3: Press START and collect the data. Do a linear
fit, and report the measured resistance in CI Data
Table 2.
7. Connect the voltage sensor across the three resistors.
(See CI Fig. 23.6.)
9. Remove the fit information boxes and print the graph.
Label it “Series Circuits,” and attach it to the laboratory report.
8. Run 3: Press START and collect the data. Do a linear
fit, and report the measured resistance in CI Data
Table 3.
RUN 2
RUN 1
Output
current
Signal
generator
Output
current
R1
Output
current
R1
Voltage
sensor
Voltage
sensor
R2
CI Figure 23.5 Resistors connected in series.
RUN 3
R1
R2
Voltage
sensor
R3
Three different series circuits will be analyzed, each time adding an extra resistor
to the series.
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EXPERIMENT 23
/ Resistances in Series and Parallel
353
RUN 1
Output
current
Signal
generator
Voltage
sensor
R1
RUN 2
Output
current
RUN 3
Output
current
R1
R2
CI Figure 23.6 Resistors connected in parallel.
Voltage
sensor
R1
R2
R3
Voltage
sensor
Three different parallel circuits will be analyzed, each time adding an extra
branch to the circuit.
9. Remove the fit information boxes and print the
graph. Label it “Parallel Circuits,” and attach it to the
laboratory report.
11. Using the printout of the graph or the Smart-Tool on
the graph toolbar, determine the maximum value of
the voltage and the maximum value of the current for
each run. Report them in CI Data Table 3.
10. Calculate the theoretical (expected) value of the
equivalent resistance of each circuit. Compare the
theoretical values with the measured ones by taking a
percent difference.
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C I
E X P E R I M E N T
2 3
Resistances in Series
and Parallel
Laboratory Report
A. Measuring Resistance
DATA TABLE 1
Purpose: To measure the actual resistance of each of the three resistors.
Resistor
Slope
measurements
Average
resistance
1.
R1
2.
3.
1.
R2
2.
3.
1.
R3
2.
3.
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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Laboratory Report
B. Resistances in Series
DATA TABLE 2
Purpose: To experimentally measure the equivalent resistance of series circuits.
Run 1
R1 alone
Run 2
R1 and R2
in series
Run 3
R1, R2, and R3
in series
Measured equivalent
resistance
Theoretical
equivalent
resistance
Rs 5 R1 1 R2 1 . . .
Percent difference
Maximum voltage
Maximum current
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Laboratory Report
C. Resistances in Parallel
DATA TABLE 3
Purpose: To experimentally measure the equivalent resistance of parallel circuits.
Run 1
R1 alone
Run 2
R1 and R2
in parallel
Run 3
R1, R2, and R3
in parallel
Measured equivalent
resistance
Theoretical
equivalent
resistance
21
1
1
1 cb
Rp 5 a 1
R1
R2
Percent difference
Maximum voltage
Maximum current
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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Resistances in Series and Parallel
Laboratory Report
QUESTIONS
1. As more resistors were added to the series circuit, what happened to the total resistance of
the circuit?
2. For approximately the same maximum voltage, what happened to the maximum current as
more resistors were added to the series circuit?
3. As more resistors were added to the parallel circuit, what happened to the total resistance
of the circuit?
4. For approximately the same maximum voltage, what happened to the maximum current as
more resistors were added to the parallel circuit?
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2 4
Joule Heat
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. Explain (a) joule heat and (b) I 2R losses.
2. What is the difference between joule heat and power?
3. Given two different resistances, how does the total joule heat vary if they are connected to
a battery of fixed voltage Vo (a) in series and (b) in parallel?
(continued)
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Advance Study Assignment
4. In the experiment, why isn’t the final temperature of the system read at the same time that
the power supply is unplugged and the timer stopped?
5. Suppose that oil were used in the experiment instead of water. Would (a) the joule heat and
(b) the temperature rise be the same? Explain.
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2 4
Joule Heat
In many electrical applications, such as electrical
motors, joule heat is an undesirable loss of energy. However, in other applications, such as toasters and electrical
heaters, electrical energy is purposefully converted into
heat energy. In this experiment, the heating effect of an
electrical current and the “electrical equivalent of heat”
will be investigated.
After performing this experiment and analyzing the
data, you should be able to:
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
Whenever there is an electrical current in a conductor, some
electrical energy is converted into heat energy. For a given
current I, the energy conversion is greater in a conductor
of greater resistance. This is analogous to the conversion
of mechanical energy into heat energy due to frictional
resistance.
The heat generated (or power dissipated) in an electrical
circuit is commonly referred to as joule heat, after James
Prescott Joule (1818–1889), the English scientist who
investigated the conversion of electrical energy into heat
(and also the mechanical equivalent of heat).
1. Describe what is meant by joule heat.
2. Explain the factors on which joule heat depends.
3. Tell how joule heat may be measured experimentally.
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
•
•
•
•
•
•
• Electrocalorimeter (immersion heater and
calorimeter)
• Power supply or battery (12 V)
• Ammeter (0 A to 3 A)
• Voltmeter (30 V)
Rheostat (40 V)
Connecting wires
Thermometer
Stopwatch or laboratory timer
Laboratory balance
Ice
THEORY
P5
The work W done (or energy expended) per unit charge in
moving a charge q from one point to another is the potential difference or voltage V, that is,
V5
W
q
or W 5 qV
(24.1)
W 5 IVt 5 I 2 Rt 5
V 2t
R
(24.5)
The electrical energy expended is manifested as heat
energy and is commonly called joule heat or I 2R losses,
I 2R being the power or energy expended per time XW/t 5
I 2Rt/t 5 I 2RC.
Equation 24.5 shows how the joule heat varies with
resistance:
(24.2)
Hence, Eq. 24.1 may be written
W 5 qV 5 IVt
(24.4)
When this general expression is applied to a resistance R,
for which V 5 IR (Ohm’s law), the expanded energy or
work in Eq. 24.4 can be written
The time rate of flow of charge is described in terms of
current I, and
q
I5
t
W
5 IV
t
1. For a constant current I, the joule heat is directly
proportional to the resistance, I 2R.
2. For a constant voltage V, the joule heat is inversely
proportional to the resistance, V 2/R.
(24.3)
which represents the work done or the energy expended
in a circuit in a time t. Dividing this by t gives the work or
energy per time, or power P:
The energy expended in an electrical circuit as given
by Eq. 24.5 has the unit of joule (J). The relationship
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EXPERIMENT 24
/ Joule Heat
(a)
(b)
Figure 24.1 Joule heat determination. (a) The circuit diagram for the experimental procedure to measure joule heat. See text
for description. (b) An electric calorimeter. (Photo Courtesy of Sargent-Welch.)
( conversion factor) between joules and heat units in
calories was established by James Joule from mechanical
considerations—the mechanical equivalent of heat.
You may have learned that in his mechanical experiment, Joule had a descending weight turn a paddle wheel in
a liquid. He then correlated the mechanical (gravitational)
potential energy lost by the descending weight to the heat
generated in the liquid. The result was 1 cal 5 4.186 J,
or 1 kcal 5 4186 J. A similar electrical experiment may
be done to determine the electrical equivalent of heat. By
the conservation of energy, the heat equivalents of mechanical and electrical energy are the same (that is, 1 cal 5
4.186 J).
Experimentally, the amount of electrical joule heat
generated in a circuit element of resistance R is measured
by calorimetry methods. If a current is passed through a
resistance (immersion heater) in a calorimeter with water
in an arrangement as illustrated in ● Fig. 24.1, then by the
conservation of energy, the electrical energy expended in
the resistance is equal to the heat energy (joule heat) Q
gained by the system:
electrical energy expended 5 heat gained
W5Q
IVt 5 mc DT
or
IVt 5 1 mwcw 1 mcalccal 1 mcoilccoil 2 1 Tf 2 Ti 2
(24.6)
where the m’s and c’s are the masses and specific heats
of the water, calorimeter cup, and immersion coil,
respectively, as indicated by the subscripts. Tf and Ti are the
final and initial temperatures of the system, respectively.
(See Experiment 17 for a detailed theory of calorimetry
procedure.)
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
1. Determine and record in the laboratory report the
masses of the inner calorimeter cup (without ring) and
the coil of the immersion heater. (The latter may be
supplied by the instructor if the coil is permanently
mounted.)
Also, record the types of materials and their
specific heats in cal/(g-8C). (The type of material and
specific heat of the calorimeter cup are usually stamped
on the cup. For the coil, usually copper, a table of specific heats is given in Appendix A, Table A4.)
2. Fill the calorimeter cup about two-thirds full of cool
tap water several degrees below room temperature.
(The cup should be filled high enough that the immersion heater will be completely covered when immersed
later.) Determine and record the mass of the calorimeter cup with the water.
3. Place the immersion heater in the calorimeter cup and
set up the circuit as illustrated in Fig. 24.1 with the rheostat set at its maximum resistance. Make certain that the
heating coil is completely immersed. If not, add more
water and reweigh the cup and water as in Procedure 2.
Reweigh the cup and water as in Procedure 2. Do not
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EXPERIMENT 24
plug in the power supply (or connect the battery) until
the circuit has been checked by the instructor.
4. After the circuit has been checked, plug in the power
supply set to 10 V to 12 V. Adjust the rheostat until
there is a constant current between 2 A and 3 A in
the circuit as indicated on the ammeter. (If a variable
power supply is used, it may also be used to make fine
current adjustments.) Then unplug the power supply.
This procedure should be done as quickly as possible
to avoid heating the water.
5. Add some ice to the water in the calorimeter cup with
the immersion coil or thermometer. When the ice
has melted, measure and record the equilibrium temperature Ti. This should be 5 8C to 8 8C below room
temperature.
Then plug in the power supply and at the same
time start the stopwatch or laboratory timer. Immediately read and record the initial ammeter and voltmeter readings.
As time goes on, keep the current as constant as
possible by varying the rheostat (and/or the power
supply). Record the voltage and the current every
minute. Stir the water frequently.
/ Joule Heat
363
6. When the temperature of the water (and calorimeter
system) is 10 8C to 15 8C above the initial temperature,
simultaneously unplug the power supply and stop the
timer at the time of a particular minute-interval reading. Continue stirring until a maximum temperature is
reached, and record this temperature (Tf).
7. Compute the electrical energy expended in the coil (in
joules) from the electrical and time readings. Use the
average value of the voltage readings as the effective
voltage across the coil.
8. (a) Compute the heat energy (in calories) gained by
the calorimeter system.
(b) Then take the ratio of the electrical and heat
energy results to find the “electrical equivalent of
heat” (J/cal or J/kcal). Compare this to the value
of the mechanical equivalent of heat by computing the percent error.
9. If time permits (ask your instructor), repeat the experiment and use the average value of the experimental
results in determining the percent error. Attach these
results to the laboratory report.
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E X P E R I M E N T
2 4
Joule Heat
Laboratory Report
Mass
Material
Specific heat
Calorimeter cup
Immersion coil
Calorimeter cup and water
Water
DATA TABLE
Purpose: To determine the mechanical equivalent of heat.
Time
(
)
Voltage V
(
)
Current I
(
)
Temperature
(
)
0
Ti
Tf
Calculations
(show work)
Average voltage
Average current
Electrical energy expended
Heat energy gained
Ratio of results
Percent error
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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Joule Heat
Laboratory Report
QUESTIONS
1. What are the major sources of error in the experiment? Why should the initial temperature
of the water be several degrees below room temperature?
2. Why was it necessary to make adjustments to maintain a constant current in the circuit?
3. If the cost of electricity is 12 cents per kWh, what was the cost of the electricity used in
performing the experiment?
4. (a) Circular metal wires in electrical circuits may have different cross-sectional areas
(different diameters) and different lengths. For a given applied voltage, how would the
joule heat vary with these parameters?
(b) Would the wire material make a difference? (Hint: See resistivity in your textbook.)
5. Do heating appliances such as hair dryers and toasters have high-resistance or
low-resistance elements? Explain.
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E X P E R I M E N T
2 5
The RC Time Constant
(Manual Timing)
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. What is an RC time constant?
2. What must the unit(s) of an RC time constant be? Show this explicitly. (Hint: Q 5 CV and V 5 IR.)
3. When an RC series circuit is connected to a dc source, what is the voltage on a capacitor
after one time constant when (a) charging from zero voltage and (b) discharging from
a fully charged condition?
4. If the resistance in a capacitor circuit is increased, does the charging time of the
capacitor increase or decrease? Explain.
(continued)
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Advance Study Assignment
5. Can the voltage across a capacitor be measured with a common voltmeter? Explain.
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INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
constant t, which is the product of the capacitance C and
the series resistance R, that is, t 5 RC. In this experiment,
the time constants and the charging and discharging characteristics of capacitors will be investigated.
After performing this experiment and analyzing the
data, you should be able to:
When a capacitor is connected to a dc power supply or
battery, charge builds up on the capacitor plates, and the
potential difference or voltage across the plates increases
until it equals the voltage of the source. At any time, the
charge Q of the capacitor is related to the voltage across the
capacitor plates by Q 5 CV, where C is the capacitance of
the capacitor in farads (F).
The rate of voltage rise depends on the capacitance
of the capacitor and the resistance in the circuit. Similarly,
when a charged capacitor is discharged, the rate of voltage
decay depends on the same parameters.
Both the charging time and discharge time of a
capacitor are characterized by a quantity called the time
1. Explain the RC time constant and what its value means
in terms of circuit characteristics.
2. Describe how a capacitor charges and discharges
through a resistor as a function of time.
3. Tell how an RC time constant may be measured
experimentally.
•
•
•
•
•
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
• Two capacitors (for example, 1000 mF and 2200 mF
electrolytic)
• Two resistors (for example, 4.5 kV and 10 kV)
• Power supply or battery (12 V)
THEORY
where the exponential e 5 2.718 is the base of natural
logarithms and Vo is the voltage of the source.
The quantity t 5 RC is called the time constant of
the circuit. The curve of the exponential rise of the voltage
with time during the charging process is illustrated in
● Fig. 25.2.
When a capacitor is charged through a resistor by a dc
voltage source (the single-pole, double-throw switch S in
position a in ● Fig. 25.1), the charge in the capacitor and
the voltage across the capacitor increase with time. The
voltage V as a function of time is given by
V 5 Vo A1 2 e2t/RC B 5 Vo A1 2 e2t/T B
High-resistance digital readout voltmeter
Single-pole, double-throw (SPDT) switch
Connecting wires
Laboratory timer
2 sheets of Cartesian graph paper
(25.1)
(charging voltage)
Figure 25.1 Capacitor charging and discharging. The circuit
diagram for charging (switch S in position a) and discharging
(switch S in position b) a capacitor through a resistor.
Figure 25.2 Voltage versus time. A graph illustrating voltage
versus time for capacitor charging and discharging. The
“steepness” of the curve depends on the time constant RC.
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EXPERIMENT 25
/ The RC Time Constant (Manual Timing)
At time t 5 t 5 RC (one time constant), the voltage
across the capacitor has grown to a value of (1 2 e1) of Vo;
that is, V 5 Vo A1 2 e2RC/RC B 5 Vo A1 2 e21 B 5 Vo(1 2 e1) 5
0.63 Vo.
When the fully charged capacitor is discharged
through a resistor (switch S in position b in Fig. 25.1), the
voltage across (and the charge on) the capacitor “decays,”
or decreases with time, according to the equation
V 5 Voe2t/RC
(25.2)
(discharging voltage)
The exponential decay of the voltage with time is also
illustrated in Fig. 25.2. After a time t 5 t 5 RC (one time
constant), the voltage across the capacitor has decreased to a
value of e1 of Vo; that is, V 5 Voe2t/RC 5 Voe2RC/RC 5 Voe21 5
Vo /e 5 0.37 Vo. In order to analyze the voltage versus time,
it is helpful to put Eqs 25.1 and 25.2 in the form of a straight
line. From Eq. 25.1, (Vo 2 V) 5 Voe2t/RC and taking the
natural logarithm of both sides of the equation gives
1n(Vo 2 V) 5
1
1 ln Vo
RC
(25.3)
(charging voltage)
Taking the natural logarithm (base e) of Eq. 25.2,
ln V 5 2
t
1 ln Vo
RC
(25.4)
(discharging voltage)
Both of these equations have the form of the equation of a
straight line, y 5 mx 1 b. (Can you identify the variables and
constants?) Both have negative slopes of magnitude 1/RC.
Hence the time constant of a circuit can be found from the
slopes of the graphs of ln(Vo 2 V) versus t and/or ln V
versus t.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
1. Set up the circuit as shown in Fig. 25.1 with the capacitor of smaller capacitance and resistor of larger resistance. It is often necessary to use a series combination
of resistors to obtain the large resistances required in
the experiment.
The resistance of a resistor may be determined from
the colored bands on the resistor. (See Appendix A,
Table A5, for the resistor color code.)
Record the value of the capacitance C1 and the
resistance R1 in Data Table 1. Also prepare the laboratory timer for time measurements. Have the instructor
check the circuit before closing the switch.
2. Close the switch to position a and note the voltage rise
of the capacitor on the voltmeter. When the capacitor
is fully charged, move the switch to position b, and
note the voltage decrease as the capacitor discharges.
In the following procedures, the voltage is read as
a function of time. You should try trial time runs to
become familiar with the procedures.
3. Simultaneously close the switch to position a and start
the timer. Read and record the capacitor voltage at
small time intervals (for example, 3 s–5 s) until the
capacitor is fully charged (Vo). This should be done
with two persons working together.
If necessary, however, the switch may be opened
(and the timer stopped) to stop the charging process
after a given interval without appreciable error if a
high-quality, low-leakage capacitor is used.
4. After the capacitor is fully charged, open the switch
to the neutral position and reset the timer. Then,
simultaneously close the switch to position b and start
the timer. Read and record the decreasing voltage
at small time intervals. Open the switch when the
capacitor is discharged.
5. Replace R1 and C1 with R2 and C2 (smaller resistance
and larger capacitance), and repeat Procedures 3 and 4,
using Data Table 2 to record your findings.
6. Compute the quantity (Vo 2 V ) for the charging and
discharging processes, respectively. Then find the
value of ln(Vo 2 V) and ln V.
7. On a Cartesian graph, plot ln(Vo 2 V) versus t for both
sets of data. On the other graph, plot ln V versus t for
both sets of data. Draw the straight lines that best fit
the data, and determine the slope of each line. Record
the slopes in the data tables. Compute the time constants from the average slope values.
8. Compute t1 5 R1C1 and t2 5 R2C2 from the given
resistance and capacitance values, and compare with
the experimental values by finding the percent errors.
(Note: The resistors and capacitors may have appreciable
tolerances (6 %) or vary from the given values.)
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E X P E R I M E N T
2 5
The RC Time Constant
(Manual Timing)
Laboratory Report
DATA TABLE 1
C1
Purpose: To determine the RC time constant.
R1
Charging
V
(
t
)
(
)
Discharging
Vo 2 V
V
ln (Vo 2 V)
(
t
)
(
)
ln V
Vo
Vo
Calculations
(show work)
Slope (charging)
Slope (discharging)
Average slope
R1C1 (from slope)
R1C1 (from given values)
Percent error
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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Laboratory Report
DATA TABLE 2
C2
Purpose: To determine the RC time constant.
R2
Charging
V
(
t
)
(
)
Discharging
Vo 2 V
ln (Vo 2 V)
V
(
t
)
(
)
ln V
Vo
Vo
Calculations (show work)
Slope (charging)
Slope (discharging)
Average slope
R2C2 (from slope)
R2C2 (from given values)
Percent error
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2 5
The RC Time Constant (Manual Timing)
Laboratory Report
QUESTIONS
1. Show that the magnitude of the charge on a capacitor is given by Q 5 Qo(1 2 e2t/t)
and Q 5 Qoe2t/t for charging and discharging, respectively.
2. What is the voltage across a capacitor after a time of two constants when (a) charging
from zero voltage and (b) discharging from a fully charged condition?
3. With V 5 Voe2t/RC, it mathematically takes an infinite time for a capacitor in an RC circuit
to discharge. Practically, how many time constants does it take for a capacitor to
discharge to less than 1% of its initial voltage?
(continued)
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The RC Time Constant (Manual Timing)
Laboratory Report
4. Show that the time for the voltage in the RC circuit to rise to Vo /2 (“half-max”)
is t1/2 5 t ln 2.
5. A 2.0-mF capacitor in a circuit in series with a resistance of 1.0 MV is charged
with a 6.0-V battery. How long would it take to charge the capacitor to three-fourths
of its maximum voltage?
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E X P E R I M E N T
2 6
The RC Time Constant
(Electronic Timing)
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. Compare the voltages across a capacitor in dc and ac RC circuits.
2. How is the time base of the horizontal oscilloscope trace determined?
3. What is the significance of the RC time constant for the circuit?
4. Explain how the time constant of an RC circuit is determined from a stationary
oscilloscope pattern.
(continued)
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Advance Study Assignment
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. What is the time constant of an RC circuit, and what are the units of measurement?
2. How many time constants will you have to wait before you can consider the capacitor
“fully charged”?
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to the computer. From computer-drawn graphs of voltage
versus time, the time constant is determined—the point
of 63% of maximum voltage for charging and 37% of the
maximum voltage for discharging. The procedure is done
for two resistances.
OVERVIEW
Experiment 26 examines the RC time constant using
complementary electronic TI and CI approaches. In the
TI procedure, the time constant of an RC circuit is determined from an oscilloscope trace of voltage versus time.
This is done for combinations of RC values.
In the CI procedure, a voltage sensor monitors voltage
changes for charging and discharging and supplies data
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
3. Describe how an RC time constant may be measured
from an oscilloscope trace.
The oscilloscope can be used to study many ac circuit
characteristics. The screen display of voltage versus time
makes it possible to observe a variety of measurements. In
particular, in an RC (resistance-capacitance) circuit, the
charging of the capacitor can be visually observed. And
using the horizontal time scale, the time constant of the
charging process can be readily determined.
In this experiment, the oscilloscope will be used to
determine the time constant of an RC circuit as the capacitor is continually charged and discharged by an ac signal
voltage.
OBJECTIVES
The purpose of this experiment is to investigate the charging
and discharging of a capacitor in a series RC circuit. The
time constant of the circuit will be determined experimentally and compared to the theoretical value. After performing this experiment and analyzing the data, you should be
able to:
1. Describe the charging and discharging of a capacitor
through a resistor.
2. Explain how the time constant can be measured
experimentally.
3. Explain what the RC time constant means in terms of
circuit characteristics.
OBJECTIVES
After performing this experiment and analyzing the data,
you should be able to:
1. Explain the charging characteristics of a capacitor
with ac voltage.
2. Appreciate how the oscilloscope can be used to monitor electrical characteristics and to make electrical
measurements.
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T I
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The RC Time Constant
(Electronic Timing)
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
• Connecting wires
• 2 sheets of Cartesian graph paper
• (Optional) Unknown resistor wrapped in masking
tape to conceal value
• Function generator (square wave)
• Oscilloscope
• Three capacitors (0.05 mF, 0.1 mF, and 0.2 mF,
or capacitor substitution box)
• Three resistors 1 5 kV, 10 kV, and 20 kV
or resistance box)
THEORY
charging and discharging the capacitor.* The voltage across
the capacitor increases according to TI Eq. (26.1) and then
decreases according to the relationship†
When an RC circuit is connected to a dc voltage source,
charge must flow into the capacitor before the voltage across
the capacitor can change. This takes time. As the voltage
across the capacitor becomes closer to that of the source, the
flow of charge becomes slower and slower. The capacitor
voltage approaches the supply voltage as an asymptote—
coming ever closer, but never getting there.
When the capacitor starts with no voltage across it,
V 5 0 at t 5 0, the subsequent changing voltage is given
by the equation
V 5 Vo(1 2 e2t/RC)
5 Vo(1 2 e2t/t)
V 5 Voe2t/RC
(TI 26.3)
On an oscilloscope, the time base or the magnitude of
the horizontal time axis is determined by the SWEEP TIME/
DIV. From this control setting, you can determine time
functions for traces on the screen. For example, suppose
two complete wave cycles of a stationary sinusoidal pattern
cover 6.66 horizontal divisions with a SWEEP TIME/DIV
(TI 26.1)
where e is the base of the natural logarithms 1 e 5 2.718 c2 ,
Vo is the voltage of the dc source, R the resistance in the
circuit, and C the capacitance. The quantity t 5 RC is the
time constant of the circuit. (See the Theory section in
Experiment 25.)
After a time of one time constant, t 5 t 5 RC, the
voltage is
V 5 Vo(1 2 e2RC/RC) 5 Vo(1 2 e21) 5 Vo(0.63)
or
V
5 0.63
Vo
TI Figure 26.1 Voltage rise. A typical graph of voltage ver-
(TI 26.2)
sus time for a capacitor charging in an RC circuit. In a time
t 5 RC, the capacitor charges to 63% of its maximum value.
That is, the voltage across the capacitor is 0.63 (or 63%)
of its maximum value (● TI Fig. 26.1). For a dc voltage
source, the capacitor voltage further increases to Vo and
maintains this voltage unless discharged.
However, for an ac voltage source, the capacitor voltage
increases and decreases as the voltage of the applied signal
alternately increases and decreases. For example, suppose
that a square-wave ac signal as illustrated in ● TI Fig. 26.2
is applied to the circuit. This has the effect of continuously
*The square-wave generator actually is constantly reversing the charge on
the capacitor, but the trace has the same rise time as though it were charging
and discharging.
†
It should be noted that the high point on the charging curve and the
low point on the decay curve in Fig. 26.2 are not V 5 Vo and V 5 0,
respectively, since it takes infinite times for the capacitor to charge and
discharge to these values. However, if the time constant is several times
smaller than one-half the period T of the square wave, T 5 1/ f, then to a
good approximation the high and low points of the curve may be taken to
correspond to V 5 Vo and V 5 0, respectively.
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EXPERIMENT 26
/ The RC Time Constant (Electronic Timing)
TI Figure 26.2 Charging and discharging. When a squarewave signal is applied to a capacitor in an RC circuit, the
capacitor periodically charges and discharges, as shown
here on a voltage-versus-time graph.
setting of 5 ms/div. Then, the time for these two cycles is
time 5 ST/div 3 div 5 5 ms/div 3 6.66 div 5 33.3 ms,
so the time for one cycle or the period of the wave is T 5
33.3 ms/2 5 16.7 ms. (What is the frequency of the wave?)
The time constant of an RC circuit can be determined
from a stationary oscilloscope pattern of the capacitor voltage versus time. This is done by finding the horizontal distance (time) needed for the trace to reach 0.63Vo.
On an oscilloscope, time is measured as a horizontal
distance. The scale is set by the knob marked SWEEP
TIME/DIV.
TI Example 26.1 If the horizontal distance from the
starting point to the point where the trace reaches
63% of the maximum voltage Vo , as shown in TI
Fig. 26.1, is 6.5 divisions (1 division < 1 cm), the time
for 6.5 horizontal divisions is equal to one time constant (t). With the SWEEP TIME/DIV set at 5 ms/div,
the value of the RC time constant would be (6.5 div) 3
(5 ms/div) 5 32.5 ms.
Horizontal: TIME/DIV 2 mSEC, POSITION Center
the trace. Triggering: LEVEL 12:00 position, COUPLING/SYNC AC SLOW, SOURCE INT, SLOPE 1).
The Vertical VOLTS/DIV and Horizontal TIME/DIV
will be used here.
Check that the small red knobs in the center of the
VOLTS/DIV and TIME/DIV controls are in the calibrated position. Adjust the FOCUS and INTENSITY
controls for a sharp, clear trace. Caution: Intensity
should be kept low to protect the phosphor on the screen.
If time permits, experiment with the controls to see how
they affect the display.
Obtain a stationary trace of one or two cycles of
the square-wave pattern on the screen. Adjust the vertical VOLTS/DIV and the function generator amplitude
until the pattern is exactly 8 divisions high. (This is
about 8 cm high.) If Vo is 8 divisions, the 5-division
horizontal line will be very close to the 0.63Vo criterion
for measuring the time constant (since 5/8 5 0.625,
actually 0.625Vo).
2. Then set up the circuit as shown in ● TI Fig. 26.3,
with R 5 R1 5 10 kV and C 5 C1 5 0.1 mF. Have the
instructor check the circuit before attaching the final
lead to the oscilloscope.
3. Close the oscilloscope circuit by connecting the wire
to the circuit, and note the pattern. Carefully adjust
the trigger controls so that the curve starts upward at
the left end of the trace. The exponential rise time can
be observed in greater detail by increasing the sweep
rate (decreasing the TIME/DIV).
Adjust the time (TIME/DIV) until the rising curve
extends well across the screen. Be sure that the variable TIME/DIV remains in the calibrated position.
4. With the total pattern 8 divisions high, the time constant is represented by the horizontal distance from
the point where the trace starts to move up to the point
where it crosses the horizontal line 5 divisions up. The
time is found by multiplying the horizontal distance
by the TIME/DIV setting (see TI Example 26.1). Record in TI Data Table 1.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
1. Turn on the oscilloscope and function generator. Set the
function generator frequency to 100 Hz and the wave
amplitude near maximum. Connect the square-wave
output of the function generator directly to the vertical
input terminals of the oscilloscope.
Set the oscilloscope as follows. (Note: Different
oscilloscopes differ somewhat in the names and locations of controls. Vertical: CH A DC, VOLTS/DIV 0.5,
MODE CH A, POSITION Center Trace, CH B GND.
TI Figure 26.3 RC circuit. Circuit diagram for the
experimental procedure for studying RC circuits. See text
for description.
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EXPERIMENT 26
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381
5. Open the circuit and repeat Procedures 3 and 4 with
R 5 R 2 5 5 kV and R 5 R 3 5 20 kV. Record in
TI Data Table 2.
Why?) Determine the slope of the straight line that
best fits the data. To what does the value of the slope
correspond?
6. On a Cartesian graph, plot the experimental t versus R.
Determine the slope of the straight line that best fits the
data. To what does the value of the slope correspond?
9. Compute the time constants for each of the RC combinations using the known R and C values, and compare
with the experimentally determined values by finding
the percent errors.
7. Replace R with R1 5 10 kV, and repeat Procedures
3 and 4 with C 5 C2 5 0.05 mF and C 5 C3 5 0.2 mF.
8. On a Cartesian graph, plot the experimental t versus C.
(You should have three data points for t with R 1.
10. (Optional) Use your knowledge gained in this experiment to determine experimentally the value of the unknown resistor. Remove the masking tape after doing
so and compute the percent error.
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T I
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2 6
The RC Time Constant
(Electronic Timing)
Laboratory Report
DATA TABLE 1
Purpose: To determine the effect of R on the time constant.
R
(
C
)
(
)
Divisions
for 0.63
rise
Sweep
time 5 div
Exp. time
constant
Computed
RC
Percent
error
Case 1
R1C1
Case 2
R2C1
Case 3
R3C1
Calculations
(show work)
Slope of the t-versus-R plot
Percent difference between slope and C1
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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Laboratory Report
DATA TABLE 2
Purpose: To determine the effect of C on the time constant.
R
(
C
)
(
)
Divisions
for 0.63
rise
Sweep
time 5 div
Exp. time
constant
Computed
RC
Percent
error
Case 4
R1C2
Case 5
R1C3
Slope of the t-versus-C plot
Percent difference between slope and R1
Experimental RC time constant
Capacitance C
Computed R
Marked value of R
Percent error
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The RC Time Constant (Electronic Timing)
Laboratory Report
QUESTIONS
1. Judging on the basis of your experimental results, under what conditions are the charging
times of different RC circuits the same?
2. In the form V 5 Vo 1 1 2 e2t/t 2 , the t 5 RC in the exponential must have units of time.
(Why?) Show that this is the case.
3. How could the value of an unknown capacitance be determined using the experimental
procedures? Show explicitly by assuming a value for an experimentally determined time
constant.
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The RC Time Constant
(Electronic Timing)
• Voltage sensor (PASCO CI-6503)
• Cables and alligator clips
• Multimeter (that can measure resistance and
capacitance)
• Second resistor of different value
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
This activity is designed for the Science Workshop 750
Interface, which has a built-in function generator.
• 1000-V resistor
• 330-mF capacitor
The capacitor is fully charged when V 5 Vo, which theoretically requires an infinite amount of time, t S `. In practice, however, it is said the capacitor is fully charged if we
wait long enough. But how long is “long enough”? Let’s
say until the voltage across the capacitor is 99.9% of the
voltage of the source. The time it takes for this to happen
can be calculated as follows:
THEORY
A. Charging a Capacitor
● CI Fig. 26.1 shows a series RC circuit: a resistor connected
in series with a capacitor and a power source of voltage
Vo. As soon as the voltage source is turned on, the capacitor starts charging. As the charge in the capacitor increases
exponentially with time, so does the voltage across its plates.
The voltage across the capacitor at any time t is given by
V 5 Vo(1 2 e2t/RC)
V 5 Vo(1 2 e2t/t)
0.999 Vo 5 Vo(1 2 e2t/t)
(CI 26.1)
0.999 5 1 2 e2t/t
e2t/t 5 1 2 0.999
The quantity RC is called the time constant t of the circuit,
that is,
e2t/t 5 0.001
2t
5 ln (0.001)
t
Thus the time needed is
(CI 26.2)
t 5 RC
With the resistance measured in ohms and the capacitance in farads, it is easy to show that the time constant has
units of seconds. (See Question 1.) In terms of the time
constant, CI Eq. 26.1 can be written as
2t/t
V 5 Vo(1 2 e
)
t 5 2t ln 1 0.001 2 5 6.9t < 7t
(CI 26.4)
For experimental purposes, for a time of about seven time
constants, the capacitor is considered to be fully charged.
Another time that is of special interest is the time constant itself. Notice that at a time t 5 t 5 RC, one time
constant after starting the charging process, the voltage
across the capacitor has increased to 63% of the voltage of
the source, as shown here:
(CI 26.3)
The voltage across the capacitor will increase exponentially with time until it matches the voltage of the source.
V 5 Vo(1 2 e2t/t)
5 Vo(1 2 e2t/t)
5 Vo(1 2 e21)
5 0.63Vo
Resistor
Voltage
source
(CI 26.5)
Capacitor
Notice that if you experimentally find at what time the
voltage is 63% of the maximum, you are finding the time
constant of the circuit.
In this experiment, the voltage source will be a signal generator that will produce a positive square wave.
CI Figure 26.1 A series RC circuit. A capacitor and a resistor
are connected in series to a voltage source.
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EXPERIMENT 26
/ The RC Time Constant (Electronic Timing)
In this case, notice that one time constant after the discharge begins, the voltage across the capacitor will be 37%
of the original fully charged voltage of Vo:
Resistor
Signal
generator
Voltage
sensor
Capacitor
(output
voltage of the
750 interface)
CI Figure 26.2 The experimental setup. The signal generator of the 750 Interface will be the voltage source for this
experiment. A positive-square-wave voltage function will
be used to periodically charge and discharge the capacitor.
A voltage sensor will keep track of the voltage across the
capacitor.
(CI 26.7)
Thus the discharging of the capacitor can also be used
to find the time constant experimentally, by determining
how long it takes for the voltage to decrease to 37% of the
initial maximum value.
In this experiment, the charging and discharging of the
capacitor will be observed in a plot of voltage versus time.
The time constant of the circuit will be directly measured
from the plot.
SETTING UP DATA STUDIO
Period
Vmax
V 5 Voe2t/t
5 Voe2t/t
5 Voe21
5 0.37Vo
ON
ON
OFF
OFF
Time
t 7τ
CI Figure 26.3 A positive square wave. The voltage period-
ically turns ON and OFF. To make sure the time it remains
ON is enough to charge the capacitor fully, the time needed
will be approximated to seven time constants (7t), and the
frequency of the signal will be adjusted accordingly.
The circuit is shown in ● CI Fig. 26.2. The voltage source
is the signal generator of the PASCO Science Workshop
750 Interface. A voltage sensor will keep track of the voltage across the capacitor. A positive square wave is shown
in ● CI Fig. 26.3. The voltage source will periodically
turn on and off, charging and discharging the capacitor.
To make sure that the capacitor gets fully charged before
the source turns off, it will be necessary to set up the
square wave so that the time it remains “ON” is at least
seven time constants, as explained by CI Eq. 26.4. The
experimental procedure contains detailed instructions on
how to do this.
1. Open Data Studio and choose “Create Experiment.”
2. The Experiment Setup window will open and you will
see a picture of the Science Workshop interface. There
are seven channels to choose from, and a signal generator. (Digital channels 1, 2, 3 and 4 are the small
buttons on the left; analog channels A, B and C are the
larger buttons on the right; the signal generator is all
the way to the right, as shown in ● CI Fig. 26.4.)
4. Click on the channel A button in the picture. A window with a list of sensors will open.
5. Choose the Voltage Sensor from the list and press
OK.
6. Connect the sensor to channel A of the interface, as
shown on the computer screen.
7. Click on the picture of the signal generator. The Signal Generator window will open.
8. The default form of the signal generator function is
a sine wave. Change it to a positive square wave of
amplitude 3.0 V. (Note: Be sure to choose the “Positive Square Wave,” not the one that says just “Square
Wave.” Scrolling down the list may be needed.) The
frequency of the signal will depend on the values of R
and C and will be entered later on.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
B. Discharging a Capacitor
1. Measure the resistance of the resistor using a multimeter, and record the value in CI Data Table 1.
When the voltage source is turned off, the charge in the
capacitor flows back through the resistor. As the charge in
the capacitor decreases, the voltage across the capacitor also
decreases. The decrease is exponential, and as a function of
time, it is described by the equation
2. Measure the capacitance of the capacitor using a multimeter, and record the value in CI Data Table 1. If the
available multimeter does not measure capacitance,
then use the manufacturer’s value as the capacitance.
V 5 Voe2t/t
(CI 26.6)
3. Calculate the theoretical time constant, and enter the
value in CI Data Table 1.
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EXPERIMENT 26
/ The RC Time Constant (Electronic Timing)
389
The voltage sensor is connected to Channel A and works as a voltmeter. The
signal generator of the Science Workshop interface is used as the voltage source that produces a positive square wave function.
CI Figure 26.4 The Experiment Setup Window.
4. Calculate the approximate time needed to consider the
capacitor fully charged. [See CI Eq. 26.4.] Enter the
value in CI Data Table 1.
series. The voltage source is the output source of the
750 Interface, set to 3 V.*
7. Connect the voltage sensor across the capacitor, as
shown in CI Fig. 26.2.
5. As explained in the CI Theory section, the frequency
of the square wave needs adjusting so that the voltage
source remains “ON” for enough time to charge the
capacitor fully before it automatically turns “OFF”
and discharges, as shown in CI Fig. 26.3. This is
accomplished by following these steps:
a. The time to charge, calculated in step 4, is half the
required period of the square wave. (See CI Fig.
26.3.) Calculate the required period, and enter it in
CI Data Table 1.
b. Calculate the frequency, remembering that the
frequency is the inverse of the period. Report the
frequency in Data Table 1.
c. Enter the required frequency in the Signal Generator window, and set the generator to AUTO.
10. Record the maximum voltage across the capacitor.
Then calculate 63% of this value. Report these values
in CI Data Table 1.
6. Set up the circuit shown in CI Fig. 26.2. The resistor,
the capacitor, and the voltage source are connected in
*The voltage value of 3 V is suggested for the values of R and C specified
before because it produces an easy-to-read plot. The voltage sensor can
measure a high range of voltages, and you may use a different value.
8. Press the START button. The capacitor will begin to
charge and discharge. Press the STOP button after two
cycles have been completed. Press the Scale-to-Fit
button (leftmost button on the graph toolbar) to scale
all data to fit on the screen.
9. Print the graph. If no printer is available, make a careful drawing of the graph. Paste the graph to the laboratory report.
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EXPERIMENT 26
/ The RC Time Constant (Electronic Timing)
A. Charging
11. Look at the charging part of the graph. Use the graph
tools to find the time at which the voltage reached
63% of the maximum. This is the experimental time
constant of the circuit. [Refer to CI Eq. 26.5.] Enter
the value in the table, and compare it to the theoretical
value with a percent error.
B. Discharging
12. Determine 37% of the maximum voltage, and record
this value in the table.
13. From the graph, determine how long after the start of
the discharge the voltage was only 37% of the maximum. This is again the time constant of the circuit.
[Refer to CI Eq. 26.7.] Enter this value in the laboratory report, and compare it to the theoretical value by
calculating the percent error.
14. Repeat the experiment with a different value of resistance, keeping the capacitor and the voltage source
constant. Do not forget to recalculate and adjust the
required frequency of the positive square-wave function. Report the results as Trial 2 in CI Data Table 1.
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C I
E X P E R I M E N T
2 6
The RC Time Constant
(Electronic Timing)
Laboratory Report
DATA TABLE 1
Purpose: To experimentally determine the time constant of the RC circuit.
Trial 1
Trial 2
R
Theoretical
Values
C
ttheo
Time to fully charge
< 7ttheo
Period, T
Output
Signal
Frequency, f 5 T1
Vmax
Experimental
Values
Charging
0.63 of
Vmax
texp
Percent
error
Discharging
0.37 of
Vmax
texp
Percent
error
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
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The RC Time Constant (Electronic Timing)
Laboratory Report
QUESTIONS
1. Show, by dimensional analysis, that the time constant t 5 RC has units of time.
2. Compare the charging and discharging of the capacitors from Trial 1 and Trial 2.
What things were similar and what things were different? Be specific.
3. Suppose that a particular RC series circuit has a time constant of 5.0 seconds. What does
that mean in terms of the charging and discharging? How would this circuit compare to the
ones you tried? Explain qualitatively and quantitatively.
4. What could be a practical application of an RC circuit?
392
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E X P E R I M E N T
2 7
Reflection and Refraction
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. What is the law of reflection, and does it apply to all reflecting surfaces?
2. Distinguish between regular and irregular reflection. Give an example of each.
3. Why is light refracted when it passes from one medium into an optically different medium?
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
2 7
Advance Study Assignment
4. Show by Snell’s law that if the speed of light is less in a particular medium, then a light ray
is bent toward the normal when entering that medium. What happens if the speed of light is
greater in the medium?
5. What is the difference between the relative index of refraction and the absolute index of
refraction? Explain why the absolute index of refraction can be determined experimentally
fairly accurately using air as a medium.
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E X P E R I M E N T
2 7
Reflection and Refraction
a plane mirror and a glass plate will be employed to study
these laws and the parameters used in describing the reflection and refraction of light.
After performing this experiment and analyzing the
data, you should be able to:
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
Reflection and refraction are two commonly observed
properties of light. The reflection of light from smooth
and polished surfaces, such as ponds of water and mirrors, enables us to view the images of objects, including
ourselves. When light passes from one medium into
another, it is bent, or refracted. As a result, a stick in a
pond or a pencil in a glass of water appears to be bent
(● Fig. 27.1).
As part of geometrical optics, these phenomena are explained by the behavior of light rays. Through ray tracing,
the physical laws of reflection and refraction can be conveniently investigated in the laboratory. In this experiment,
1. Describe the law of reflection and explain how it can
be verified experimentally.
2. Explain Snell’s law and its application to transparent
materials.
3. Explain what the index of refraction tells you about
a transparent material and how it can be measured
experimentally.
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
•
•
•
•
• Short candle (less than 5 cm) or some similar light
source
• Rectangular mirror (and holder if available)
• Thick glass plate (approximately 8 3 10 cm)
Pins
Pin board (cardboard or poster board suffices)
Sheets of white paper 1 812 3 11 in. 2
Ruler and protractor
Note: Ray boxes may be used if available.
THEORY
B. Refraction
A. Reflection
When light passes from one medium into an optically different medium at an angle other than normal to the surface, it is “bent,” or undergoes a change in direction, as
illustrated in ● Fig. 27.3 for two parallel rays in a beam
of light. This is due to the different velocities of light in
the two media. In the case of refraction, u 1 is the angle of
incidence and u 2 is the angle of refraction.
When light strikes the surface of a material, some light is
usually reflected. The reflection of light rays from a plane
surface such as a glass plate or a plane mirror is described
by the law of reflection:
The angle of incidence (u i) is equal to the angle of
reflection (u r) that is, u i 5 u r.
These angles are measured from a line perpendicular or
normal to the reflecting surface at the point of incidence
(● Fig. 27.2). Also, the incident and reflected rays and the
normal lie in the same plane.
The rays from an object reflected by a smooth plane
surface appear to come from an image behind the surface,
as shown in the figure. From congruent triangles it can be
seen that the image distance di from the reflecting surface
is the same as the object distance do. Such reflection is
called regular or specular reflection.
The law of reflection applies to any reflecting surface.
If the surface is relatively rough, like the paper of this page,
the reflection becomes diffused or mixed, and no image of
the source or object will be produced. This type of reflection is called irregular or diffuse reflection.
Figure 27.1 Refraction. Because of refraction the pencil
appears to be bent. (Charles D. Winters/Cengage Learning.)
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EXPERIMENT 27
/ Reflection and Refraction
If v2 , v1 (as in Fig. 27.3), the rays are bent toward the
normal in the second medium. And if v2 . v1, the rays are
bent away from the normal (for example, reversed rays in
Fig. 27.2 with medium 2 taken as medium 1).
For light traveling initially in vacuum (or approximately for light traveling initially in air), the relative index
of refraction is called the absolute index of refraction or
simply the index of refraction, and
n5
The angle u i between the
incident ray and the normal to the surface is equal to the
angle u r between the reflected ray and the normal; that is,
u i 5 u r. (Only a single ray is shown.) The object distance do
is also equal to the image distance di for a plane mirror.
Figure 27.2 Law of reflection.
c
v
(27.2)
where c is the speed of light in vacuum and v is the speed
of light in the medium. Hence, the index of refraction of
vacuum is n 5 c/c 5 1, and for air n . c/c 5 1. For
water, n 5 1.33.
Snell’s law can then be written
sin u 1
v1
c/n1
n2
5 5
5
v
n1
sin u 2
c/n2
2
or
n1 sin u 1 5 n2 sin u 2
(27.3)
where n1 and n2 are in indices of refraction of the first and
second media, respectively.
From Eq. (27.2), it can be seen that the index of refraction
is a measure of the speed of light in a transparent material, or
a measure of what is called the optical density of a material.*
For example, the speed of light in water is less than that in air,
so water is said to have a greater optical density than air. Thus
the greater the index of refraction of a material, the greater its
optical density and the lesser the speed of light in the material.
In terms of the indices of refraction and Snell’s law [Eq.
(27.3)], there are the following relationships for refraction:
Figure 27.3 Refraction of two parallel rays. When medium 2
is more optically dense than medium 1, then v2 , v1 and the
rays are bent toward the normal as shown here. If v2 . v1,
the rays are bent away from the normal (as though the ray
arrows were reversed in the reverse ray tracing here).
From the geometry of Fig. 27.3, where d is the distance between the parallel rays at the boundary, we have
sin u 1 5
v1t
v2t
and sin u 2 5
d
d
or
sin u 1
v1
5 5 n12
v2
sin u 2
(27.1)
where the ratio of the velocities n12 is called the relative
index of refraction. Equation (27.1) is known as Snell’s law.
• If the second medium is more optically dense than
the first medium 1 n2 . n1 2 , the refracted ray is bent
toward the normal 1 u 2 , u 1 2 , as in Fig. 27.3.
• If the second medium is less optically dense than the
first medium 1 n2 , n1 2 , the refracted ray is bent away
from the normal (u 2 . u 1), as for the reverse ray tracing in Fig. 27.3.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
A. Reflection
Glass Plate as a Mirror
1. Place a sheet of white paper on the table. As illustrated
in ● Fig. 27.4, draw a line where the candle (or object)
will be placed. The line should be drawn parallel to
the shorter edge of the page and about 3 to 4 cm from
that edge. Make a mark near the center of the line, and
place the candle on the mark.
*Optical density does not correlate directly with mass density. In some
instances, a material with a greater optical density than another may have
a lower mass density.
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EXPERIMENT 27
Glass plate
Position 1
Image 2
Image 1
Paper
Position 2
Candle line
Center line
Figure 27.4 Glass plate as a mirror. The arrangement for the
experimental procedure using a glass plate as a mirror. See
text for description. (Images are displaced for illustration.)
Put the glass plate near the center of the paper, as
shown in the figure. With the length of the plate parallel to the candle line, draw a line along the edge of the
glass plate (side toward the candle). Light the candle.
Caution: Take care not to burn yourself during
the experimental procedure.
Looking directly over the candle with your eye as
in position 1 in Fig. 27.4, you will observe an image
of the candle (image 1) in the glass plate. The glass
plate reflects light and serves as a mirror. (Observing
should be done with only one eye open.)
2. Observing the top of the flame from a side position
(position 2 in Fig. 27.4), you will see a double image,
one nearer than the other. Can you explain why?
Place a pin in the pin board near the glass plate so
that it is aligned (in the line of sight) with the front or
nearer image of the candle (image 2 in Fig. 27.4; double
image not shown in figure). Place another pin closer to
you or to the edge of the paper so that both pins and the
candle image are aligned. Mark the locations of the pins.
Repeat this procedure, viewing from a position
on the other side of the candle.
/ Reflection and Refraction
397
distance do ) and to the candle image position (the
image distance di ). Compute the percent differences of the quantities, as indicated in the laboratory report.
Plane Mirror
5. (a) Place the mirror near the center of a sheet of
paper as with the glass plate used previously.
(The mirror may be propped up by some means,
or a holder may be used if available.) Draw a line
along the silvered side of the mirror. Then lay an
object pin about 10 cm in front of the mirror and
parallel to its length (● Fig. 27.5).
Mark the locations of the ends of the object pin
on the paper with a pencil.
(b) Stick a reference pin R in the board to one side of
the object pin and near the edge of the paper, as
illustrated in Fig. 27.5, and mark its location.
(c) Place another pin nearer the mirror so that it is visually aligned with the reference pin and the head
of the object pin’s image in the mirror. Mark the
position of this pin, and label it with an H. Then
move this pin over so that it aligns with the reference pin and the “tail” of the image pin. Mark
this location, and label it with a T.
(d) Repeat this procedure on the opposite side of the
object pin with another reference pin.
6. Remove the equipment from the paper, and draw
straight lines from the reference points through each of
the H and T locations and the mirror line. The H lines
and T lines will intersect and define the locations of
the head and tail of the pin image, respectively.
Draw a line between the line intersections (the
length of the pin image). Measure the length of this
3. Remove the equipment from the paper. Draw straight
lines through the pair of pin points extending from the
candle line through the glass-plate line. (Extend the
candle line if necessary.) The lines will intersect on
the opposite side of the plate line at the location of the
candle image.
Draw lines from the actual candle position or
mark to the points of intersection of the previously
drawn lines and the plate line. These lines from the
candle (mark) to the glass-plate line and back to the
observation positions are ray tracings of light rays.
4. Draw normal lines to the glass-plate line at the points
of intersection of the ray lines. Label and measure
the angles of incidence u i and reflection u r. Record the
data in the laboratory report.
Also, measure the perpendicular distances from
the glass-plate line to the candle mark (the object
Figure 27.5 Plane mirror. The arrangement for the ex-
perimental procedure for a plane mirror. See text for
description.
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EXPERIMENT 27
/ Reflection and Refraction
line and the length of the object pin, and record. Also,
measure the object distance do and the image distance
di from the mirror line, and record.
Compute the percent differences of the respective
measured quantities.
Rotation of a Mirror
7. Place the mirror near the center of a sheet of paper (as
described above), and draw a line along the length of
the silvered side of the mirror. Measure so as to find
the center of the line, and mark that location.
Stick two pins (A and B) in the board to one side
and in front of and in line with the center of the mirror,
as in ● Fig. 27.6. Viewing the aligned images of these
pins from the other side of the page, place two more pins
(C and D) in alignment. Label the locations of the pins.
8. Leaving pins A and B in place, rotate the mirror a
small but measurable angle u (approximately 10 to
15°) about its center point, and draw a line along the
silvered side of the mirror.
Align two pins (E and F) with the aligned images
of A and B, and mark and label the locations of E
and F.
9. Remove the equipment from the paper and draw
the incident ray and the two reflected rays. Measure
the angle of rotation u of the mirror and the angle
of deflection f between the two reflected rays, and
record in the laboratory report.
Double u, and compute the percent difference
between 2u and f. Make a conclusion about the relationship between the angle of rotation of a mirror and
the angle of deflection of a ray.
An illustration of the experimental arrangement and procedure for the rotation of a
mirror. See text for description.
Figure 27.6 Mirror rotation.
B. Refraction
Index of Refraction of a Glass Plate
10. Lay the glass plate in the center of a sheet of paper,
and outline its shape with a pencil (● Fig. 27.7). Draw
a line normal to one of the sides of the plate, and place
a pin (R) at the intersection of this line and the face of
the plate. Measure an angle u 1 of 15° relative to this
line, and place a pin (A) about 6 to 8 cm from the plate
at this angle.
Then, sighting through the edge of the plate from
the eye position shown in Fig. 27.7, place a pin (Ar)
adjacent to the face of the plate so that it is aligned
with R and A. Mark and label the locations of the pins.
Repeat with pins B and C at angles of 30° and 45°,
respectively. For the 45°-angle case, align an additional
pin (Cs Fig. 27.7).
11. Trace the various rays, and measure and record u 1
and u 2 for each case. Also measure and record the
displacement d of ray CrCs from the normal and
the thickness of the plate. Using Eq. (27.3), compute
the index of refraction of the glass.
Compare the average experimental value of
the index of refraction with the general range of the
index of refraction of glass (n 5 1.521.7, depending
on type).
Figure 27.7 Index of refraction. An illustration (top view)
of the experimental arrangement and procedure for determining the index of refraction of a glass plate. See text for
description.
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E X P E R I M E N T
2 7
Reflection and Refraction
Laboratory Report
A. Reflection
Glass Plate as a Mirror
ui
Percent differences between u i and u r
ur
Ray 1 _____________ _____________
do _____________________
Ray 1
Ray 2 ____________
di _____________________
Ray 2
____________
Percent differences
between do and di
Plane Mirror
Length of pin _____________________ do _____________________
Length of image ____________________ di _____________________
Percent difference
between pin length
and image length
Percent difference
between do and di
Rotation of a Mirror
Angle of rotation, u ____________________
2u ____________________
Angle of deflection of ray, f ____________________
Percent difference between f and 2u ____________________
Calculations
(show work)
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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Laboratory Report
Reflection and Refraction
B. Refraction
Index of Refraction of a Glass Plate
u1
u2
Computed n
Ray ARAr
Ray BRBr
Ray CRCr
Average n
General range of the index of
refraction of glass
Displacement d of ray CrCs
Thickness of glass plate
Calculations
(show work)
QUESTIONS
1. (a) Why are two images seen in the glass plate when it is viewed from position 2 in Part A
of the experiment? Why is only one image seen when it is viewed from position 1?
400
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Reflection and Refraction
Laboratory Report
(b) Explain why reflection images are easily seen at night in a window pane from inside
the house, whereas during the day they are not.
2. Judging on the basis of your experimental data, draw conclusions about (a) the relationship
of the distance of the object in front of a plane mirror and the distance of its image
“behind” the mirror; and (b) the image magnification (that is, how much bigger the
image is than the object).
3. Explain the situation shown in ● Fig. 27.8. How can this be done without hurting one’s
hand? (Hint: The fearless author’s hand extends inside the sliding glass-windowed door
of a laboratory cabinet.)
Figure 27.8
See Question 3. (Cengage Learning.)
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
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Reflection and Refraction
Laboratory Report
4. Prove mathematically that when a plane mirror is rotated an angle u about an axis through
its center (Part A of the experiment), the angle of deflection f of a light ray is equal to 2u.
Draw a diagram and show the work involved in your proof. Attach an additional sheet if
necessary.
5. Referring to the situation in Fig. 27.7, show theoretically that ray CrCs is parallel to ray
CR. Compute the displacement d of the ray passing through the glass plate. Compare this
with the measured experimental displacement.
6. Using the experimentally determined n for the glass plate, compute the speed of light in the
glass plate.
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E X P E R I M E N T
2 8
Spherical Mirrors and Lenses
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. Distinguish between concave and convex spherical mirrors.
2. What is the difference between a real image and a virtual image?
3. Distinguish between diverging and converging lenses.
4. What does the word focal mean with regard to the focal point of spherical mirrors
and lenses?
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
2 8
Advance Study Assignment
5. If an object is placed 15 cm in front of a concave mirror with a radius of curvature
of 20 cm, what are the image characteristics? (Show your work.)
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E X P E R I M E N T
2 8
Spherical Mirrors and Lenses
form reduced-size images on film or a chip (digital), and
projectors form magnified images on a screen.
In this experiment, the fundamental properties of
spherical mirrors and lenses will be investigated to learn
the parameters that govern their use.
After performing this experiment and analyzing the
data, you should be able to:
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
Mirrors and lenses are familiar objects that are used daily.
The most common mirror is a plane mirror, the type we
look into every morning to see our image. Spherical
mirrors also have many common applications. For example, convex spherical mirrors are used in stores to monitor
aisles and merchandise, and concave spherical mirrors are
used as flashlight reflectors and as cosmetic mirrors that
magnify.
Mirrors reflect light, whereas lenses transmit light.
Spherical lenses are used to cause light rays to converge
and hence focus them (biconvex spherical lenses) and to
cause light rays to diverge (biconcave spherical lenses).
Many of us wear lenses in the form of eyeglasses. Cameras
and projectors use lens systems to form images. Cameras
1. Distinguish among converging and diverging spherical mirrors and lenses.
2. Determine the image characteristics for spherical
mirrors graphically using ray diagrams and analytically
using the mirror equation and magnification factor.
3. Determine the image characteristics for spherical
lenses graphically using ray diagrams and analytically
using the thin-lens equation and magnification factor.
• Meter stick optical bench (or precision bench) with
lens holder, screen, and screen holder (white cardboard can serve as the screen)
• Light source: candle and candle holder, or electric
light source with object arrow
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
• Concave and convex spherical mirrors
• Convex lens (focal length 10 cm to 20 cm)
• Concave lens (focal length at least 5 cm longer than
convex lens)
If the reflecting surface is on the inside of the spherical
section, the mirror is said to be concave. For a convex
mirror, the reflecting surface is on the outside of the spherical section.*
The characteristics of the images formed by spherical
mirrors can be determined either graphically or analytically. Examples of the graphical ray method are shown in
the ray diagrams in ● Fig. 28.2.
As illustrated for a concave mirror (Fig. 28.2a):
THEORY
A. Spherical Mirrors
A spherical mirror is a section of a sphere and is characterized by a center of curvature C (● Fig. 28.1). The
distance from the center of curvature to the vertex of
the mirror along the optic axis is called the radius of
curvature R. This also may be measured to any point on
the surface of the mirror. (Why?)
The focal point F is midway between C and the vertex,
and the focal length f is one-half the radius of curvature:
f5
R
2
1. A chief ray from the object goes through the center of
curvature C and is reflected back through C.
2. A parallel ray from the object is parallel to the optic
axis and is reflected through the focal point F.
3. A focal ray from the object passes through the focal
point F and is reflected parallel to the optic axis.
(28.1)
The intersection of these rays defines the location of
the tip of the image arrow, which extends to the optic
axis. The focal ray is a “mirror” image of the parallel ray
and is not needed to locate the tip of the image. (The focal
ray is often omitted, as the chief and parallel rays locate
The parameters used to
describe spherical mirror surfaces. See text for description.
Figure 28.1 Spherical mirrors.
* To help remember the difference, note that a concave mirror is recessed,
as though one were looking into a cave.
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EXPERIMENT 28
/ Spherical Mirrors and Lenses
Mirror surface
do
(1)
(1)
(3)
(2)
(2)
(3)
Object
•
(3)
C
•F
(3)
•
Object
•C
Image F
(1)
(2)
Image
(1)
(2)
di
(b) Convex mirror
(a) Concave mirror
Examples of the ray diagram method for determining the image characteristics for
(a) a concave, or converging, spherical mirror and (b) a convex, or diverging, spherical mirror.
Figure 28.2 Mirror ray diagrams.
the image. However, the focal ray can be helpful when the
object is inside the center of curvature.)
For a convex mirror, the chief and parallel rays appear
to go through C and F, as illustrated in Fig. 28.2b.
A concave mirror is called a converging mirror because rays parallel to the optic axis converge at the focal
point. Similarly, a convex mirror is called a diverging
mirror because the rays parallel to the optic axis appear to
diverge from the focal point.
If the image is formed on the same side of the
mirror as the object, the image is said to be a real image.
In this case, the light rays converge and are concentrated,
and an image can be observed on a screen placed at the
image distance. An image that is formed “behind” or
“inside” the mirror is called a virtual image. Here, the
rays appear to diverge from the image, and no image can
be formed on a screen. Common plane mirrors form virtual images.
In general, an image is described in terms of whether
it is
Another convenient form of this equation is
di 5
do f
do 2 f
(28.2b)
In the case of a concave mirror, the focal length is
taken to be positive (1); for a convex mirror, the focal
length is taken to be negative (2). The object distance do is
taken to be positive in either case. The resulting sign convention is as follows: If di is positive, the image is real, and
if di is negative, the image is virtual. The magnification
factor M is given by
M52
di
do
(28.3)
If M is positive (with di negative), the image is upright; if
M is negative (with di positive), the image is inverted. The
sign convention is summarized in ● Table 28.1.
Table 28.1
Sign Convention for Spherical Mirrors
and Lenses
1. Real or virtual,
2. Upright (erect) or inverted (relative to the object
orientation), and
3. Magnified or reduced (or smaller).
In Fig. 28.2a the image is real, inverted, and reduced; in
Fig. 28.2b the image is virtual, upright, and reduced.
The distance from the object to the vertex along the
optic axis is called the object distance do, and the distance from the vertex to the image is the image distance
di. Knowing the focal length f of the mirror, the position
of the image di can be found using the spherical mirror
equation,
1
1
1
1
5
do
di
f
(28.2a)
Quantity
Conditions
Sign
Focal length f
Concave mirror
Concave mirror
Concave lens
Concave lens
1
2
1
2
Object distance do
Usually* (always
in this experiment)
1
Image distance di
Image real
Image virtual
1
2
Magnification M
Image upright
Image inverted
1
2
*In some cases of lens combinations, do may be negative when the
image of one lens is used as the object for the next lens.
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EXPERIMENT 28
Example 28.1 An object is placed 45 cm in front of
a concave mirror with a focal length of 15 cm (corresponding to the case in Fig. 28.2a). Determine the
image characteristics analytically. (Neglect significant
figures.)
Solution With do 5 45 cm and f 515 cm, Eq. 28.2a,
1
1
1
3
1 5
5
45
di
15
45
Then
1
3
1
2
45
5
2
5
or di 5
5 22.5 cm
di
45
45
45
2
Then
M52
di
22.5 cm
1
52
52
do
45 cm
2
Thus, the image is real (positive di), inverted (negative M), and reduced by a factor of 12 (that is, one-half as
tall as the object).
B. Spherical Lenses
The shapes of biconvex and biconcave spherical lenses
are illustrated in ● Fig. 28.3.* A radius of curvature is
(a) A biconvex, or converging, lens and (b) a biconcave, or diverging, lens showing
the refraction of parallel incident rays.
Figure 28.3 Spherical lenses.
/ Spherical Mirrors and Lenses
407
defined for each spherical surface, but only the focal
points (one for each spherical surface) are needed for ray
diagrams.
A convex lens is called a converging lens because
rays parallel to the principal axis converge at the focal
point. A concave lens is called a diverging lens because
rays parallel to the principal axis appear to diverge from
the focal point.
As with spherical mirrors, the characteristics of the
images formed by spherical lenses can be determined
graphically or analytically. The chief (1) and parallel
(2) rays for the graphical method are illustrated in the ray
diagrams in ● Fig. 28.4.
In the case of a convex lens (Fig. 28.4a), the chief ray
(1) through the center of the lens passes straight through.
A ray parallel (2) to the principal axis is refracted in such
a way that it goes through the focal point on the far side of
the lens. Also, a focal ray (3) through the near focal point
is refracted by the lens so it leaves parallel to the axis.
In the case of a concave lens (Fig. 28.4b), the chief ray
(1) still goes straight through the center of the lens. The
ray parallel (2) to the principal axis is refracted upward
so that it appears to have passed through the focal point
on the object side of the lens. The focal ray (3), which is
headed for the focal point on the far side of the lens, is
refracted so that it leaves parallel to the principal axis.
Figure 28.4 Lens ray diagrams. Examples of the ray diagram method for determining the image characteristics for
(a) a biconvex, or converging, lens and (b) a biconcave, or
diverging, lens.
*The bi- indicates two surfaces, for example, biconvex—two convex
surfaces.
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408
EXPERIMENT 28
/ Spherical Mirrors and Lenses
If the image is formed on the side of the lens opposite
to the object, it is real and can be observed on a screen.
However, if the image is on the same side of the lens as the
object, it is virtual and cannot be seen on a screen.
The spherical thin-lens equation and magnification
factor for analytically determining the image characteristics are identical to the equations for spherical mirrors
(Eqs 28.2 and 28.3). The sign convention is also similar
(see Table 28.1). It should be noted that this lens equation
applies only to thin lenses.
Example 28.2 An object is placed 30 cm from a
biconcave lens with a focal length of 10 cm (corresponding to the case in Fig. 28.4b). Determine the
image characteristics analytically.
Solution With do 5 30 cm and f 5 210 cm (negative by
convention for a concave lens), using Eq. (28.2b) yields
di 5
do f
(30 cm)(210 cm)
5
do 2 f
30 cm 2 (210 cm)
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
A. Spherical Mirrors
Concave Mirror
1. (a) Construct a ray diagram for a concave mirror with
an object located at its focal point. (Drawing provided in the laboratory report.) It should be observed from the diagram that the reflected rays are
parallel. In this case we say that the rays “converge”
at infinity or that the image is formed at infinity.
Inversely, rays coming from an object at infinity converge to form an image at the focal point
or in the focal plane (the plane perpendicular to
the optic axis).
(b) In the open area at the lower right corner of the
laboratory report sheet, construct a ray diagram
with several rays parallel to the optic axis to show
they converge at f.
(c) Using the spherical-mirror equation, determine
the image distance for an object at infinity (`).
2. This focal property makes possible the experimental
determination of the focal length of the mirror. An
object a great distance from the mirror is essentially at
infinity relative to the dimensions of the mirror.
Take the mirror and screen to a window. Holding
the mirror in one hand and the screen in the other,
adjust the distance of the screen from the mirror until
the image of some outside distant object is observed
on the screen (hence a real image).†
Measure the distance f from the mirror vertex to
the screen, and record it in the laboratory report. Repeat
this procedure twice, and take the average of the three
measurements as the focal length of the mirror.
2300 cm
230 cm
5
5
5 27.5 cm
40 cm
4
Then
M52
di
2 1 230/4 2
1
5
51
do
30
4
Thus, the image is virtual (negative di), upright (positive M), and reduced by a factor of 14.
However, the relationship between the focal length
and the radius of curvature for a spherical lens is not as
simple as for a spherical mirror (Eq. 28.1). For a lens, the
focal length is given by what is known as the lensmaker’s
equation:
1
1
1
5 (n 2 1)a 1 b
f
R1
R2
3. Case 1: do . R.
(a) Sketch a ray diagram for an object at a distance
slightly beyond R (that is, do . R), and note the
image characteristics.
(b) Set this situation up on the optical bench as illustrated in ● Fig. 28.5, with the object placed several
centimeters beyond the radius of curvature (known
from the determination of f in Procedure 2, with
R 5 2f ). Measure the object distance do, and record it in Data Table 1.
It is usually convenient to hold the mirror
manually and adjust the object distance by moving the mirror rather than the object light source.
Move the screen along the side of the optical
bench until an image is observed on the screen.
This is best observed in a darkened room. The
(28.4)
where n is the index of refraction for the lens material and
the R’s are taken as positive for convex surfaces. (See your
textbook.)
The index of refraction of glass varies, n 5 1.5–1.7.
For example, for glass with n 5 1.5 and symmetric converging lenses (R1 5 R and R2 5 R), Eq. 28.4 yields
f 5 R.* Keep in mind, however, that the focal length of a
lens depends in general on the R values, which can be different, as well as on n. In computations, the experimentally
determined value of f will be used.
†
*For f to be equal to R/2 for a symmetric lens, as may be for a spherical
mirror, requires n 5 2, which is greater than the index of refraction of glass.
If a window is not available or it is a dark day, use Procedure 3 to
determine f experimentally. In this case, show first that di 5 do 5 R
and M 5 1. Then, di having been measured, the focal length is
f 5 d i /2 5 R/2.
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EXPERIMENT 28
409
(b)
(a)
Figure 28.5 Experimental arrangements.
/ Spherical Mirrors and Lenses
Arrangements for experimental procedures for (a) spherical mirrors and
(b) spherical lenses. (Cengage Learning.)
mirror may have to be turned slightly to direct the
rays toward the screen.
(c) Estimate the magnification factor M, and measure
and record the image distance di.
(d) Using the mirror equation, compute the image
distance and the magnification factor.
(e) Compare the computed value of di with the experimental value by computing the percent difference.
4. Case 2: do 5 R. Repeat Procedure 3 for this case.
5. Case 3: f , do , R. Repeat Procedure 3 for this case.
6. Case 4: do , f. Repeat Procedure 3 for this case.
Convex Mirror
7. Sketch ray diagrams for objects at (1) do . R,
(2) f , do , R, and (3) do , f, and draw conclusions
about the characteristics of the image of a convex mirror.
Experimentally verify that the image of a convex mirror
is virtual (that is, try to locate the image on the screen).
B. Spherical Lenses
Convex Lens
8. (a) Sketch a ray diagram for a convex lens with the
object at its focal point. As with the concave mirror
(Procedure 1), the image is formed at infinity.
(b) Using the lens equation, determine the image
characteristics for an object at infinity.
(c) Experimentally determine the focal length of the
lens by a procedure similar to that used for the
concave mirror. (The lens may be placed in a lens
holder and mounted on a meter stick.)*
9. Repeat the four cases for the lens as was done for the
concave mirror in Procedures 3 to 6, with R replaced by
2f (see Fig. 28.5). It is initially instructive to move the
lens continuously toward the object light source (decreasing do ) from a do . 2f and to observe the image
on the screen, which also must be moved continuously
to obtain a sharp image. In particular, notice the change
in the size of the image as do approaches f.
Concave Lens
10. Repeat the procedures carried out for the convex
mirror in Procedure 7 for the concave lens, with R
replaced by 2f.
11. It is possible to determine the focal length of a concave lens experimentally by placing it in contact with
a convex lens so as to form a lens combination. The
combination forms a real image. If two lenses of focal
lengths f1 and f2 are placed in contact, the lens
combination has focal length fc, given by
1
1
1
5
1
fc
f1
f2
(28.5)
Place the concave lens in contact with the convex
lens (convex surface to concave surface) in a lens
holder, and determine the focal length of the lens
combination by finding the image of a distant object
as in fc, Procedure 8. Record in the laboratory report.
Using Eq. 28.5 with the focal length of the convex
lens determined in Procedure 8, compute the focal
length of the concave lens.
*In general for a lens, f 2 R2 . However, it can be shown for the case of
di 5 do that do 5 2f. See Question 4 at the end of the experiment.
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
2 8
Spherical Mirrors and Lenses
Laboratory Report
A. Spherical Mirrors
Concave Mirror: Ray diagrams
Don’t forget units
(continued)
411
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E X P E R I M E N T
2 8
Laboratory Report
Spherical Mirrors and Lenses
Calculation of di for object at `
Experimental focal length f
Average
DATA TABLE 1
Purpose: To determine the image distance and magnification.
Experimental
do
(
di
)
(
)
Computed
M factor
(estimated)
di
(
)
di percent
M
difference
do . R
do 5 R
f , do , R
do , f
Calculations
(show work)
412
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
2 8
Spherical Mirrors and Lenses
Laboratory Report
Convex mirror: Ray diagrams
Conclusions
(continued)
413
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E X P E R I M E N T
2 8
Laboratory Report
Spherical Mirrors and Lenses
B. Spherical Lenses
Convex lens: Ray diagrams
Calculation of di for object at `
Experimental focal length f
Average
414
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
2 8
Laboratory Report
Spherical Mirrors and Lenses
DATA TABLE 2
Purpose: To determine the image distance and magnification.
Experimental
do
(
di
)
(
)
Computed
M factor
(estimated)
di
(
)
M
di percent
difference
do . 2f
do 5 2f
f , do , 2f
do , f
Calculations
(show work)
(continued)
415
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E X P E R I M E N T
2 8
Laboratory Report
Spherical Mirrors and Lenses
Concave lens: Ray diagrams
Conclusions
Focal length determination:
f c, focal length of the combination ___________________
f, focal length of convex lens ___________________
f, focal length of concave lens ___________________
QUESTIONS
1. A plane mirror essentially has a radius of curvature of infinity. Using the mirror equation,
show that (a) the image of a plane mirror is always virtual, (b) the image is “behind” the
mirror the same distance as the object is in front of the mirror, and (c) the image is always
upright.
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
2 8
Spherical Mirrors and Lenses
Laboratory Report
2. Show that the magnification factor for a mirror or lens M 5 di /do (sign convention
omitted) is the lateral magnification, or the ratio of the height (lateral size) of the image to
that of the object. (Hint: Draw a ray diagram.)
3. Explain what characteristics make convex spherical mirrors applicable for store monitoring
and concave spherical mirrors applicable as flashlight reflectors.
4. Prove that for a converging lens, for the case di 5 do, that di 5 do 5 2f.
(continued)
417
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E X P E R I M E N T
2 8
Spherical Mirrors and Lenses
Laboratory Report
5. Using the thin-lens equation and the magnification factor, show that for a spherical
diverging lens the image of a real object is always virtual, upright, and reduced. Does the
same apply for a spherical diverging mirror?
6. (Optional) (a) Using the experimental value of f for the biconvex converging lens and
n 5 1.5, compute the radius of curvature of the lens’s surfaces using the lensmaker’s
equation. (The radius of curvature for each surface is the same.)
(b) A student incorrectly assumes that f 5 R/2 for the lens and computes f using the value
of R found in part (a). Compare this computed value of f with the experimental value.
(c) The index of refraction of the lens could have a different value (n of glass varies
generally from 1.5 to 1.7). Would this make a difference? Explain.
418
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Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
2 9
Polarized Light
Malus’s Law
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. Is the plane of polarization of a polarizing polymer sheet in the same direction as the
molecular chain orientation? Explain.
2. What is the condition for optimum polarization by reflection? Is the polarization angle the
same for every material? Explain.
3. Describe how light can be polarized by refraction. Would two images be formed? Explain.
4. Why is sky light partially polarized, and why does it appear blue?
(continued)
419
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E X P E R I M E N T
2 9
Advance Study Assignment
5. What is meant by optical activity?
6. Describe the principle of optical stress analysis.
7. On a wristwatch or calculator, why are some portions of an LCD light and other portions dark?
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. What is an analyzer? How is it different from and how is it similar to a polarizer?
2. What is the range of intensities for light passing through a polarizer and analyzer? On what does this depend?
420
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E X P E R I M E N T
2 9
Polarized Light
Malus’s Law
methods of polarization: reflection, refraction, and crystal
double refraction, along with optical activity. The CI procedure focuses on Malus’s law and examines the intensity
of light transmitted through a polarizer and an analyzer.
OVERVIEW
Experiment 29 examines the polarization of light, but the
TI and CI procedures differ in focus. The TI procedure
examines the plane of polarization and illustrates some
2. Describe several means by which light can be
polarized.
3. Explain some practical applications of polarized light.
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
When speaking of polarized light, Polaroid sunglasses
usually come to mind, as this is one of the most common
applications of polarization. However, few people understand how such sunglasses reduce “glare.”
Since the unaided human eye cannot distinguish
between polarized light and unpolarized light, we are not
normally aware of the many instances of polarized light
around us. Bees, on the other hand, with their manyfaceted eyes, can detect polarized light and use scattered
polarized sunlight in navigating.
Although the unaided human eye cannot detect polarized light, with a little help, polarization can be investigated
experimentally. This is the purpose of the experiment.
OBJECTIVES
The purpose of the CI activity is to investigate the transmission of light through two polarizer filters (a polarizer
and an analyzer) as a function of the angle u between the
planes of polarization. A light sensor is used to measure
the intensity of the transmitted light. After performing this
experiment and analyzing the data, you should be able to:
1. Explain the polarization of light using a polarizer and
an analyzer.
2. Describe the intensity of light transmission through a
polarizer and an analyzer from complete transmission
to crossed polaroids.
OBJECTIVES
After performing this experiment and analyzing the data,
you should be able to:
1. Explain what the polarization of light means.
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T I
E X P E R I M E N T
2 9
Polarized Light
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
•
•
•
•
•
•
Glass plate
Tripod stand (open ring top)
Calcite crystal
Mica sheet
Cellophane tape (not polymer tape)
Lucite or other plastic pieces (for example,
U-shaped, hook, or hollow triangle)
• LCD (as on a wristwatch or hand calculator)
•
•
•
•
3 polarizing sheets
Polarizing sunglasses
(Optional) Light meter
Lamp (and converging lens for parallel beam if
needed)
• Protractor
• 6–8 glass microscope slides
vectors (TI Fig. 29.2c), the light is then linearly polarized.
This is sometimes called plane polarized or simply polarized
light. The direction of vibration of the E vector defines the
plane, or direction, of polarization.
The polarization of light may be effected by several
means: (a) selective absorption, (b) reflection, (c) refraction, and (d) scattering. Let’s take a look at these.
THEORY
Light, like all electromagnetic radiation, is a transverse
wave. That is, the directions of the vibrating electric and magnetic field vectors are at right angles to the direction of propagation, as illustrated schematically in ● TI Fig. 29.1. (If the
vector vibrations were parallel to the direction of propagation,
light would be a longitudinal wave.) The phenomenon of
polarization is firm evidence that light is a transverse wave.
The term polarization refers to the orientation of
the vibrating vectors of electromagnetic radiation. Light
from an ordinary light source consists of a large number
of waves emitted by the atoms or molecules of the source.
Each atom produces a wave with its own orientation of the
E (and B) vibration corresponding to the direction of the
atomic vibration.
However, with many atoms, all directions are possible. The result is that the emitted light is unpolarized. The
vibration vectors are randomly oriented, with all directions
equally probable. This is represented schematically in
● TI Fig. 29.2a, which views the E vectors along the axis
of propagation. (B vectors are not represented.)
If for some reason the light vectors become preferentially oriented, the light is partially polarized (TI Fig. 29.2b).
Should there be only one direction of vibration for the E
A. Polarization by Selective Absorption
Certain crystals are doubly refracting, or exhibit
birefringence. That is, they have different indices of
refraction in different directions, and light passing through
the crystal is separated into two components or rays. The
rays are also linearly polarized. (Birefringence is discussed
in more detail in Section C.)
Some birefringent crystals, such as tourmaline, exhibit
the interesting property of absorbing one of the polarized
components more than the other—selective absorption, so
to speak. This property is called dichroism.
Another dichroic crystal is quinine sulfide periodide
(commonly called herapathite, after W. Herapath, an English
physician who discovered its polarizing properties in 1852).
This crystal was central in the development of modern
polarizers. Around 1930, Edwin H. Land, an American scientist, found a way to align tiny dichroic crystals in sheets
of transparent celluloid. The result was a thin sheet of polarizing material that was given the name polaroid.
Better polarizing films have been developed using
polymer materials. During the manufacturing process, this
kind of film is stretched in order to align the long molecular chains of the polymer.
With proper treatment, the outer (valence) molecular
electrons can move along the oriented chains. As a result,
the molecules readily absorb light with E vectors parallel
to the oriented chains and transmit light with the E vectors
perpendicular to the chains.*
An illustration of
an electromagnetic wave. The electric and magnetic field
vectors (E and B) vibrate at right angles to each other and
perpendicularly to the direction of propagation.
TI Figure 29.1 Electromagnetic wave.
*In a common analogy, plane polarization is likened to a picket fence.
The slats of the fence represent the oriented chains, and the light E vector
passes through vertically, parallel to the pickets. In actuality, however, the
E vector passes perpendicular to the molecular chain “pickets.”
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424
EXPERIMENT 29
/ Polarized Light
TI Figure 29.2 Polarization.
An illustration of the polarization of light as denoted by the E vector viewed along the
axis of propagation.
of cross-polarizers, and no light is transmitted through the
analyzer.†
The direction perpendicular to the oriented molecular chains is commonly called the transmission axis,
plane of polarization, or polarization direction. Hence,
when unpolarized light falls on a polarizing sheet (polarizer), polarized light is transmitted. This is illustrated in
● TI Fig. 29.3.
The polarization of light may be analyzed (detected)
by means of another polarizer, which acts as an analyzer
(TI Fig. 29.3). The magnitude of the component of the
E vector parallel to the transmission axis of the analyzer
is Eo cos u. Since the intensity varies as the square of the
amplitude, the transmitted intensity of light through the
analyzer is
I 5 Io cos2 u
B. Polarization by Reflection
When light is incident on a material such as glass, some of
the light is reflected and some is transmitted. The reflected
light is usually partially polarized, and the degree of polarization depends on the angle of incidence. For angles of
incidence of 0° and 90° (grazing and normal angles), the
reflected light is unpolarized. However, for intermediate
angles, the light is polarized to some extent.
Complete polarization occurs at an optimum angle
called the polarization angle up (● TI Fig. 29.4). This
occurs when the reflected and refracted beams are 90°
apart, and up is specific for a given material.
Referring to TI Fig. 29.4, since u 1 5 u p, then u 1 1 90°
1 u 2 5 180°, and u 1 1 u 2 5 90° or u 2 5 90° 2 u 1 . By
Snell’s law (Experiment 27),
(TI 29.1)
where Io is the maximum intensity of light through the analyzer and u is the angle between the transmission axes of
the polarizer and analyzer. If u 5 90°, we have a condition
†
The expression is known as Malus’s law, after E. I. Malus (1775–1812),
the French physicist who discovered it.
θ
o
(a)
o
θ
(b)
(a) The transmission axis (or plane of polarization or polarization direction) is perpendicular to the oriented molecular chains. When the transmission axes of the polarizer and analyzer are not parallel, less
light is transmitted. (b) For “cross polaroids” (u 5 90°), little light (ideally no light) is transmitted, as shown in the “crossed”
polarizing sunglasses lenses. (Cengage Learning.)
TI Figure 29.3 Polarizer and analyzer.
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EXPERIMENT 29
sin u 1
5n
sin u 2
where n is the index of refraction of the glass and sin u2 5
sin (90° 2 u1) 5 cos u1. Thus
sin u 1
sin u 1
5
5 tan u 1 5 n
sin u 1
cos u 1
or
tan u p 5 n
(TI 29.2)
This expression is sometimes called Brewster’s law,* and
up is called Brewster’s angle.
TI Example 29.1 A glass plate has an index of
refraction of 1.48. What is the angle of polarization
for the plate?
Solution
With n 5 1.48,
u p 5 tan21 1 1.48 2 5 56°
Notice from TI Fig. 29.4 that the reflected beam is horizontally polarized. Sunlight reflected from water, metallic
surfaces (for example, from a car), and the like is partially
polarized. If the surface is horizontal, the reflected light
has a strong horizontal component. This fact is used in
polarizing sunglasses. The transmission axis of the lenses
is oriented vertically so as to absorb the reflected horizontal component and reduce the glare or intensity.
/ Polarized Light
425
Also notice that the refracted beam is partially polarized. If a stack of glass plates is used, the transmitted beam
becomes more linearly polarized.
C. Polarization by Refraction
In a sense, the preceding case of a polarized transmitted
beam from a stack of glass plates might be thought of as
polarization by refraction since the refracted beam is polarized. However, polarization by refraction generally refers
to the double refraction exhibited by some crystals.
In an optically isotropic medium, such as glass, light
travels with the same speed in all directions. As a result,
the material is characterized by a single index of refraction. In certain anisotropic crystals, however, the speed
of light is not the same in all directions. The crystal calcite (CaCO3, Iceland spar), for example, exhibits double
refraction, or birefringence, and is characterized by two
indices of refraction.
When an unpolarized beam of light enters a calcite
crystal, it splits into two polarized rays with polarizations
in mutually perpendicular directions ( ● TI Fig. 29.5).
One beam is called the ordinary (o) ray, and the other
the extraordinary (e) ray. Because of this property, when
something (that is, a printed line) is viewed through a calcite crystal, a double image is seen, corresponding to the
two emergent rays.
D. Polarization by Scattering
Scattering is the process of a medium absorbing light, then
reradiating it. For example, if light is incident on a gas,
the electrons in the gas atoms or molecules can absorb
and reradiate (scatter) part of the light. In effect, the electrons absorb the light by responding to the electric field of
the light wave. An electron can be thought of as a small
antenna; it radiates light in all directions, except along
its axis of vibration. Hence the scattered light is partially
polarized.
Polarized
rays
Unpolarized
light
o ray
• • •
• •
•
Calcite
TI Figure 29.4 Polarization by reflection. Maximum polar-
ization occurs for a particular polarization angle up, which
depends on the index of refraction of the material. Note
that the transmitted beam is partially polarized.
• • •
e ray
TI Figure 29.5 Polarization by double refraction, or birefringence. An unpolarized beam entering a crystal is split
into two polarized beams. (Dots indicate electric field vectors oscillating normal to the page.)
*After its discoverer, David Brewster (1781–1868), a Scottish physicist.
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Such scattering of sunlight occurs in the atmosphere
and is known as Rayleigh scattering.* The condition for
interaction and scattering is that the size d (diameter) of
the molecules be much less than the wavelength l of the
light, d V l. The intensity of the scattering then varies
as 1/l4. This condition is satisfied for O2 (oxygen) and
N2 (nitrogen) molecules in the atmosphere.
Sunlight incident on the atmosphere is white light
with a spectrum of wavelength components (or colors).
As a result of the 1/l4 scattering relationship, the blue end
(shorter wavelength) of the spectrum is scattered more
than the red end (longer wavelength). The blue light is
scattered and rescattered. When looking at the sky, we see
this scattered light, and as a result, the sky appears to be
blue. Hence the blue “sky light” we see is partially polarized, even though we can’t visually detect it (without a
little help).
In traveling through the crystal, the components travel at
different speeds. Suppose the thickness of the crystal is such
that the vertical component gains (or falls behind) by onehalf wavelength compared with the horizontal component.
The effect is a reversed vertical component and a 90° rotation of the plane of polarization, as shown in the figure.
Only for this particular wavelength of light and this
particular crystal thickness (or an appropriate multiple
thereof) will a 90° rotation occur, and only this wavelength
(color) of light will be transmitted. As a result of nonuniform crystal thickness, a colored pattern is observed when
the crystal is viewed through crossed polarizers.
F. Optical Stress Analysis
An important application of polarized light is optical stress
analysis of transparent materials. Glasses and plastics are
usually optically isotropic. If polarized light is transmitted
through an isotropic material and viewed with a crossed
polarizer, the transmitted light intensity is minimal.
However, when many materials are mechanically
stressed, they become optically anisotropic (indices of
refraction vary with direction), and the polarization of
the transmitted polarized light is affected. Areas of strain
may then be identified and studied through an analyzer
(● TI Fig. 29.7). For example, improperly annealed glass
may have internal stresses and strains that may later give
rise to cracks.
E. Optical Activity
Certain substances have the property of being able to rotate
the plane of polarization of a beam of polarized light. This
rotation, called optical activity, is exhibited by crystalline
mica, quartz, some sugars, and many long-chain molecular polymers. The principle is illustrated for an optically
active crystal in ● TI Fig. 29.6.
Notice that the crystal essentially changes the direction of one of the vector components of the polarized light
along one of its optical axes. The (vector) resultant is then
rotated 90° to the polarization plane of the incoming light
and transmitted through the “crossed” analyzer, which
would not be the case without rotation.
G. Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs)
LCDs, or liquid crystal displays, are now commonly used
in wristwatches, hand calculators, and even gas pumps.
A liquid crystal is a liquid in which the molecules have some
order or crystalline nature. Liquid crystals used in LCDs
*After Lord Rayleigh (1842–1919), the British physicist who described
the effect.
Crystal
Incident
unpolarized
light
Optic
axes
Polarizer
Analyzer
Outgoing
polarization
direction
Incoming
polarization
direction
90° rotation
Certain substances have the property of being able to rotate the plane of polarization of a beam
of linearly polarized light through 90°.
TI Figure 29.6 Optical activity.
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EXPERIMENT 29
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427
and hence is absorbed by the final polarizing sheet. Such
dark regions of the crystal are used to form numbers and
letters in the display.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
A. Plane of Polarization (Transmission)
TI Figure 29.7 Optical stress analysis with polarized
light. A transparent bar reveals stress concentrations near
the support and loading point because of optical activity.
(Cengage Learning.)
1. Inspect your polarizers to see whether the planes of
polarization or transmission are indicated on them. If
not, these planes need to be determined. (Polarizer and
analyzer directions will be needed later.) One method
is to use a pair of polarizing sunglasses that has a vertical plane of polarization.
Determine the planes of polarization for your polarizers by observing the orientations of maximum and
minimum transmissions through a polarizer and a
polarizing sunglass lens. (Remember, sunglasses are
vertically polarized.) Mark the planes of polarization
of the polarizers by some means (for example, a wax
pencil or pieces of tape).
2. Investigate the transmission through two polarizers
as a function of the angle u between the planes of
polarization (TI Fig. 29.3). At what angles is the transmission estimated by brightness or intensity (optional
lightmeter):
(a) a maximum,
(b) reduced by one-half, and
(c) a minimum?
Record these angles in the laboratory report, and
show the theoretical prediction (using TI Eq. 29.1)
of the angle for one-half transmission (that is,
I/Io 5 0.5 2 .
TI Figure 29.8 LCD (liquid crystal display). (a) A liquid
crystal has the property of being able to “twist,” or rotate,
the plane of linearly polarized light by 90°. (b) When a
voltage is applied to the crystal, this property is lost. With
no light reemerging, the crystal appears dark.
have the ability to rotate, or “twist,” the plane of polarization
of polarized light. In a so-called twisted nematic display, a
liquid crystal is sandwiched between crossed polarizing
sheets and backed by a mirror (● TI Fig. 29.8).
Light falling on the surface of an LCD is polarized,
twisted, reflected, and twisted again and then leaves the
display. Hence, the display normally appears light because
the doubly twisted, polarized light coming back from the
surface is seen. However, when a voltage is applied to
the crystal, the polarized light is not twisted the last time
3. Orient two polarizers in a crossed position for minimum intensity. Place the third polarizer between these
two. Viewing through the polarizer, rotate the middle
one (keeping the outer two in a crossed orientation),
and observe any intensity changes. As the middle polarizer is rotated, you should observe variations in the
transmitted light intensity.
Note the orientation of the plane of polarization
of the middle polarizer (relative to the planes of the
outer two) for maximum transmission. Make a sketch
of the polarizers in the laboratory report, and indicate
the planes of polarization for the polarizers for this
condition.
(Hint: Draw three polarizers of different sizes,
and label the outer two as 1 and 2 and the middle polarizer as 3.) Is there more than one orientation of the
middle polarizer for maximum transmission? (Rotate
through 360°.) If so, are the angles between the polarization planes different? Explain in the laboratory
report why this transmission through the outer crossed
polarizers is observed.
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EXPERIMENT 29
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B. Polarization by Reflection and Refraction
4. Using a general value of the index of refraction of
glass as n 5 1.6, compute in the laboratory report the
reflection polarization angle up.
5. (a) With a single glass microscope slide on the tripod stand positioned near the edge of the table,
shine light on the slide at an angle of incidence
equal to the computed up. Observe the reflected
light through an analyzer at the angle of reflection, and examine for polarization. Note the axis
of polarization of the reflected light. Observe the
reflected light through polarizing sunglasses, and
comment.
Observe the light transmitted through the
glass slide with an analyzer for any evidence of
polarization.
(b) Observe the transmitted light for an increasing
number of glass slides, and report and explain
any observable differences.
C. Polarization by Crystal Double Refraction
6. Place the calcite crystal on some written or printed
material and observe the double image. (The images
may appear slightly fuzzy because of small defects in
the crystal. Lay the crystal on the side that gives the
clearest images.) Notice that when the crystal is rotated,
the images move, one more than the other. Examine the
images with an analyzer.
7. With a pencil or pen, make a linear series of small,
heavy dots on a piece of paper. The line of dots should
be long enough to extend beyond the edges of the
crystal.
Placing the crystal on the line of dots, rotate the
crystal. Notice that as the crystal is rotated, one of the
dots of a double image remains relatively stationary
and the second dot rotates about the first. The image of
the nearly stationary dot is formed by the ordinary (o)
ray and that of the rotating dot by the extraordinary
(e) ray.
Examine a set of dots with an analyzer, and record
the polarization direction of each ray.
D. Polarization by Scattering (Optional)
8. If it’s a sunny day, go outside (with the instructor’s
permission) and observe the sky light from different
portions of the sky with an analyzer. Look in directions away from the sun and at angles of 90°. Once you
find a region from which the light shows appreciable
polarization, rotate your analyzer to see whether there
is any preferential direction of polarization. (Should it
not be a sunny day, try this with your own polarizing
sunglasses some fine day.)
E. Optical Activity
9. View a mica sheet between crossed polarizers. Rotate
the analyzer and note the change. What changes, the
general pattern shape or its colors?
10. Form a pattern or symbol by sticking various layers of
cellophane tape on a glass plate or slide. For example,
try a “V” or wedge shape with one, two, three, etc.,
layers of tape in different parts of the “V.” Observe the
tape symbol between crossed polarizers. Rotate the
analyzer. (You may wish to make letters or symbols,
for example your school letters, with pieces of tape
cut with a sharp knife or razor blade. Could you give
the letters your school colors?)
11. Observe the various-shaped pieces of plastic between
crossed polarizers. Stress the pieces by pulling or
pushing on them (but not so hard as to break them).
Can you explain what is observed?
12. View an LCD through an analyzer. Rotate the analyzer. Is the light coming from the lighted portion of
the display polarized? (Note: You can do this at home
using polarizing sunglasses.)
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2 9
Polarized Light
Laboratory Report
A. Plane of Polarization (Transmission)
1. Transmission
Angle u between
polarizer planes
Maximum intensity ___________________
One-half intensity ___________________
Minimum intensity ___________________
Calculation of angle for one-half intensity
2. Three polarizers
Explanation
Sketch
(continued)
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Polarized Light
Laboratory Report
B. Polarization by Reflection and Refraction
3. Polarization angle calculation
4. (a) Observations on reflected light
(b) Observations on transmitted refracted light
C. Polarization by Crystal Double Refraction
Observations
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Polarized Light
Laboratory Report
D. Optical Activity
Observations
QUESTIONS
1. In the polarization of light by reflection with a transparent material, would it be possible to
have an optimum polarization angle up less than 45°? Justify your answer. (Hint: Consider
the definition of the index of refraction.)
2. At a sale of polarizing sunglasses, there is a half-price special on some glasses with lenses
that have a horizontal polarization direction. Would you buy them? If not, why not?
(continued)
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Polarized Light
Laboratory Report
3. In the procedure using microscope slides, why was the polarization of the transmitted light
more observable with an increasing number of slides?
4. The light coming from a liquid crystal display (LCD), as on a watch or calculator,
is polarized. How could you conveniently show this to be the case using a commonly
available item? (Hint: What is a common polarizing material or application of
polarization?)
5. You hold two polarizing sheets in front of you and look through both of them. How many
times would you see the sheets lighten and darken (a) if one of them were rotated through
360°, or one complete rotation, and (b) if both of them were rotated through one complete
rotation in opposite directions at the same rate?
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Malus’s Law
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
• Diode laser (PASCO OS-8525)
• Aperture bracket (PASCO OS-8534)
• Optics bench (PASCO OS-8515 or OS-8541)
• Light sensor (PASCO CI-6504A)
• Rotary motion sensor (PASCO CI-6538)
• Polarization analyzer (PASCO OS-8533). (Polarizer
with groove, plastic belt, and mounting screws are
included in the kit.)
Notice that the transmitted intensity can vary from complete transmission AI 5 Io B to no transmission 1 I 5 0 2 and
can take on any intermediate value between the maximum
and minimum, depending on the angle between the polarizing
planes of the polarizer and analyzer. Here Io is the maximum intensity of light through the analyzer when u 5 0°.
In this experiment, we will investigate the relative orientations of polarizer and analyzer that produce maximum
and minimum transmission. Light from a laser will be
incident on a fixed polarizer. An analyzer placed in front
of the polarizer will be rotated. Both the transmitted light
intensity and the angular rotation of the analyzer will be
measured simultaneously using sensors.
THEORY
(See the methods of polarization in the TI Theory section.)
When unpolarized light is incident upon a polarizer,
the transmitted light is reduced in intensity and linearly
polarized, as shown in TI Fig. 29.3a. When this polarized
light falls on a second polarizer (usually referred to as
an analyzer), the transmitted intensity is given by
Malus’s law:
I 5 Io cos2 u
(CI 29.1)
Set the Sample Rate to 20 Hz.
The Data list on the left of the screen should now
have three icons: one for voltage, one for light intensity, and one for the angular position data.
11. Create a graph by dragging the “Voltage(ChA)” icon
from the Data list and dropping it on the “Graph” icon
on the displays list. A graph of voltage versus time
will open in a window called Graph 1. This graph will
be used later to adjust the light sensor gain.
12. Create a second graph by dragging the “Light
Intensity(ChA)” icon and dropping it on the “Graph”
icon on the displays list. A graph of light intensity
versus time will open in a window called Graph 2.
13. Drag the “Angular Position” icon from the Data list
and drop it on top of the time axis of Graph 2. The
time axis will change into an angular position axis.
Graph 2 should now be a plot of light intensity versus
angular position. ● CI Fig. 29.2 shows how the screen
should appear after the setup is complete.
SETTING UP DATA STUDIO
1. Open Data Studio and choose “Create Experiment.”
2. The Experiment Setup window will open and you will
see a picture of the Science Workshop interface. There
are seven channels to choose from. (Digital Channels
1, 2, 3, and 4 are the small buttons on the left; analog Channels A, B, and C are the larger buttons on the
right, as shown in ● CI Fig. 29.1.)
3. Click on the Channel A button in the picture. A window with a list of sensors will open.
4. Choose the Light Sensor from the list and press OK.
5. Connect the sensor to Channel A of the interface, as
shown on the computer screen.
6. In the same window, set the Sample Rate to 20 Hz.
7. Now click on the Channel 1 button in the picture to
access the list of sensors again.
8. Choose the Rotary Motion Sensor (RMS) from the list
and press OK.
9. Connect the RMS to Channels 1 and 2 of the interface, as shown on the computer screen.
10. On the same window, adjust the properties of the RMS
as follows:
First Measurements tab: select Angular Position,
Ch 1 and 2 and select the unit of measure to be degrees. Deselect all others.
Rotary Motion Sensor tab: set the Resolution to
low (360 divisions/rotations), and set the Linear Scale
to Large Pulley (Groove).
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
1. CI Figures 29.3 through 29.6 show the equipment
setup.
(a) ● CI Fig. 29.3: The aperture disk is mounted
on the aperture bracket holder. The light sensor is
then mounted on the aperture bracket, behind the
aperture disk, and connected to the interface.
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EXPERIMENT 29
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CI Figure 29.1 The Experiment Setup window. A light sensor will measure the intensity of the light that crosses the analyzer.
The rotary motion sensor will measure the angular rotation of the analyzer with respect to the polarizer. (Reprinted courtesy of
PASCO Scientific.)
● CI Fig. 29.4: Rotate the aperture disk so that the
translucent mask covers the opening of the light
sensor.
(c) ● CI Fig. 29.5a: Mount the polarizers into the
holders. Mount the RMS bracket on the holder
that has the polarizer with groove.
(d) ● CI Fig. 29.5b: The rotary motion sensor is
mounted on the polarizer bracket, and the plastic
belt is used to connect the large pulley of the RMS
with the polarizer groove. The polarizer with the
RMS will be the analyzer in this experiment.
(e) ● CI Fig. 29.6: The components are placed on the
optics track in the order shown in this figure. The
light from the laser will pass a polarizer first, then
pass the analyzer (with the RMS), and finally
make it into the light sensor.
2. Setting the correct light sensor gain.
(a) Bring Graph 1 (voltage versus time) to the front on
the screen. Increase its size if needed to see it well.
(b)
(b) Remove the holder that contains the RMS from
the track and set it aside.
(c) Slide all the other components close to each other
and dim the room lights.
(d) Turn on the laser. Use the horizontal and vertical adjust (on the back of the laser) if needed so
that the light shines centered on the light sensor
opening.
(e) Press the START button and rotate the polarizer
until the voltage on the graph reaches a maximum. You may have to press the Scale-to-Fit
button (the leftmost button on the graph toolbar)
to expand the graph scale while data are collected.
Press STOP once the maximum is reached.
(f) Now put the analyzer (with RMS) back on the
track. Press the START button and rotate the
analyzer until the voltage on the graph reaches
a maximum. If this maximum exceeds 4.5 V,
decrease the gain on the light sensor. (This is a
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EXPERIMENT 29
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435
CI Figure 29.2 Data Studio setup. A graph of light intensity versus angular position will show the variations in light intensity
as the analyzer is rotated with respect to the polarizer. The voltage-versus-time graph (background) is used to calibrate the
sensor. (Reprinted courtesy of PASCO Scientific.)
Aperture bracket
holder
Light sensor
Aperture
disk
Aperture disk
Transluscent
mask
The aperture disk is
mounted in front of the light sensor. The sensor and the
apertures sit on the holder and install on the optics bench.
CI Figure 29.3 The aperture bracket.
Open circular
aperture
Rotate the
disk until the translucent mask covers the opening into the
light sensor.
CI Figure 29.4 Details of the aperture bracket.
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EXPERIMENT 29
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Polarizer holder
Polarizer with groove
Polarizer with
groove
Plastic belt
Accessory holder with
mounting bracket
Plastic belt
Polarizer
Thumbscrews
Thumbscrew
storage holes
(a)
(b)
The polarizer and analyzer are mounted directly on the holders. One of the holders
must have a mount for the rotary motion sensor.
CI Figure 29.5 Polarizers and holders.
(d) Case 1:
(1) On the graph, locate the first minimum of intensity, and record the angle at which it happened in CI Data Table 1.
(2) Now locate and record the angle at which
the light intensity reached a maximum
after the first minimum (that is, the first
maximum).
(3) Determine by what angle the analyzer was
rotated in going from the first minimum to
the first maximum.
(e) Case 2: Repeat for the angle between the first
maximum and the second minimum.
(f) Case 3: Repeat for the angle between the second
minimum and the second maximum.
(g) Case 4: Repeat for the angle between the second
maximum and the third minimum.
switch on top of the light sensor.) If the maximum was less than 0.5 V, increase the gain of the
light sensor.
3. Data Collection
(a) Bring Graph 2 to the front on the screen. Increase
the size if needed to see it well.
(b) With all the components in place, as shown in
CI Fig. 29.6, press the START button and slowly
rotate the analyzer through a one-and-a-half turns.
Press the STOP button.
(c) Press the Scale-to-Fit button (the leftmost button
on the graph toolbar) to bring all the data onto
the graph screen; then print the graph. Attach the
graph to the laboratory report.
Light sensor
Aperture disk
Polarizers
Diode laser
CI Figure 29.6 Order of components on the bench.
Rotary motion
sensor
Light from the laser will pass a polarizer and then the analyzer before
entering the light sensor.
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E X P E R I M E N T
2 9
Malus’s Law
Laboratory Report
DATA TABLE 1
Purpose: To investigate the relative orientations of polarizer and analyzer that produce minimum and maximum transmitted
intensity.
Successive minima and maxima
of intensity
Case 1
Total analyzer rotation between
minimum and maximum
0 u min 2 u max 0
umin
umax
Case 2
umin
umax
Case 3
umin
umax
Case 4
umin
umax
Average 5
Attach the graph to the laboratory report.
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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Laboratory Report
QUESTIONS
1. Discuss how well the experimental results match the theory.
2. What are sources of experimental error in this activity?
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3 0
The Prism Spectrometer:
Dispersion and the Index
of Refraction
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. What is meant by dispersion?
2. Is the index of refraction of a dispersive medium the same for all wavelengths? Explain this
in terms of the speed of light in the medium.
3. What is meant by the angle of deviation for a prism?
(continued)
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3 0
Advance Study Assignment
4. What is the condition for the angle of minimum deviation? At this angle, what is the
relation of the transmitted ray to the base of the prism?
5. What are the four major components of the prism spectrometer and their functions?
6. Which color of visible light has the greatest prism dispersion?
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The Prism Spectrometer:
Dispersion and the Index
of Refraction
of incident light due to refraction and dispersion. Using
Snell’s law, the index of refraction of the prism glass for a
specific wavelength or color can easily be determined.
After performing this experiment and analyzing the
data, you should be able to:
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
8
In vacuum, the speed of light, c 5 3.0 3 10 m/s, is the
same for all wavelengths or colors of light. However, when
a beam of white light falls obliquely on the surface of a
glass prism and passes through it, the light is spread out, or
dispersed, into a spectrum of colors. This phenomenon led
Newton to believe that white light is a mixture of component colors. The dispersion arises in the prism because the
wave velocity is slightly different for different wavelengths.
A spectrometer is an optical device used to observe
and measure the angular deviations of the components
1. Explain the dispersion of light in a dispersive medium.
2. Describe the operation of a prism spectrometer.
3. Tell how the index of refraction of a prism can be
measured.
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
• Prism spectrometer
• Incandescent light source and support stand
in the medium is v 5 lm f ), the index of refraction will
then be different for different wavelengths. It follows from
Snell’s law (Eq. 30.1) that different wavelengths of light
will be refracted at different angles.
The dispersion of a beam of white light spreads the
transmitted emergent beam into a spectrum of colors, red
through violet (see Fig. 30.1). The red component has
the longest wavelength, so it is deviated least. The angle
THEORY
A monochromatic (single color or wavelength) light beam
in air, obliquely incident on the surface of a transparent
medium, and transmitted through the medium, is refracted
and deviated from its original direction in accordance with
Snell’s law (see Experiment 27):
n5
sin u 1
c
5
cm
sin u 2
(30.1)
where n is the index of refraction, c is the speed of light
in vacuum (air), cm is the speed of light in the medium,
and u 1 and u 2 are the angles of incidence and refraction,
respectively.
If the incident light beam is not monochromatic, each
component wavelength (color) is refracted differently. This
is why white light incident on a glass prism forms a spectrum
(● Fig. 30.1). The material is said to exhibit dispersion.
The explanation of this effect has to do with the speed
of light. In vacuum, the speed of light is the same for all
wavelengths of light, but in a dispersive medium, the speed
of light is slightly different for different wavelengths. (The
frequencies of the light components are unchanged.) Since
the index of refraction n of a medium is a function of the
speed of light (n 5 c/v 5 c/lm f, where the wave speed
Figure 30.1 Dispersion. The dispersion of light by a glass
prism causes white light to be spread out into a spectrum
of colors. The angle between the original direction of the
beam and the emergent component is called the angle of
deviation D for that particular component.
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EXPERIMENT 30
/ The Prism Spectrometer: Dispersion and the Index of Refraction
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
Figure 30.2 Minimum angle of deviation. The geometry for
determining the minimum angle of deviation Dm for a light
ray. See text for description.
between the original direction of the beam and an emergent
component of the beam is called the angle of deviation D;
it is different for each color or wavelength.
As the angle of incidence is decreased from a large
value, the angle of deviation of the component colors
decreases, then increases, and hence goes through an
angle of minimum deviation, Dm. The angle of minimum
deviation occurs for a particular component when the
component ray passes through the prism symmetrically,
that is, parallel to the base of the prism if the prism is
isosceles (● Fig. 30.2).
The angle of minimum deviation and the prism angle
A are related to the index of refraction of the prism glass
(for a particular color component) through Snell’s law by
the relationship
n5
sin 3 1 A 1 Dm 2 /2 4
sin (A/2)
1. Two types of prism spectrometers are shown in
● Fig. 30.3, one of which is an adapted force table
(see Experiment 5).* The four basic parts of a spectrometer are the (a) collimator and slit assembly,
(b) prism, (c) telescope, and (d) divided circle.
The collimator is a tube with a slit of adjustable width at one end and a converging lens at the
other. Light from a light source enters the collimator.
The length of the collimator tube is made equal to the
focal length of the lens so as to make the rays of the
emerging light beam parallel.
The prism deviates and disperses the beam into a
spectrum. The objective lens of the telescope converges
the beam and produces an image of the slit, which is
viewed through the telescope eyepiece. The eyepiece
is fitted with cross hairs, which may be fixed on a
(a)
(30.2)
The derivation of this equation can be seen from the geometry of Fig. 30.2. Note from the top triangle that
2(90° 2 u 2) 1 A 5 180°
and therefore
u2 5
A
2
(30.3)
Also, for the symmetric case, it can be seen that Dm 5 2d,
or
Dm
d5
2
(30.4)
(Note the interior triangle, 2d 1 a 5 180° 5 a 1 Dm.)
Then
u1 5 u2 1 d 5
Dm
A 1 Dm
A
1
5
2
2
2
(30.5)
Substituting Eqs 30.3 and 30.5 into Snell’s law (Eq. 30.1)
yields Eq. 30.2.
(b)
Figure 30.3 Prism spectrometer. (a) Simple spectrometer.
The prism rests on a graduated (divided) circle used for angle
measurements. Light directed into the collimator tube on the
left is refracted by the prism to the adjustable telescope on
the right. (b) Advanced spectrometer. The collimator has a
built-in light source, and the angular measurement scale has
a vernier scale that can be read to 1 minute of arc. (Fisher
Scientific Company, LLC.)
* Some procedures may not apply to the force table apparatus.
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EXPERIMENT 30
/ The Prism Spectrometer: Dispersion and the Index of Refraction
particular spectral color. The divided circle makes it
possible to measure the angle(s) of deviation.
2. After being given instructions by the instructor, study
the various clamps and adjustment screws of your
spectrometer. In particular, study the divided circle
scale. Some spectrometers are equipped with vernier
scales that permit readings to 1 min of arc. Be careful,
because the adjustments and alignments of the spectrometer are critical, and it can be time-consuming to
restore proper adjustment.
3. For spectrometer with telescope. With the prism not
on the spectrometer table, sight the telescope on some
distant object and adjust the eyepiece until the cross
hairs are in good focus. Then mount the lamp near the
collimator slit (adjusted to a small slit width). Move
the telescope into the line of sight, and adjust so that a
sharp image of the illuminated slit is seen focused on
the cross hairs.
4. Measurement of the prism angle A. Mount the prism
in the center of the spectrometer table, and orient it
as shown in ● Fig. 30.4. With the unaided eye, locate
the white image of the slit reflected from a face of the
prism on either side of the prism angle A. The prism
may have to be adjusted slightly. (You may also note
the color spectrum in the prism face opposite A.)
Move the telescope in front of the eye, and adjust
the cross hairs on the center of the slit image (with
the fine-adjustment screw, if available). Make the slit
An illustration of the prism orientation for the experimental procedure
to determine the prism angle A.
Figure 30.4 Determination of the prism angle.
443
as narrow as possible so that the best setting can be
made. On a force table apparatus, adjustment is not
required. Read the angle from the divided circle, and
record it in the laboratory report.
Repeat this procedure for the other face of the
prism. As shown in Fig. 30.4, the angle between the
positions is equal to 2A. Compute the angle A from
the circle readings.
5. Measurement of the angle of minimum deviation. Remove
the prism and move the telescope into the line of sight of
the slit. (It is convenient, but not necessary, to adjust the
setup so the telescope has a zero reading on the divided
circle. This makes finding the deviation angles easy by
reading directly.) Adjust the telescope so that a sharp
image of the illuminated slit is seen on the cross hairs.
Note and record the reading of the divided circle.
Replace and rotate the prism to a position as
shown in ● Fig. 30.5, and with the unaided eye, locate
the emergent spectrum of colors. Move the telescope
in front of the eye and examine the spectrum. (Change
the slit width if applicable and note any difference.)
List the sequence of colors, beginning with red, in the
laboratory report.
6. With the slit set as narrow as possible, rotate the prism
back and forth slightly, and note the reversal of the
direction of motion of the spectrum when the prism is
rotated in one direction.
Stop rotating the prism at the position of the
reversal of motion of the yellow component of the
Figure 30.5 Determination of the angle of minimum
deviation. An illustration of the prism orientation for the
experimental procedure to determine the angle of minimum
deviation.
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444
EXPERIMENT 30
/ The Prism Spectrometer: Dispersion and the Index of Refraction
spectrum. This is the position for minimum deviation
of this component.
7. Being careful not to disturb the prism, center the telescope cross hairs on the middle of the yellow color
band, and record the divided circle reading. Also measure the angle readings for each end of the visible
spectrum [that is, the red and blue (violet) ends]. Do
this by setting the cross hairs of the telescope at the
locations where the spectrum ends are just visible (not
at the center of the extreme bands).
8. Compute the index of refraction for yellow light using
Eq. 30.2.
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
3 0
The Prism Spectrometer:
Dispersion and the Index
of Refraction
Laboratory Report
Measurement of Prism Angle A
Calculations
(show work)
Circle readings
for reflected images ______________
Computation of 2A ______________
Prism angle A ______________
Measurement of Angle of Minimum Deviation
Spectrum (sequence) of colors
red
Circle reading
Minimum deviation
Line of sight
Yellow
Red end
Blue end
Calculations
(show work)
Index of Refraction for Yellow Light
n5
Don’t forget units
(continued)
445
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E X P E R I M E N T
3 0
The Prism Spectrometer
Laboratory Report
QUESTIONS
1. Show that the angle between the two telescope settings of the reflected slit images is equal
to 2A (Procedure 4).
2. Judging on the basis of your experimental results, what is the speed of yellow light in the
prism?
3. What is the range of indices of refraction of the prism for the wavelengths of visible light?
446
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E X P E R I M E N T
3 1
Line Spectra and the
Rydberg Constant
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. Distinguish between continuous spectra and line spectra and describe their causes.
2. Why does a gas discharge tube (for example, a neon light) have a certain color?
3. What are (a) the Balmer series and (b) the Rydberg constant?
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
3 1
Advance Study Assignment
4. Explain briefly how the prism spectrometer is calibrated.
5. Explain briefly how the Rydberg constant is determined experimentally.
448
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E X P E R I M E N T
3 1
Line Spectra and the
Rydberg Constant
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
the atomic structure of the atoms and are due to electron
transitions.
The line spectrum of hydrogen was explained by Bohr’s
theory of the hydrogen atom. However, before this, the line
spectrum of hydrogen was described by an empirical relationship involving the Rydberg constant. In this experiment,
line spectra will be observed and the relationship of the
Rydberg constant to the theoretical quantities of the Bohr
theory will be investigated.
After performing this experiment and analyzing the
data, you should be able to:
In spectroscopic analysis, two types of spectra are observed:
continuous spectra and line or discrete spectra. The spectrum
of visible light from an incandescent source is found to consist of a continuous spectrum, or band of merging colors,
and contains all the wavelengths of the visible spectrum.
However, when the light from a gas discharge tube
(for example, mercury or helium) is observed through
a spectroscope, only a few colors, or wavelengths, are
observed. The colored images of the spectroscope slit appear
as bright lines separated by dark regions, hence the name
line or discrete spectra.
Each gas emits a particular set of spectral lines and
hence has a characteristic spectrum. Thus, spectroscopy
(the study of spectra) provides a method of identifying
elements. The discrete lines of a given spectrum depend on
1. Clearly distinguish between continuous and line
(discrete) spectra.
2. Explain why gas discharge tubes emit line spectra.
3. Tell what is meant by the Balmer series and the
Rydberg constant.
• Hydrogen discharge tube
• Discharge-tube power supply
• 2 sheets of Cartesian graph paper
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
• Prism spectrometer
• Incandescent light source
• Mercury or helium discharge tube
that gives candles and wood fires their yellow glow. You
may have noticed that many highway and parking lot lights
are bright yellow. They are sodium lights, used because
sodium discharge is a very efficient way to produce light.
Wavelengths are commonly measured in nanometers (nm):
THEORY
The electrons in an incandescent light source undergo thermal
agitation and emit electromagnetic radiation (light) of many
different wavelengths, producing a continuous spectrum.
However, when light emitted from excited gases or vaporized
liquids or solids is analyzed, line spectra such as those illustrated in ● Fig. 31.1 are observed.
Modern theory explains spectra in terms of photons of
light of discrete wavelengths being emitted as the result of
electron transitions between atomic energy levels. Different
substances have characteristic spectra, that is, they have
a characteristic set of lines at specific wavelengths. In a
manner of speaking, the spectrum of a substance acts as a
“fingerprint” by which the substance can be identified.
The characteristic color of light from a gas discharge
tube is often indicative of the most intense spectral line(s)
in the visible region. For example, light from a hydrogen
discharge tube has a characteristic red glow resulting from
an intense emission line with a wavelength of 656.1 nm.
Similarly, when table salt is vaporized in a flame, yellow
light is observed because of the intense yellow discharge
line in the spectrum of sodium. It is the presence of sodium
1 nm 5 1029 m 5 1027 cm
(a) Mercury
(b) Helium
(c) Hydrogen
400
500
600
700
nm
Wavelength
Illustrations of visible line spectra for (a) mercury, (b) helium, and (c) hydrogen. From
Wilson/Buffa, College Physics, 5th ed. Copyright © 2010.
Reprinted by permission of Pearson Education.
Figure 31.1 Line spectra.
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450
EXPERIMENT 31
/ Line Spectra and the Rydberg Constant
The energy-level transmissions for the hydrogen atom. The Balmer series, nf 5 2,
produces a line spectrum in the visible region.
Figure 31.2 Energy-level transitions.
The systematic spacing of the spectral lines in the
hydrogen spectrum was empirically described by spectroscopists in the late 1800s. For example, the wavelengths
of spectral lines in the visible region, called the Balmer
series, were found to fit the formula
1
1
1
5 R a 2 2 2 b n 5 3, 4, 5, c
l
2
n
hc
DE
(31.2)
where
DE 5 13.6 a
1
1
2 2 b eV
n2f
ni
is the energy difference between the initial and final
states, ni and nf, h 5 6.63 3 10234 J-s 5 4.14 3 10215 eV-s
(Planck’s constant), and c 5 3.00 3 108 m/s (speed of
light in vacuum). The values n 5 1, 2, 3, 4, . . . are called
the principal quantum numbers. Different final states
account for the different series.†
For spectral lines in the visible region, the final state
is nf 5 2, and
*
hc
hc
5
DE
13.6 3 (1/22) 2 1/n2 4
n 5 3, 4, 5, c
or
13.6 1
1
1
5
a 2 2 2 b n 5 3, 4, 5, c
l
hc 2
ni
(31.3)
(31.1)
where R is the Rydberg constant,* with a value of
1.097 3 1022 nm21.
The hydrogen spectrum is of particular theoretical
interest because hydrogen, having only one proton and
one electron, is the simplest of all atoms. Niels Bohr
(1885–1962), a Danish physicist, developed a theory
for the hydrogen atom that explains the spectral lines
as resulting from electron transitions between energy
levels, or discrete electron orbits ( ● Fig. 31.2), with
the wavelengths of the spectral lines being given by the
theoretical equation
l5
l5
After J. R. Rydberg (1854–1919), the Swedish physicist who developed
the series relationship.
Comparing this theoretical equation with the empirical
equation, Eq. 31.1 reveals that the forms are identical, with
the prediction that R 5 (13.6 eV)/hc.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
1. A prism spectrometer will be used to analyze and study
spectra in this experiment. The prism spectrometer is
illustrated and its use described in Experiment 30.
Review the operation of this instrument. Place the incandescent source in front of the collimator slit, and
observe the continuous spectrum that results from the
prism dispersion (see Experiment 30). List the colors
of the spectrum in the laboratory report, beginning
with red.
2. A convenient type of discharge tube and power supply
is shown in ● Fig. 31.3.
Caution: Great care should be taken, because the discharge tube operates at high voltage and you could
receive an electrical shock.
Mount a mercury (or helium) discharge tube in
the power supply holder, and place it in front of the
collimator slit.
Caution: If a larger mercury source is used, it should
be properly shielded because of the ultraviolet radiation that may be emitted. Consult your instructor.
†
The three such spectral series (shown in Fig. 31.2) are named after
19th-century scientists: the Swiss mathematician Johann Balmer and the
German physicists Theodore Lyman and Friedrich Paschen.
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EXPERIMENT 31
/ Line Spectra and the Rydberg Constant
451
as an average for the spectrum. (The other lines have
slightly different minimum deviations.)
3. (a) Without disturbing the prism, starting at the red
end of the spectrum, set the crosshairs of the
telescope on the extreme red line, and record the
color and divided circle reading in the laboratory
report. Repeat this procedure for each spectral
line in order. (Turn off the discharge tube as soon
as possible to conserve the life of the tube.)
(b) Find the wavelengths of the spectral lines for the
discharge tube gas in Appendix A, Table A8, and
match them to the line readings.
(c) Using these data, plot the wavelength l versus
the divided circle reading u. This calibrates the
spectrometer, and unknown wavelengths can be
determined from divided circle readings from the
calibration curve.
Figure 31.3 Experimental apparatus. A gas discharge tube
and power supply. (Photo Courtesy of Sargent-Welch.)
Turn on the power supply, observe the mercury
(or helium) spectrum through the telescope, and note
its line nature.
With the slit as narrow as possible, rotate the
prism slightly back and forth, and notice the reversal
of direction of the motion of the spectrum when the
prism is rotated in one direction. Focusing on the
yellow line (for mercury, the brighter yellow line),
stop rotating the prism at the position of the reversal
of motion of this line.
This sets the prism for minimum deviation for the
yellow line (see Experiment 30), which will be taken
4. With the discharge tube power supply off, replace the
mercury (or helium) discharge tube with a hydrogen
discharge tube. Turn on the power supply, and starting
with the red line of the hydrogen spectrum, determine
the divided circle reading for each spectral line with
the crosshairs of the telescope positioned on the center of the line. Record in the laboratory report.
The red line is referred to as Ha in spectroscopic
notation. The other sequential lines are referred to as
Hb, etc., with subscripts in Greek alphabetical order.
5. Determine the wavelengths of the hydrogen lines from
the calibration curve, and plot the reciprocal of the
wavelength 1/l versus 1/ n 2. (Begin the abscissa scale
with zero.) Draw the best straight line that fits the data
points and determine the slope of the line.
Note that Eq. 31.1:
1
1
R
R
1
5 Ra 2 2 2b 5 2 2
l
4
2
n
n
has the form of a straight line, y 5 mx 1 b, with the
negative slope equal to the Rydberg constant. Compare the slope of the line with the accepted value of
the Rydberg constant by computing the percent error.
Compare the intercept of this line with R/4.
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
3 1
Line Spectra and the
Rydberg Constant
Laboratory Report
Colors of the Continuous Spectrum
DATA TABLE 1
Color
Mercury (or Helium) Spectrum
Divided circle
reading
Wavelength (
)
(from Table A8)
Don’t forget units
Sequence of colors
red
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
DATA TABLE 2
Line
3 1
Laboratory Report
Line Spectra and the Rydberg Constant
Hydrogen Spectrum
Color
Divided
circle
reading
Wavelength
(
)
1/l
(
)
1/n2
Ha , n 5 3
Hb, n 5 4
Hg, n 5 5
Hd, n 5 6
Calculations (Slope of Graph)
(show work)
R (experimental) ___________________
Accepted value ___________________
Percent error ___________________
R/4 from graph ___________________
Accepted value ___________________
Percent error ___________________
QUESTIONS
1. Compute the value of the Rydberg constant from the Bohr theory, and compare it with the
accepted empirical value.
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Section
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Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
3 1
Line Spectra and the Rydberg Constant
Laboratory Report
2. Why are only four lines seen in the Balmer series? (Transitions for ni . 6 also exist.)
Justify your answer mathematically.
3. As n becomes very large, the wavelengths of the Balmer (and other) series approach a
minimum wavelength, or series limit (Eq. 31.1). What is the wavelength of the series limit
for the Balmer series?
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
3 2
The Transmission Diffraction
Grating: Measuring the
Wavelengths of Light
Single-Slit and Double-Slit
Diffraction
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. What is a diffraction grating? Distinguish between the two types of gratings.
2. What is the grating constant? What would be the grating constant for a grating with
300 lines/mm? (Express the constant in nanometers.)
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
3 2
Advance Study Assignment
3. Explain why there is a spectrum for each diffraction order when multicolored light is
analyzed.
4. Will the red or the violet end of the first-order spectrum be nearer the central maximum?
Justify your answer.
5. It will be observed that the second-order spectrum is “spread out” more than the first-order
spectrum. Why?
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. What is diffraction?
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E X P E R I M E N T
3 2
Advance Study Assignment
2. What type of pattern is produced by a double slit? By a single slit?
3. What causes dark and bright fringes?
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E X P E R I M E N T
3 2
The Transmission Diffraction
Grating: Measuring the
Wavelengths of Light
Single-Slit and Double-Slit
Diffraction
OVERVIEW
line spectrum. The CI procedure complements this by
investigating single-slit and double-slit diffraction. By
using the diffraction patterns formed by laser light, it
examines the conditions for single-slit dark fringes and
double-slit bright fringes.
Experiment 32 examines diffraction, but the TI and CI
procedures differ in focus. The TI procedure uses a transmission diffraction grating to measure the wavelengths of
light from an incandescent source and the mercury (Hg)
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
3. Tell how the wavelength of light can be measured with
a grating spectrometer.
In Experiment 30, the prism spectrometer had to be calibrated in terms of known wavelengths before being able to
determine unknown wavelengths of light experimentally.
How, then, are the wavelengths of spectral lines or colors
initially determined? This is most commonly done with
a diffraction grating, a simple device that allows for the
study of spectra and the measurement of wavelengths.
By replacing the prism with a diffraction grating, a
prism spectrometer (Experiments 30 and 31) becomes a
grating spectrometer. When a diffraction grating is used,
the angle(s) at which the incident beam is diffracted relate
simply to the wavelength(s) of the light. In this experiment
the properties of a transmission grating will be investigated and the wavelengths of several spectral lines will be
determined.
OBJECTIVES
A diffraction grating has many slits. But what about using a single slit or a double slit? When illuminated with
monochromatic light, these slits produce interference and
diffraction patterns with bright and dark fringes. Geometric analysis give equations for the positions of single-slit
dark fringes and double-slit bright fringes. The CI portion
of this experiment investigates these fringe relationships.
After performing this experiment and analyzing the
data, you should be able to:
1. Verify that the positions of the minima in a diffraction
pattern match the positions predicted by theory.
2. Use a diffraction and interference pattern to determine
the wavelength of light.
3. Compare the patterns formed by single slits to those
formed by double slits.
4. Investigate the effects of changing slit width and slit
separation.
OBJECTIVES
After performing this experiment and analyzing the data,
you should be able to:
1. Describe the principle of a diffraction grating.
2. Explain the operation of a grating spectrometer.
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T I
E X P E R I M E N T
3 2
The Transmission Diffraction
Grating: Measuring the
Wavelengths of Light
• Power supply for discharge tube
• Incandescent light source
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
• Spectrometer*
• Diffraction grating and holder
• Mercury discharge tube
*Instructor’s note: If a spectrometer is not available, an alternative,
inexpensive method is described in the Instructor’s Manual.
THEORY
d sin u n 5 nl n 5 1, 2, 3, c
A diffraction grating consists of a piece of metal or glass
with a very large number of evenly spaced parallel lines
or grooves. This gives two types of gratings: reflection
gratings and transmission gratings.
Reflection gratings are ruled on polished metal surfaces; light is reflected from the unruled areas, which act
as a row of “slits.” Transmission gratings are ruled on
glass, and the unruled slit areas transmit incident light.
The transmission type grating is used in this experiment. Common laboratory gratings have 300 grooves per
mm and 600 grooves per mm (about 7500 grooves per in.
and 15,000 grooves per in.) and are pressed plastic replicas
mounted on glass. Glass originals are very expensive.
Diffraction consists of the “bending,” or deviation, of
waves around sharp edges or corners. The slits of a grating
give rise to diffraction, and the diffracted light interferes
so as to set up interference patterns (● TI Fig. 32.1).
Complete constructive interference of the waves
occurs when the phase or path difference is equal to one
wavelength, and the first-order maximum occurs for
d sin u 1 5 l
(TI 32.3)
where n is the order of the image maximum. The interference is symmetric on either side of an undeviated and
undiffracted central maximum of the slit image, so the angle
between symmetric image orders is 2un (● TI Fig. 32.2).
In practice, only the first few orders are easily observed,
with the number of orders depending on the grating
constant. If the incident light is other than monochromatic,
each order corresponds to a spectrum. (That is, the grating
spreads the light out into a spectrum.)
As can be seen from TI Eq. 32.1, since d is constant,
each wavelength (color) deviates by a slightly different
angle so that the component wavelengths are separated
into a spectrum. Each diffraction order in this case corresponds to a spectrum order. [The colorful displays seen on
compact disks (CDs) result from diffraction.]
(TI 32.1)
where d is the grating constant, or distance between the
grating lines, u1 is the angle the rays are diffracted from
the incident direction, and d sin u1 is the path difference
between adjacent rays. The grating constant is given by
d 5 1/N
(TI 32.2)
where N is the number of lines or grooves per unit length
(usually per millimeter or per inch) of the grating.
A second-order maximum occurs for d sin u2 5 2l,
and so on, so that in general,
A simplistic view of
the diffraction pattern (two orders) produced by a diffraction grating. (Pattern and angles exaggerated illustration.)
TI Figure 32.1 Diffraction pattern.
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EXPERIMENT 32
/ The Transmission Diffraction Grating: Measuring the Wavelengths of Light
(a)
Collimator
Light source
Grating
•
2θ
Tele
s
cop
e
(b)
(a) A student views a diffraction pattern through the telescope of a grating spectrometer. The light source and collimator are on the right. (b) A diagram of a top view of a grating spectrometer. When the symmetric images of a particular order n are viewed from both sides of the central maximum, the angle between the two viewing
positions is 2un. (Photo Courtesy of Sargent-Welch.)
TI Figure 32.2 Grating spectrometer.
TI Example 32.1 In an experiment using a diffraction grating with 600 lines/mm, the angle between
the corresponding lines of a particular component of
the first-order spectrum on either side of the incident
beam is 41.30°. What is the wavelength of the spectral line?
Solution Given 2u1 5 41.30°, or u1 5 20.65°, and with a
grating ruling of N 5 600 lines/mm, the grating constant d
is TI Eq. 32.2
d5
1
1
5
5 1.67 3 1023 mm
N
600/mm
When doing several calculations, it is convenient to
express the grating constant in nanometers (nm). Converting to nanometers (1 mm 5 106 nm) yields
d 5 1.67 3 1023 mm (106 nm/mm) 5 1.67 3 103 nm
Then for first-order (n 5 1) interference, by TI Eq. 32.3,
d sin u 1 5 l
or
l 5 d sin u 1 5 (1.67 3 1023 nm)(sin 20.65°) 5 589 nm
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
1. Review the general operation of a spectrometer if
necessary (Experiment 30). Record the number of
lines per mm of your diffraction grating in the laboratory report. Mount the grating on the spectrometer
table with the grating ruling parallel to the collimator
slit and the plane of the grating perpendicular to the
collimator axis.
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EXPERIMENT 32
/ The Transmission Diffraction Grating: Measuring the Wavelengths of Light
Determination of the Wavelength Range
of the Visible Spectrum
2. Mount an incandescent light source in front of the
collimator slit. Move the spectrometer telescope into
the line of the slit of the collimator, and focus the
crosshairs on the central slit image.
Notice that this central maximum, or “zeroth”order image, does not depend on the wavelength of
light, so a white image is observed. Then move the
telescope to either side of the incident beam and
observe the first- and second-order spectra. Note
which is spread out more.
3. (a) Focus the crosshairs on the blue (violet) end of
the first-order spectrum at the position where you
judge the spectrum just becomes visible. Record
the divided circle reading (to the nearest minute
of arc) in TI Data Table 1.
(b) Move the telescope to the other (red) end of the
spectrum, and record the divided circle reading of
its visible limit.
(c) Repeat this procedure for the first-order spectrum
on the opposite side of the central maximum. The
angular difference between the respective readings
corresponds to an angle of 2u (TI Fig. 32.2b).
4. Compute the grating constant d in millimeters, and
with the experimentally measured u’s, compute the
range of the wavelengths of the visible spectrum in
nanometers.
Determination of the Wavelengths
of Spectral Lines
5. Mount the mercury discharge tube in its power supply
holder, and place in front of the collimator slit.
465
Caution: Work very carefully, as the discharge
tube operates at high voltage and you could receive
an electrical shock. Make certain the power supply is turned off before inserting the tube. If a large
mercury source is used, it should be properly shielded
because of the ultraviolet radiation that may be emitted.
Consult with your instructor.
Turn on the power supply and observe the firstand second-order mercury line spectra on both sides
of the central image.
6. Because some of the lines are brighter than others and
the weaker lines are difficult to observe in the secondorder spectra, the wavelengths of only the brightest lines will be determined. Find the listing of the
mercury spectral lines in Appendix A, Table A8, and
record the color and wavelength in TI Data Table 2.
Then, beginning with either first-order spectra, set
the telescope crosshairs on each of the four brightest
spectral lines, and record the divided circle readings
(read to the nearest minute of arc). Repeat the readings for the first-order spectrum on the opposite side
of the central image.
7. Repeat the measurement procedure for the four lines
in the second-order spectra and, using TI Eq. 32.2,
compute the wavelength of each of the lines for both
orders of spectra. Compare with the accepted values
by computing the percent error of your measurements
in each case.
Note: In the second-order spectra, two yellow
lines—a doublet—may be observed. Make certain that
you choose the appropriate line. (Hint: See the wavelengths of the yellow lines in Appendix A, Table A8.
Which is closer to the red end of the spectrum?)
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T I
E X P E R I M E N T
3 2
The Transmission Diffraction
Grating: Measuring the
Wavelengths of Light
Laboratory Report
Grating constant d
Number of lines per millimeter on grating
(mm)
DATA TABLE 1
Purpose: To determine the wavelength range of the visible spectrum.
Divided circle reading
Spectrum limit
Right
Left
2u
u
sin u
Computed
wavelength
(
)
Violet end
Red end
Calculations
(show work)
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
3 2
Laboratory Report
The Transmission Diffraction Grating
DATA TABLE 2
Purpose: To determine the wavelengths of spectral lines.
Mercury Lines
Color
Wavelength
Divided circle reading
Right
Left
2u
u
sin u
Computed
l(
)
Percent
error
First-order spectrum
Second-order spectrum
Calculations
(show work)
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E X P E R I M E N T
3 2
The Transmission Diffraction Grating
Laboratory Report
QUESTIONS
1. If a grating with more lines per unit length were used, how would the observed angles or
spread of the spectra be affected?
2. Was there any difference in the accuracy of the determination of the wavelengths of the
mercury lines for the different-order spectra? If so, give an explanation.
3. Is it possible for the first-order spectrum to overlap the second-order spectrum? Explain,
assuming a continuous spectrum.
4. Is there a theoretical limit to the order of the spectrum you would be able to observe with
your diffraction grating? Justify your answer mathematically.
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
3 2
The Transmission Diffraction Grating
Laboratory Report
5. (Reminder about rounding errors.) In Example 32.1, values were rounded to the proper
number of significant figures in each step. Recall that in Experiment 1 it was suggested
that one or two insignificant (extra) figures usually be carried along and stated that
if a calculator is used, rounding off may be done only on the final result of multiple
calculations.
If you applied these rules to the calculations in Example 32.1, would you get 589 nm?
(Justify your answer.)
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C I
E X P E R I M E N T
3 2
Single-Slit and Double-Slit
Diffraction
• Light sensor (CI-6504A)
• Single-slit disk from Slit Accessory (OS-8523)
• Multiple-slit disk from Slit Accessory (OS-8523)
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
• Optics bench from the Basic Optics System (PASCO
OS-8515)
• Diode laser (OS-8525)
• Linear translator (OS-8535)
• Aperture bracket (OS-8534)
• Rotary motion sensor (CI-6538)
Note: The light sensor needs to be calibrated before use.
Refer to the owner’s manual for instructions on how to
calibrate the sensor.
THEORY
A. Single-Slit Diffraction
m2
Diffraction is the bending of a wave by means other than
reflection or refraction. It occurs when a wave encounters
an obstacle and bends around it, reaching places that would
otherwise be shadowed. The amount of bending depends on
the wavelength of the wave relative to the size of the obstacle. For waves of visible light that have wavelengths in the
nanometer range (1029 m), some obstacles that will produce
diffraction are sharp edges, point objects, and thin slits.
Let’s consider monochromatic light that passes through
a single thin slit. The light “flares out” as it goes through,
producing, on a screen a distance L away, what is called a
single-slit diffraction pattern. A sketch of such a pattern is
shown in ● CI Fig. 32.1. The diffraction pattern has a bright
central region. Other, less intense regions are symmetrically distributed around the central region. These bright regions, or bright bands, are called maxima and are regions of
constructive interference. The dark regions in between are
called minima and are regions of destructive interference.
From an analysis of the geometry, it can be shown that
the condition for dark bands, or minima, is given by
v sin u 5 ml
m 5 1, 2, 3, . . .
m1
L
θ1
Source
Central
maximum
2nd
minimum
1st
minimum
m 2
2nd
minimum
1st
minimum
1
1
2
As the diagram
shows, the minima are distributed symmetrically on both
sides of the central maximum. The first minimum is designated m 5 1 and occurs between the central maximum and
the next bright band. After that, the centers of other dark
bands are designated m 5 2, m 5 3, and so on. Traditionally, positive and negative numbers are used to distinguish
one side from the other.
CI Figure 32.1 Single-slit diffraction.
(CI 32.1)
(condition for dark fringes)
where v is the width of the slit, l is the wavelength of the
light, and u is the angle to the center of a particular band
minimum designated by m 5 1, 2, 3, . . . . The m number
is called the order number, and the bands are referred to as
first-order, second-order, third-order, and so on.*
Note the geometry in ● CI Fig. 32.2, where tan u1 5
y1/L. Experimentally, y V L, and using the small-angle
approximation tan u 1 < sin u 1 < y1 /L for the first-order
minimum, we can in general write CI Eq. 32.1 as
ym <
*CI Eq. 32.1 is sometimes written v sin u 5 ml, m 5 61, 62, 63, . . . ,
where the plus and minus numbers are used to indicate dark bands on
opposite sides of the central maximum.
mLl
v
m 5 1, 2, 3, . . .
(CI 32.2)
(small angles only)
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EXPERIMENT 32
/ Single-Slit and Double-Slit Diffraction
From the geometry, it can be shown that the positions
of the bright fringe maxima are given by
m1
w
y1
θ1
d sin u 5 nl n 5 1, 2, 3, . . .
(CI 32.3)
(condition for bright fringes)
Central
maximum
L
m 1
CI Figure 32.2 Geometry of the single-slit diffraction
pattern. The first-order minimum, m 5 1, is at a distance
where d is the distance between the double slits, u is the
angular distance between the central maximum and another bright fringe of order n, and l is the wavelength of
the light.
Using a small-angle approximation as before, we find
that CI Eq. 32.3 becomes
y1 from the central maximum. In experimental conditions,
L is much larger than v and y1 1 L W y1 2 .
yn 5
where y1 is the distance between the center of the central
maximum and the center of the first-order minimum, and
so on (see CI Fig. 32.2).
B. Double-Slit Interference
n0
n1
n2
θ1
Source
Central
maximum
2
n 5 0, 1, 2, 3, . . .
(CI 32.4)
(lateral distances to bright fringes,
small angles only)
SETTING UP DATA STUDIO
When light passes through two slits, the diffraction pattern
is again bright-and-dark regions, but regions smaller than
those seen with the single slit. These small dots are usually called fringes. ● CI Fig. 32.3 shows a diagram of the
fringes of this interference pattern.
n 3
nLl
d
1
0
1
Interference fringes
2
3
CI Figure 32.3 Double-slit interference pattern. The interference pattern from two slits produces a smaller and
sharper set of bright and dark fringes than the diffraction
pattern from a single slit.
1. Open Data Studio and choose “Create Experiment.”
2. The Experiment Setup window will open and you will
see a picture of the Science Workshop interface. There
are seven channels to choose from. (Digital channels
1, 2, 3 and 4 are the small buttons on the left; analog
channels A, B and C are the larger buttons on the
right.)
3. Click on the channel A button in the picture. A window with a list of sensors will open.
4. Choose the Light Sensor from the list and press OK.
5. Connect the sensor to channel A of the interface, as
shown on the computer screen.
6. In the same window, under Measurement select Light
Intensity, and deselect all others. Set the Sample Rate
to 20 Hz.
7. Now click on the Channel 1 button in the picture to
access the list of sensors again.
8. Choose the Rotary Motion Sensor (RMS) from the list
and press OK.
9. Connect the RMS to channels 1 and 2 of the interface,
as shown on the computer screen.
10. On the same window, adjust the properties of the RMS
as follows:
First Measurements tab: select Position, Ch 1&2
and deselect all others.
Rotary Motion Sensor tab: set the Resolution to
high (1440 divisions/rotations); and set the Linear
Scale to Rack & Pinion.
Set the Sample Rate to 20 Hz.
The Data list on the left of the screen should now
have three icons: one for voltage, one for light intensity and one for the position data.
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EXPERIMENT 32
/ Single-Slit and Double-Slit Diffraction
473
CI Figure 32.4 Data Studio setup. A light sensor, together with a rotary motion sensor, will be used to produce a plot of light
intensity versus position for diffraction and interference patterns. (Reprinted courtesy of PASCO Scientific.)
11. Create a graph by dragging the Light Intensity icon
from the Data list and dropping it on top of the Graph
icon of the Displays list. A graph of intensity versus
time will open in a window called Graph 1.
12. Now drag the Position icon from the data list, and
drop it on top of the horizontal axis of the graph. The
horizontal axis will change to measure position instead of time. ● CI Fig. 32.4 shows what the screen
should look like after the setup is complete.
EQUIPMENT SETUP
1. Mount the single-slit accessory to the optics bench.
The slit disks are mounted on a ring that snaps into an
empty lens holder. Rotate the ring in the lens holder
so that the slits at the center of the ring are vertical in
the holder. Then tighten the screw on the holder. (See
● CI Fig. 32.5.)
2. Align the laser beam with the slit.
a. Mount the diode laser at one end of the bench. Put
the slit holder a few centimeters away from the
laser, with the disk side closer to the laser. Plug in
the laser and turn it on.
b. Adjust the position of the beam from left-to-right
and up-to-down until the beam is centered on the
slit. The knobs to do this are on the back of the
diode laser. (See ● CI Fig. 32.6.)
Ring
Slit set
Slit
accessory
Lens
holder
CI Figure 32.5 Slit accessory on lens holder. The slit acces-
sory is mounted on a ring that snaps into the lens holder.
3. Prepare the rotary motion sensor and the light sensor.
a. Mount the RMS in the rack of the linear translator.
Then mount the linear translator to the end of the
optics bench.
b. The light sensor with the aperture bracket (set
to slit 6) is mounted on the RMS rod clamp. (See
● CI Fig. 32.7.)
4. Plug the RMS and the light sensor into the interface, as
shown in the Setup window on the computer screen.
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EXPERIMENT 32
/ Single-Slit and Double-Slit Diffraction
To
sensors
On/Off and
Horizontal/Vertical
controls
Optics
bench
The diode
laser is placed in the track a few centimeters behind the
lens holder with the slits.
CI Figure 32.6 Diode laser and slits on track.
Light sensor
RMS
Aperture
bracket
Optics bench
Rack
Linear
translator
CI Figure 32.7 The RMS mounted in the rack with the light
sensor. The RMS is mounted on the linear translator. The
light sensor with the apertures is mounted on the RMS.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
Start by making a note in the laboratory report of the wavelength (l) of the laser light. It is printed on the back of the
diode laser.
A. The Single-Slit Pattern
1. Select the 0.04-mm wide single slit from the disk.
Make a note of the value in the laboratory report.
2. Place the laser on the side opposite the light sensor on
the track. The slit disk should be a few centimeters in
front of the laser. Record in the laboratory report the
distance (L) between the slit and the sensor.
3. Set the light sensor aperture bracket to slit 6.
4. Turn the laser on and set the gain switch to 310. If the
light intensity goes offscale when you are measuring,
turn it down to 31.
5. The pattern should be visible on the aperture bracket
of the light sensor. Move the light sensor to one side
of the laser pattern.
6. Turn the classroom lights off.
7. Press the START button, and slowly move the sensor
across the pattern by rotating the large pulley of the
RMS. Click the STOP button when you are finished.
8. Use the magnifier button (on the graph toolbar, a button that shows a magnifier lens) to enlarge the central
maximum and the first maximum on each side.
9. Use the Smart-Tool (on the graph toolbar, a button labeled with xy-axes) to measure the distance between
the centers of the first minima on the two sides of
the central maximum. That is, measure the distance
between m 5 21 and m 5 1. Record the value in CI
Data Table 1.
10. Determine the distance y m from the center of the
pattern to one of the m 5 1 minima by dividing
the previous distance by 2. Record the result in CI
Data Table 1.
11. Repeat the measurements for the second-, the third-,
and if possible the fourth-order minima. Use the
magnifier button to enlarge the parts of the graph as
needed.
12. Calculate sin u for each case, using the derived formula from the small-angle approximation. (See CI
Data Table 1 for the formula.) Enter the values in both
CI Data Tables 1 and 2.
13. To check how well the observed pattern matches the
theory, use the known wavelength of the light and the
known width of the slit to calculate the theoretical
value of sin u for each case. Compare the theory to the
experiment by taking percent differences. Record all
results in CI Data Table 1.
14. To demonstrate that the experimental data can also be
used to find the wavelength of the light, use the data
in CI Data Table 2 with CI Eq. 32.1 to calculate the
wavelength of the light for each case; then find an
average. Compare the average to the expected value
by taking a percent error.
15. Cancel all zooms, and fix up the graph window so that
all data collected can be seen. Print the graph and label each minimum, on both sides of the center, with
the appropriate m value. Title this graph “Graph 1.
Single-Slit Pattern, v 5 0.04 mm.” If no printer is
available, make a careful sketch of the graph, paying
attention to the location of the minima along the horizontal axis. Attach the graph to the laboratory report.
B. The Double-Slit Pattern
1. Change the slit accessory to a multiple-slit disk and
realign the laser, if needed. Choose the double slit
with slit separation 0.25 mm and slit width 0.04 mm.
2. Set the light sensor aperture bracket to slit 4.
3. The pattern should be visible on the aperture bracket
of the light sensor. Move the light sensor to one side
of the laser pattern.
4. Turn the classroom lights off.
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EXPERIMENT 32
5. Press the START button, and slowly move the sensor
across the pattern by rotating the large pulley of the
RMS. Click the STOP button when you are finished.
6. Use the magnifier button to enlarge the central maximum and the first maximum on each side.
7. Use the Smart-Tool to measure the distance between
the first maxima on the two sides of the central maximum. That is, measure the distance between n 5 1
and n 5 21. Record the value in CI Data Table 3.
8. Determine the distance yn to one of the n 5 1 fringes
by dividing the previous distance by 2. Record the
result in CI Data Table 3.
9. Repeat the measurements for the second-, third-, and
if possible all the way to the sixth-order maxima.
Use the magnifier button to enlarge the parts of the
graph as needed.
10. Calculate sin u for each case, using the derived formula from the small-angle approximation. Enter the
values in both CI Data Tables 3 and 4.
11. To check how well the observed pattern matches the
theory, use the known wavelength of the light and the
known separation of the slits to calculate the theoretical value of sin u for each case. Compare the theory
to the experiment by taking percent differences. Record all results in CI Data Table 3.
12. To demonstrate that this experimental data can also
be used to find the wavelength of the light, use the
/ Single-Slit and Double-Slit Diffraction
475
data in CI Data Table 4 to calculate the wavelength of
the light for each case; then find an average. Compare
the average to the expected value by taking a percent
error.
13. Cancel all zooms, and fi x up the graph window so
that all data collected can be seen. Print the graph and
label each maximum, on both sides of the center, with
the appropriate n value. Title this graph “Graph 2.
Double-Slit Pattern, d 5 0.25 mm, v 5 0.04 mm.” If
no printer is available, make a careful sketch of the
graph, paying attention to the location of the maxima
along the horizontal axis. Attach the graph to the laboratory report.
C. Comparing Single-Slit Pattern to Double-Slit
Pattern
1. Change the double-slit set to a set with slit separation 0.25 mm and slit width 0.08 mm.
2. Collect data as before and print the graph. Label on
the graph the maxima with their appropriate n values.
Title this graph “Graph 3. Double-Slit Pattern,
d 5 0.25 mm, v 5 0.08 mm.”
3. Repeat with the double-slit set of slit separation
0.50 mm and slit width 0.04 mm. This time, title the
graph “Graph 4. Double-Slit Pattern, d 5 0.50 mm,
v 5 0.04 mm.”
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C I
E X P E R I M E N T
3 2
Single-Slit and Double-Slit
Diffraction
Laboratory Report
Wavelength of light l
A. The Single-Slit Pattern
Slit width v
Distance between slit and pattern L
DATA TABLE 1
Purpose: To compare the experimental single-slit pattern with the pattern predicted by theory.
Order of
distance
Distance ym
(from center
to m)
Distance
from
2m to m
Calculated
ym
sin u <
L
Predicted
ml
sin u 5
v
Percent
difference
m51
m52
m53
m54
DATA TABLE 2
Purpose: To determine the wavelength of light using a single-slit diffraction pattern.
Order of
minimum
Calculated
ym
sin u <
L
Calculated
l
m51
m52
m53
m54
Average 5
Percent error 5
Be sure to attach a copy of the graph to the report.
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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3 2
Laboratory Report
Single-Slit and Double-Slit Diffraction
B. The Double-Slit Pattern
Slit width v
Separation of slits d
Distance between slit and pattern L
DATA TABLE 3
Purpose: To compare the experimental double-slit pattern with the pattern predicted by theory.
Order of
minimum
Distance yn
(from center
to n)
Distance
from
2n to n
Calculated
yn
sin u <
L
Predicted
nl
sin u 5
d
Percent
difference
n51
n52
n53
n54
n55
n56
DATA TABLE 4
Purpose: To determine the wavelength of light using a double-slit interference pattern.
Order of
minimum
Calculated
ym
sin u <
L
Calculated
l
n51
n52
n53
n54
Average 5
Percent error 5
Be sure to attach a copy of the graph to the report.
C. Comparing Single-Slit Pattern to Double-Slit Pattern
Attach the graphs to the report. Don’t forget to label them appropriately so that it is easy to
distinguish between them.
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3 2
Single-Slit and Double-Slit Diffraction
Laboratory Report
QUESTIONS
1. Comparison between Graphs 1 and 2:
(a) What parameters of the experiment were kept constant in producing Graphs 1 and 2?
What parameters were changed?
(b) Compare the locations of the first minima of diffraction (m 5 1 and m 5 21 on
Graph 1) to the same positions along the x-axis on Graph 2. Are the positions also
minima in Graph 2?
(c) In Graph 2, how many interference fringes (bright) are in between the locations of
m 5 1 and m 5 21 of the single-slit pattern?
2. Comparison between Graphs 2 and 3:
(a) What parameters of the experiment were kept constant in producing Graphs 2 and 3?
What parameters were changed?
(b) Describe all things that look different between Graphs 2 and 3. What is the effect of
changing the slit width?
(continued)
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Single-Slit and Double-Slit Diffraction
Laboratory Report
3. Comparison between Graphs 2 and 4:
(a) What parameters of the experiment were kept constant in producing Graphs 2 and 4?
What parameters were changed?
(b) Describe all things that look different between Graphs 2 and 4. What is the effect of
changing the separation between the slits?
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E X P E R I M E N T
3 3
Detection of Nuclear Radiation:
The Geiger Counter
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. What is the principle of operation of the Geiger tube?
2. Define each of the following: (a) threshold voltage, (b) cumulative ionization, (c) plateau,
and (d) dead time.
3. Are any radiations counted when the tube voltage is below the threshold voltage? Explain.
(continued)
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Advance Study Assignment
3 3
4. Approximately how many volts above the threshold voltage is the normal operating voltage
of the Geiger tube, and why is the operating voltage selected this way?
5. What is background radiation?
6. How does the count rate vary with distance from a point source? If the counter is moved
twice the distance from the source, how is the count rate affected?
NUCLEAR SAFETY RULES
Radioactive sources will be used in the next few experiments. Some sources are solids and are encapsulated to
prevent contact. However, liquid sources may also be used
and transferred during an experiment. Some general safety
precautions for the use of radioactive materials follow:
1. Radioactive materials should be used only by or under
the supervision of a person properly informed about
the nature of the material.
2. Care should be taken to avoid unnecessary handling
or contact with the skin.
3. Mouth pipetting is strictly prohibited.
4. Eating, drinking, and smoking should not be permitted
in any area where radioactive materials are being used.
5. Protective gloves or forceps should be used when the
material is handled or transferred.
6. All persons working with radioactive material should
thoroughly wash their hands immediately afterward.
7. When not in use, radioactive materials should be
stored in an appropriately labeled container and in a
place of limited access.
8. Should an accident occur (particularly if it involves
radioactive materials), it should be reported immediately to the laboratory instructor.
9. If you are pregnant, make your instructor aware of
this, and do not go to the laboratory.
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E X P E R I M E N T
3 3
Detection of Nuclear Radiation:
The Geiger Counter
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
After performing this experiment and analyzing the
data, you should be able to:
Nuclear radiations (alpha, beta, and gamma rays or particles) cannot be detected directly by our senses. Hence,
some observable detection method employing the interaction of nuclear decay particles with matter must be used.
There are several methods, but the most common is the
Geiger tube.* In a Geiger tube, the particles from radioactive decay ionize gas molecules, giving rise to electrical
pulses that can be amplified and counted. The total instrument is referred to as a Geiger counter.
In this experiment, the characteristics of a Geiger tube
and the inverse-square relationship for nuclear radiation
will be investigated.
1. Explain the principle of operation of the Geiger counter and its major disadvantage.
2. Describe how the count rate of a Geiger counter varies
with its distance from a radioactive source.
*
Sometimes referred to as a Geiger-Müller tube (or G-M tube). A prototype was developed in 1913 by the German physicist Hans Geiger (1882–
1945), who worked in England on experiments that led to our present
nuclear model of the atom. The tube was improved in 1928 in collaboration with the German physicist S. Müller.
• Calibrated mounting board or meterstick
• 2 sheets of Cartesian graph paper [or 1 sheet of
Cartesian and (optional ) 1 sheet of log (log-log)
graph paper (3-cycle)]
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
• Geiger counter (rate meter or scaler type)
• Radioactive source [for example, Cs-137
(beta-gamma)]
• Laboratory timer or stopwatch
As a result, an “avalanche” discharge sets in, and a
current is produced in the resistor. This reduces the potential difference between wire and cylinder to the point where
cumulative ionization does not occur. After the momentary
current pulse, which lasts on the order of microseconds,
the potential difference between the wire and the cylinder
resumes its original value.
THEORY
The three types of nuclear radiation—alpha, beta, and
gamma—are all capable of ionizing a gas. The degree of
ionization depends on the energy of the particles and the
amount of radiation absorbed by the gas. The ionization of
gas molecules by nuclear radiation is the principle of the
Geiger tube.
A Geiger tube consists of a fine wire running axially
through a metal cylinder filled with a gas, usually argon, at
a pressure of about 0.1 atm (● Fig. 33.1). A potential difference or voltage is maintained between the central wire
and the cylinder, the central wire being at a positive potential (1) with respect to the cylinder (2).
Energetic nuclear particles (ionizing radiation)
passing through the cylinder and entering the tube ionize the gas molecules. The freed electrons are attracted
toward the wire and the positive ions toward the cylinder. If the voltage between the wire and cylinder is
great enough, the accelerated electrons acquire enough
energy to ionize other gas molecules on their way to the
positive wire. The electrons from the secondary ionizations produce additional ionizations. This process is
called cumulative ionization.
Figure 33.1 Geiger tube. A schematic diagram of the
Geiger tube and circuit. See text for description.
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EXPERIMENT 33
/ Detection of Nuclear Radiation: The Geiger Counter
A finite time is required for the discharge to be cleared
from the tube. During this time, the voltage of the tube is
less than that required to detect other radiation that might
arrive. This recovery time is referred to as the dead time of
the tube. If a large amount of radiation arrives at the tube,
the counting rate (counts per minute, or cpm) as indicated
on the counting equipment will be less than the true value.
There are two common types of Geiger tubes—a “normal” or side-window tube and an “end-window” tube. The
side-window tube has a relatively thick wall that may not
be penetrated by less penetrating radiation such as alpha
particles (● Fig. 33.2). The end-window tube has a thin
end window, usually of mica, and may be thin enough to
be penetrated by very energetic alpha particles.
The brief change in the potential that occurs when a
discharge takes place in the tube produces a voltage pulse
that can be detected and counted by appropriate instrumentation. Common instruments used for counting are scalers
and count-rate meters.
A scaler displays the cumulative number of counts on a
lighted panel. By using a separate timer, the number of counts
per minute (cpm) can be obtained. Some scalers have internal
timers that stop the counting after a preset time interval.
A rate meter displays the average counting rate
directly via a dial needle (Fig. 33.2). The needle reading
fluctuates back and forth. This is due to the electronic
averaging of the number of counts received during a short
period of time. A scaler timer is usually preferred over a
rate meter because of this effect.
The
standard side-window Geiger tube probe on the mounting board is connected to a count-rate meter. A radioactive
source is on the board in the foreground. Notice the radioactivity warning sign on the source. (Cengage Learning.)
A. Tube Voltage and Count Rate
When a Geiger tube is in the vicinity of a radiation source
with particles of varying energy and there is no voltage on
the tube, no counts are observed on the counter. (Counters
usually have a loudspeaker circuit so that the counts may
also be heard as audible “clicks.”) If the tube voltage is
slowly increased from zero, then at some applied voltage,
counts will be observed. The lowest applied voltage that
will produce a count in the instrument is called the starting
voltage or threshold voltage (● Fig. 33.3).
As the tube voltage is increased above the threshold
voltage, the number of counts per minute increases rapidly. In this region (about 50 V wide, beginning at about
600 V to 700 V, depending on the tube), the count rate
is almost linearly proportional to the voltage. This is
because as the voltage increases, more of the less energetic particles are counted. Hence, in this region the tube
discriminates between particles of different energy. At a
given voltage, only particles above a certain energy are
detected. The tube then acts as a proportional counter—
the voltage being proportional to the energies of the incident particles.
Eventually, as the voltage is increased, the number
of counts per minute becomes almost independent of the
applied voltage (the level region in Fig. 33.3). This region
(about 200 V wide) is called the plateau of the tube. A
change in voltage has little effect on the number of counts
detected. Normally, the Geiger tube is operated at a voltage in about the middle of the plateau. Fluctuations in the
applied voltage from the power supply will then have little
effect on the counting rate.
The tube voltage should never be raised to a value far
above that of the end of the plateau. At such high voltages,
a continuous discharge sets in, and if allowed to persist,
this may destroy the tube.
Figure 33.2 Apparatus for radioactive experiments.
A typical
graph showing how the count rate varies with Geiger tube
voltage. Normal operation is the plateau region. See text
for description.
Figure 33.3 Count rate versus tube voltage.
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EXPERIMENT 33
B. Inverse-Square Relationship
In normal operation, the count rate depends on the number
of particles per unit time entering the Geiger tube. Hence,
the count rate depends on the distance of the tube from the
source. For a point source emitting a total of No particles/
min, the particles are emitted in all directions. The number of particles/min, N9, passing through a unit area of a
sphere of radius r is
Nr 5
No
No
(counts/min/area)
5
A
4pr 2
(33.1)
where A 5 4pr2 is the area of the sphere.
A Geiger tube with a window area A9 at a distance r
from a point source then intercepts or receives N counts/
min, given by
/ Detection of Nuclear Radiation: The Geiger Counter
485
placed at the bottom of the tube mount in this case.
Note: The end window is very fragile and can be
punctured easily.)
Slowly increase the tube voltage by means of the
high-voltage control until the first indication of counting is observed. Then increase the voltage to about
75 to 100 V above this value.
3. Set the counter to the counting mode, and adjust the
distance of the source from the tube (or add aluminum sheets to the end-window tube mount) so that the
count rate is several thousand (3000 to 5000) counts
per minute. The Geiger tube is then operating normally, and the dead time will not cause serious error.
A. Tube Voltage and Count Rate
No Ar
N 5 NrAr 5
4pr 2
(33.2)
Although the effective area A9 of the Geiger tube is usually not known, the equation shows that the count rate is
inversely proportional to r 2 (inverse-square form):
1
N~ 2
r
(33.3)
Hence, for a point source, the count rate “falls off ” as 1/r2
with the distance from the source.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
Caution: Review the radiation safety procedures
before performing this experiment.
1. Connect the Geiger tube probe to the counter by
means of the coaxial cable. Before plugging the counter into an ac outlet, familiarize yourself with the controls, particularly the high-voltage control.
Scaler: Set the high-voltage control to the minimum setting.
Rate meter: Set the high-voltage control to the
minimum setting. The off-on switch is commonly on
the high-voltage control. A selector switch is labeled
with volts and counts per minute multiplier positions
(31, 310, etc.). When the Geiger tube voltage is adjusted by means of the high-voltage control, the selector switch should always be set on “volts.”
The selector switch is then turned to the appropriate count multiplier range for counting. The meter
display scale usually has dual calibrations in volts and
counts per minute.
2. Plug in and turn on the counter. Place the radioactive
source near the Geiger tube, with the source facing
the probe opening as in Fig. 33.2. (A tube mount may
be available for an end-window tube. The source is
4. Lower the high-voltage control to the minimum setting.
Then slowly raise the voltage until the first indication of
counting is observed (rate meter selection on “volts”).
Record this threshold voltage in Data Table 1.
5. Increase the voltage to 25 V above the threshold voltage and record the tube voltage. Measure and record
the number of counts per minute at this voltage setting. (A rate meter is switched to a counting position.
Because the meter needle fluctuates, it is best to watch
the meter for 30 s and note the highest and lowest meter readings. The count rate is then taken as the mean
or average of these readings.)
6. Continue to repeat Procedure 5, increasing the voltage
by 25 V each time. Record the voltage and the corresponding count rate for each voltage setting. You will
notice that the count rate first increases rapidly with
voltage. It then levels off, increasing only slightly
with increases in voltage. This is the plateau region of
the Geiger tube.
Eventually, with a particular voltage step, a sharp
increase in the count rate will be observed. Do not increase the voltage above this value. Quickly lower the
tube voltage to the minimum setting after this reading
to avoid damaging the tube.
7. Plot the count rate N (counts/min) versus voltage V on
Cartesian graph paper. Include the threshold voltage.
Draw a smooth curve that best fits the data.
B. Background Radiation
8. Remove the source several meters (across the room)
from the Geiger tube, and apply the midplateau voltage to the tube as determined from the graph. (If using
an end-window tube with a tube mount, remove the
tube from the mount and lay the tube on the table.)
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EXPERIMENT 33
/ Detection of Nuclear Radiation: The Geiger Counter
You will observe an occasional count on the
counter. This is due to background radiation arising
from cosmic rays and radioactive elements in the
environment (for example, in building materials).
Let the counter run for a measured time, for example, 4 min to 5 min, and determine the background
count rate in counts per minute and record this value
in Part B of the laboratory report. If the background
count rate is small compared to the source count, it
may be considered negligible.
count rate and source distance from the tube for each
step as the source is moved away from the tube.
12. The inverse-square relationship N 5 A/r2 (where A is
a constant) can be put into linear form by taking the
logarithm of both sides:
log N 5 log 1 Ar22 2 5 log r22 1 log A
or
log N 5 22 log r 1 log A
C. Inverse-Square Relationship
9. Bring the source toward the Geiger tube, and locate the
source at a distance from the tube where the counting
rate begins to increase significantly over background.
Record the distance r and the count rate N in Data
Table 2. Record this r as the farthest distance.
10. Then bring the source relatively close to the tube, and
determine the distance from the source that gives a
full-scale count rate. Record the count rate and distance (closest).
11. Divide the length between the two measured distances
into eight intervals or steps. Measure and record the
(33.4)
where log is the common logarithm (base 10). Note
that Eq. 33.4 has the form of a straight line: y 5
mx 1 b. (See Experiment 1 for general discussion.)
Take the logs of the r and N values in Data Table 2.
On Cartesian graph paper, plot log N versus log r, and
draw a straight line that best fits the data. Determine
the slope of the line, and compare it to the theoretical
value by finding the percent error.
(Optional) Your instructor may wish to introduce
you to log-log graph paper. This special graph paper
automatically takes the log values. See Appendix D
for a discussion of graphing on log-log and semi-log
graph papers. (There is optional use of the latter in
Experiments 34 and 35.)
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E X P E R I M E N T
3 3
Detection of Nuclear Radiation:
The Geiger Counter
Laboratory Report
A. Tube Voltage and Count Rate
DATA TABLE 1
Purpose: To determine dependence of the count rate on tube voltage.
Tube voltage
Count rate (cpm)
Threshold
voltage
B. Background Radiation
Number of counts ______________
Counting time (min) ______________
Counts/min ______________
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
3 3
Detection of Nuclear Radiation: The Geiger Counter
Laboratory Report
C. Inverse-Square Relationship
DATA TABLE 2
Purpose: To determine the count rate versus distance from source.
Source-to-counter
distance r (
)
Count rate N
(cpm)
log r
log N
Closest
distance
Farthest
distance
Calculations
(show work)
Slope of graph ______________
Theoretical value ______________
Percent error ______________
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Detection of Nuclear Radiation: The Geiger Counter
Laboratory Report
QUESTIONS
1. What is the average percent increase in the count rate over the voltage range of the Geiger
tube plateau? (Obtain from a graph of the data.)
2. If (a) dead time and (b) background radiation corrections were taken into account, how
would each correction affect the graph of N versus V?
3. Give possible reasons why the experimental result of N versus r is not exactly an
inverse-square relationship.
4. A count rate of 8000 cpm is recorded at a distance of 5.0 cm from a point source. What
would be the observed count rate at a distance of 20 cm?
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3 4
Radioactive Half-Life
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. What is the significance of the half-life of a radioactive isotope in terms of (a) the amount
of sample or number of nuclei, and (b) the activity of the sample?
2. What is the decay constant? Is it the same for each decay process? What are the units of
the decay constant?
3. How is the half-life related to the decay constant of a radioactive process?
4. What is meant by milking a cow? Give the technical terms for milking and cow.
(continued)
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E X P E R I M E N T
3 4
Advance Study Assignment
5. Ba-137m is a nuclear isomer of Ba-137. Explain what this means.
6. If a particular radioactive sample undergoes four half-lives, what fraction of the original
material remains?
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E X P E R I M E N T
3 4
Radioactive Half-Life
In this experiment, the half-life of a radioactive
isotope will be determined.
After performing this experiment and analyzing the
data, you should be able to:
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
The decrease in the activity of a radioactive isotope is
characterized by its half-life. This is the time required for
one-half of the nuclei of a sample to decay. Of course, the
nuclei of a sample cannot be counted directly, but when
one-half of the sample has decayed, the activity, or the
rate of emission of nuclear radiation, has also decreased
by one-half. Thus, as we monitor the sample with a Geiger
counter, when the count rate (counts per minute, cpm) has
decreased by one-half, one half-life has elapsed.
1. Explain what is meant by the half-life of a radioactive
isotope.
2. Distinguish between radioactive half-life and time
constant.
3. Describe how the half-life of a short-lived radioactive
isotope can be measured.
• Disposable planchet (small, metal, cuplike container
to hold radioactive sample)
• 2 sheets of Cartesian graph paper [or (optional)
1 sheet of Cartesian and 1 sheet of semi-log graph
paper (3-cycle)]
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
• Geiger counter (rate meter with clip mount or scaler
type with tube mount)
• Cesium-137/Barium-137m Minigenerator with
solution
• Laboratory timer or stopwatch
and
THEORY
The activity of a radioactive isotope is proportional to the
quantity of isotope present, and the radioactive decay process is described by an exponential function:
N 5 Noe2lt 5 Noe2t/t
t1/2 5 0.693 t 5
Example 34.1 A radioactive sample has an activity
of 4000 cpm. What is the observed activity after three
half-lives?
Solution After one half-life, the activity decreases by 12 ,
and after another half-life by another 12 , and so on. Hence,
after three half-lives, the initial activity decreases by a factor of 12 3 12 3 12 5 18. With No 5 4000 cpm,
N
1
5 5 e2t1/2/t
No
2
1
1
N 5 No 5 (4000) 5 500 cpm
8
8
Notice that, in general,
No
N5 n
2
Because
1
2
by comparison
0.693 5
(34.2)
Thus the half-life can be computed if the time constant or
the decay constant is known.
(34.1)
where N is the number of nuclei present at time t, No is the
original number of nuclei present (at t 5 0), l is the decay constant of the process, and the time constant t 5 1/l.
The variable N can also represent the activity (cpm) of an
isotope sample.
The half-life t1/2 is the time it takes for the number
of nuclei present, or activity, to decrease by one-half
(N 5 No /2). Hence,
e20.693 5
0.693
l
t1/2
t
where n is the number of half-lives.
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EXPERIMENT 34
/ Radioactive Half-Life
nucleus, and the resulting nucleus (137Ba) is called the
daughter nucleus.*
The Ba-137m is washed or eluted from the generator
by passing a hydrochloric acid–saline solution through the
generator. Because of this process, the generator is commonly referred to as a “cow,” and the Ba-137m is said to
be “milked” from the cow. The generator “cow” may be
milked many times, but as with an actual cow, a time interval must elapse between milkings.
Eluting removes the Ba-137m from the generator, and
time is required for the “regeneration” of Ba-137m from the
decay of Cs-137. Normally, the parent and daughter isotopes
exist in equilibrium, with equal activities. After eluting (or
milking the cow), it takes about 12 min for the Ba-137m to
build up and again reach equilibrium with the Cs-137.
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
Caution: Review the radiation safety procedures at
the beginning of Experiment 33.
1. Before the Minigenerator is eluted, turn on the Geiger
counter. Apply the appropriate tube voltage for normal operation (see Experiment 33). Over a period of
4 min or 5 min, measure and record the count of the
background radiation, as was done in Experiment 33.
Figure 34.1 The Cesium-137/Barium-137m Minigenerator
system. See text for description. (Fisher Scientific Com-
pany, LLC.)
Theory of Minigenerator
The Cesium-137/Barium-137m Minigenerator* (● Fig.
34.1) is an eluting system, in which a short-lived daughter
radioactive isotope is eluted (separated by washing) from a
long-lived parent isotope. A small “generator” contains radioactive Cs-137, which has a half-life of 30 years. Cs-137
beta-decays into Ba-137m, which is an isomeric (excited)
state of the stable nucleus Ba-137. The excited isomer
Ba-137m has a relatively short half-life and gamma-decays
into Ba-137.
The nuclear equation for the decay is
where the asterisk (*) indicates an excited state. The original nucleus, 137Cs, is commonly referred to as the parent
*Registered trademark, Union Carbide.
2. Mount the Geiger probe so that a planchet with the
radioactive Ba-137m sample can be quickly and carefully placed below and near the probe opening at a
fixed distance.
3. The counting procedure is as follows. When the sample is in place, the laboratory timer is started (t 5 0)
and allowed to run continuously. Simultaneously with
the starting of the timer, the activity is measured on
the Geiger counter for 15s, and the count rate (cpm),
together with the time elapsed on the timer, is recorded
in the data table.
Note: If using a rate meter, take the average of
the high and low meter readings over the 15-s interval as the count rate. If a scaler is used (with or without an internal timer), the count rate in cpm must be
computed. For example, suppose that 500 counts are
observed for the 15-s (14 -min) interval. The count rate
is then 500 counts / 14 min 5 500 3 4 5 2000 cpm.
Repeat the 15-s count of activity at the beginning
of each minute of elapsed time for 10 min to 12 min.
A dry run of the counting procedure is helpful.
4. The instructor will “milk the cow” or supervise you
in doing so. Only a few (2 to 3) drops of the eluate
(milk) are needed.
*There doesn’t seem to be a son nucleus in nuclear physics.
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EXPERIMENT 34
/ Radioactive Half-Life
495
Caution: Care should be taken in handling the
sample. The milking should be done over a sheet of
paper that can be discarded in case of a spill, and if
you should come in contact with the sample, immediately wash your hands.
The instructor may wish to give you a sample for
a trial run of the counting procedure.
7. The decay constant may be found graphically by putting
the exponential function, N 5 Noe2lt, into linear form
by taking the natural logarithm (base e) of both sides:
5. When given the actual data sample, carry out the
counting procedure as described above.
Note that Eq. 34.3 has the form of a straight line: y 5
mx 1 b. (See Experiment 1 for general discussion.)
Find ln N for each value of N in the Data Table.
(Make a column for these to the right of the table).
Plot ln N versus t on Cartesian graph paper, and
draw a straight line that best fits the data. Determine
the slope of the line, and compare it to the value of the
decay constant computed in the preceding procedure
by finding the percent difference.
(Optional) Your instructor may wish to introduce
you to semi-log graph paper. This special graph paper
automatically takes the log values of the variable plotted on the Y-axis. See Appendix D for a discussion of
graphing on semi-log (and log-log) graph paper.
6. Correct for background radiation if necessary. Plot
the sample activity (N) in cpm versus the elapsed time
(t) in minutes on Cartesian graph paper, and note the
shape of the curve.
From the graph, make two determinations of the
half-life by finding the time required for the sample activity to decay from its initial value to 12 of the initial value,
and from 12 to 14 of the initial value. Average and compare
with the half-life for Ba-137m in Appendix Table A9 by
computing the percent error. Also compute the decay
constant (l) from the average value of the half-life.
ln N 5 ln 1 Noe2lt 2 5 ln(e2lt) 1 ln No
or
ln N 5 2lt 1 ln No
(34.3)
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E X P E R I M E N T
3 4
Radioactive Half-Life
Laboratory Report
Background count (cpm) ______________________
DATA TABLE
Purpose: To determine the half-life of Ba-137m.
t
Elapsed time
(min)
N
Observed
activity (cpm)
Corrected for
background
radiation (cpm)
Calculations
(show work)
Half-life Measurements for Ba-137m
Time from full to 12 activity ______________________
Time from 12 to 14 activity ______________________
Average experimental half-life ______________________
Accepted half-life ______________________
Percent error ______________________
Decay constant from average half-life ______________________
Decay constant from graph ______________________
Percent difference ______________________
Don’t forget units
(continued)
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Radioactive Half-Life
Laboratory Report
QUESTIONS
1. In the experiment, if the Ba-137m sample were placed closer to the Geiger tube, the measured activity would be greater (inverse-square relationship). Would this affect the result of
the half-life? Explain how this would affect the N-versus-t graph on Cartesian graph paper
(or on semi-log paper).
2. A cobalt-60 source has a measured activity of 12,000 cpm. After how long would the observed activity be 750 cpm? (The half-life of Co-60 is 5.27 y.)
3. An instructor buys a 10-mCi Cs-137 source for laboratory experiments. After 5 years, what
is (a) the strength of the source in mCi; (b) the activity of the source in disintegrations per
second? (1 Ci 5 3.70 3 1010 disintegrations/s.) (c) What is the strength of the source in
becquerels (Bq)? (The becquerel is the official SI unit: 1 Ci 5 3.7 3 1010 Bq.)
4. Cesium-136 is also radioactive and decays into barium-136. Write the nuclear equation for
this reaction.
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3 5
The Absorption
of Nuclear Radiation
Advance Study Assignment
Read the experiment and answer the following questions.
1. On what parameters does the absorption of nuclear radiation depend?
2. Do the three basic types of nuclear radiation have definite ranges of penetration in
materials? Explain. What is meant by half-thickness?
3. What is the mass absorption coefficient, and what are its units? Are there any advantages to
using the mass absorption coefficient rather than the linear absorption coefficient? Explain.
(continued)
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3 5
Advance Study Assignment
4. Explain how a source that has only one radioactive isotope can emit both beta and gamma
radiation.
5. Why is a beta-gamma source that is shielded with a relatively thin sheet of aluminum
effectively a gamma source?
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3 5
The Absorption
of Nuclear Radiation
as medical radioisotope treatment and nuclear shielding
(for example, around a nuclear reactor). Also, in industrial
manufacturing processes, the absorption of nuclear
radiation is used to monitor and control automatically the
thickness of metal and plastic sheets and films.
In this experiment, the absorption properties of various
materials for different kinds of nuclear radiation will be
investigated.
After performing this experiment and analyzing the
data, you should be able to:
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES
The observed activity of a radioactive source of a given
strength depends on several factors—for example, the distance of the counter from the source. For a point source, the
observed activity varies inversely with the distance from
the source (inverse-square relationship). This decrease is
due to the geometrical spreading of the emitted nuclear
radiation outward from the source.
If a Geiger probe is a fixed distance from a long-lived
source, the observed activity is relatively constant. However,
if a sheet of material is placed between the source and the
counter, a decrease in the activity may be observed. That is,
the nuclear radiation is absorbed by the material. The amount
of absorption depends on the type and energy of the radiation
and on the kind and density of the absorbing material.
The absorption or degree of penetration of nuclear
radiation is an important consideration in applications such
1. Describe the parameters on which the penetration of
nuclear radiation in a material depends.
2. Explain the linear absorption coefficient, “halfthickness,” and stopping range.
3. Explain the mass absorption coefficient.
• Laboratory timer or stopwatch
• Micrometer caliper
• 3 sheets of Cartesian graph paper [or (optional)
2 sheets of Cartesian graph paper and 1 sheet of
semi-log graph paper (3-cycle)]
EQUIPMENT NEEDED
•
•
•
•
Geiger counter (rate meter or scaler type)
Calibrated mounting board (or meter stick)
Beta-gamma source (Cs-137 suggested)
Set of cardboard, aluminum, and lead sheets (about
1 mm thick, 10 sheets of each)
alpha and beta particles of a given energy therefore have a
definite range of penetration in a particular material.
● Figure 35.1 illustrates the radiation intensity (in
counts per minute, cpm) versus absorber thickness for a
relatively low-density absorber for radiation from a betagamma source. The “bend” in the curve indicates the range
of the beta radiation. The penetration for thickness beyond
this is due to gamma radiation.
Gamma rays, which consist of electromagnetic radiation
of very short wavelength, are not readily absorbed. A significant number of high-energy gamma rays can penetrate
1 cm or more of a dense material such as lead. In a given
material, a beam of gamma rays is absorbed exponentially.
The intensity I (in cpm) of the beam after passing through a
certain thickness x of a material is given by
THEORY
The three types of nuclear radiation (alpha, beta, and
gamma) are absorbed quite differently by different
materials. The electrically charged alpha and beta particles
interact with the material and produce ionizations along
their paths. The greater the charge and the slower the
particle, the greater the linear energy transfer (LET) and
ionization along the path, and this determines the degree of
penetration of the radiation. The absorption or degree
of penetration of the radiation also depends on the density
of the material.
Alpha particles are easily absorbed. A few centimeters of air and even a sheet of paper will almost completely
absorb them. Hence, alpha particles do not generally penetrate the walls or window of an ordinary Geiger tube and
so are not counted by this method.
Beta particles can travel a few meters in air or a few
millimeters in aluminum before being completely absorbed.
Beta radiation, then, does penetrate a Geiger tube. Both
I 5 Ioe2mx
(35.1)
where Io is the original intensity (at x 5 0) and the decay
constant m is called the linear absorption coefficient.
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EXPERIMENT 35
/ The Absorption of Nuclear Radiation
Figure 35.2 Decay scheme of Cs-137. Most of the cesium-137
Figure 35.1 Radiation intensity versus absorber thickness. A
typical graph of radiation intensity versus absorber thickness
for beta-gamma radiation by a low-density absorber. The
range is that of the beta radiation.
The absorption coefficient is characteristic of the absorbing material (and the wavelength or energy of the gamma
radiation). Notice that the unit of m is inverse length (such
as 1/cm or cm21).
The absorption of gamma radiation of a given wavelength
or energy is related to the atomic number of a substance and,
macroscopically, to the density r of the material. Thus it is
convenient to define a mass absorption coefficient μm:
mm 5
m
r
(35.2)
The mass absorption coefficient provides a “standardized” coefficient. Samples of a particular absorbing
material may have different densities. Each sample would
have a different linear absorption coefficient m, but the
mass absorption coefficient mm would have the same value
for all the samples.
Notice from Eq. 35.2 that the units of mm are cm2/g:
m
m (1/cm)
5 (cm2 /g)
mm 5
3
r
r (g/cm )
Since the gamma intensity decays exponentially,
there is no definite penetrating or stopping range as there
is in the case of beta radiation. Hence, it is convenient to
speak in terms of a half-thickness x1/2, the material thickness required to reduce the intensity by one-half (that is,
I1/2 5 Io /2 or I1/2 /Io 5 12 ). Then, by Eq. 35.1,
I1/ 2
1
5 e2mx1/ 2 5
Io
2
Taking the logarithm (base e) of both sides of the
equation,
ln(e2mx1/2) 5 ln
1
2
or
2mx1/ 2 5 2ln 2
and
x1/2 5
ln 2
0.693
5
m
m
(35.4)
Hence, knowing the absorption coefficient of a material,
the half-thickness can be calculated.
If mm is used in Eq. 35.1 in place of m, then
I 5 Ioe2mx 5 Ioe2(m/r)(xr) 5 e2mmxr
(Cs-137) nuclei (94%) decay to an excited state of barium-137
(137Ba*), which then gamma-decays to a stable state.
(35.3)
and the absorber thickness xr 5 xr is in g/cm2. Absorber
thicknesses are frequently expressed in these units.
A beta-gamma source will be used to study the
absorption of nuclear radiations. The decay scheme of the
suggested Cs-137 source is illustrated in ● Fig. 35.2.
The chief decay mode (94%) is beta decay to the
excited (isomeric) state of Ba-137. This decays by gamma
emission to the stable ground state of Ba-137. Only 6%
of the Cs-137 beta decays directly to ground-state Ba-137.
Hence, for the most part, Cs-137 is a beta-gamma source
of 0.511-MeV beta particles and 0.662-MeV gamma rays.
(The emitted beta particles actually have a spectrum of
energies from 0 to 0.511 MeV.)
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE
Caution: Review the radiation safety procedures at
the beginning of Experiment 31.
1. A radioactivity setup is shown in ● Fig. 35.3. First,
measure the individual thickness of three different
sheets of (a) cardboard, (b) aluminum, and (c) lead
with the micrometer, and determine the average sheet
thickness of each. Record in Data Table 1.
2. Set up the Geiger counter with the probe on the mounting board (see Fig. 35.3). If an end-window tube is
used, lay the tube in the mounting board groove and
tape it down to immobilize it (or tape it to a meter stick).
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EXPERIMENT 35
/ The Absorption of Nuclear Radiation
503
tive average sheet thickness to determine the range in
length units.
B. Absorption of Gamma Radiation
8. Using the result of the range of beta absorption in aluminum from Procedure 7, place in front of the probe
the minimum number of sheets of aluminum that will
completely absorb the beta radiation. Then move the
source toward the probe until the intensity observed
on the Geiger counter is 700 cpm to 800 cpm.
Record this intensity, Io, in Data Table 3. The
observed intensity is then almost solely due to gamma
radiation. Why?
Figure 35.3 Geiger counter setup.
(Fisher Scientific Com-
pany, LLC.)
Turn on the counter. Place the radioactive source near
the probe, and adjust the tube voltage to the plateau
operating voltage.
A. Absorption of Beta Radiation
3. Adjust the distance of the source from the probe so
that the observed count rate is about 8000 cpm. (For a
rate meter, the count rate is taken as the average of the
high and low meter readings for 30-s time intervals.)
Record the count rate Io in the cardboard column in
Data Table 2.
Place a sheet of cardboard between the source
and the probe, and measure and record the count rate.
(Allow a rate meter to come to equilibrium before taking a 30-s reading.)
4. Add cardboard sheets between the source and the
probe one at a time, measuring and recording the
count rate after the addition of each sheet. Continue
until the count rate is relatively constant with the addition of four successive sheets.
5. Remove the cardboard sheets, and repeat the procedure with aluminum sheets.
6. Without recording data, repeat the procedure with
lead sheets, and mentally note the degree of beta absorption or penetration in lead.
7. Plot the intensity I (in cpm) versus the number n of
absorber sheets for both cardboard and aluminum on
the same Cartesian graph. Dual label the ordinate (Y)
axis so that the curve for each absorber occupies most
of the graph paper.
Determine the range of beta absorption for each
absorber in sheet units from the graph, and record.
Multiply each range (in sheet units) by the respec-
9. Leaving the aluminum sheet(s) in place, insert lead
sheets one at a time between the aluminum sheets and
the source. Measure and record the count rate after
each sheet is inserted. Be careful not to move the
source. Insert a total of 10 sheets of lead. After the
sixth sheet, two sheets may be inserted at a time.
10. Remove all the sheets. Remove the source several
meters (across the room) from the probe, and measure
the background radiation intensity, Ib, over a 4-min to
5-min interval. (See Experiment 33 for a description
of the procedure if necessary.)
11. Subtract the background count rate from each reading
for the lead sheets to obtain the corrected intensities.
To find the half-thickness, plot the corrected intensity
(Ic) versus the number (n) of lead sheets on Cartesian
graph paper, and note the shape of the curve.
From the graph, make a determination of the number of sheets (n1/2) needed to reduce the intensity from
its initial value to 12 of the initial value. (Try to express
this number to the nearest 0.05 of a sheet.) The halfthickness is x1/2 5 xin1/2, where xi is the thickness of
an individual sheet. From the half-thickness, compute
the linear absorption coefficient m from Eq. 35.4, and
record this value in Data Table 3.
12. The absorption coefficient may be found graphically
by putting the exponential Eq. (35.1) into linear form
by taking the natural (base e) logarithm of both sides.
But first note that in terms of the number of sheets (n),
Eq. 35.1 has the form
I 5 Ioe2mx 5 Ioe2m(nxi) 5 Ioe2(mxi)n
(35.5)
where xi is the individual sheet thickness and the absorber thickness is x 5 nxi.
Then, taking the natural log of both sides of
Eq. 35.5 yields
ln I 5 ln Ioe2(mxi)n 5 ln e2(mxi)n 1 ln Io
or
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504
EXPERIMENT 35
/ The Absorption of Nuclear Radiation
ln I 5 2(mxi 2 n 1 ln Io
(35.6)
Note that Eq. 35.6 has the form of a straight line: y 5
mx 1 b. (See Experiment 1 for general discussion.)
Find ln Ic for each value of Ic in Data Table 3.
(Make a column for these to the right of the table.)
Plot ln Ic versus n on Cartesian graph paper, and
draw a straight line that best fits the data. Determine
the slope of the line, and compute the linear absorption coefficient m. (Note from Eq. 35.6 that the slope
has a magnitude of mxi.)
(Optional) Your instructor may wish you to use
semi-log graph paper. This special graph paper automatically takes in values of the variable plotted on the
y-axis. See Appendix D for a discussion of graphing
on semi-log (and log-log) graph paper.
13. Compute the mass absorption coefficient mm for lead,
rpb 5 1 11.3 g/cm3 2 . Compare the experimental values
to the accepted value of mm 5 0.10 cm2 /g for gamma
rays by computing the percent error for each.
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
3 5
The Absorption
of Nuclear Radiation
Laboratory Report
DATA TABLE 1
Purpose: To determine sheet thicknesses.
Cardboard
(
)
Aluminum
(
)
Lead
(
)
Average sheet
thickness
Calculations
(show work)
Don’t forget units
(continued)
505
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E X P E R I M E N T
3 5
Laboratory Report
The Absorption of Nuclear Radiation
A. Absorption of Beta Radiation
DATA TABLE 2
Purpose: To determine the relation between intensity and thickness.
Cardboard
Intensity I
(cpm)
Number of sheets
n
0
Range of beta
radiation (cm)
Aluminum
(Io)
Intensity I
(cpm)
Number of sheets
n
0
(Io)
Range of beta
radiation (cm)
Calculations
(show work)
506
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
3 5
Laboratory Report
The Absorption of Nuclear Radiation
B. Absorption of Gamma Radiation
DATA TABLE 3
Purpose: To determine the relationship of intensity and thickness.
Intensity I
(cpm)
Number of lead sheets
n
0
Calculations
(show work)
Corrected intensity
Ic 5 I 2 Io
(Io)
Background Radiation
Number of counts
Time interval
Intensity Ib (cpm)
(continued)
507
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E X P E R I M E N T
3 5
Laboratory Report
The Absorption of Nuclear Radiation
Absorption Coefficient Measurements for Gamma Rays
Number of sheets to reduce initial intensity to one half n1/2
Half-thickness x1/2
Linear absorption coefficient μ
Mass absorption coefficient μm
Percent error
Slope of graph xi
Linear absorption coefficient μ
Mass absorption coefficient μm
Percent error
QUESTIONS
1. Was there a large difference in the percent errors of the experimental mass absorption
coefficients? If so, why do you think this was the case?
2. Compute what percent of an incident beam of 0.662-MeV gamma rays is absorbed while
passing through 2.5 mm of lead.
508
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Name
Section
Date
Lab Partner(s)
E X P E R I M E N T
3 5
The Absorption of Nuclear Radiation
Laboratory Report
3. Would the Cartesian graph of ln Ic versus n (or x) be a straight line if the gamma radiation
contained gamma rays of two different energies? Explain.
4. The mass absorption coefficient of iron is 0.058 for 1.24-MeV gamma rays. What
percentage (if any) of the beam of such gamma rays is transmitted through an iron plate
3 cm thick? 1 rFe 5 7.86 g/cm3. 2
509
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A P P E N D I X
A
Material Properties
Table A1
Densities of Materials
Substance
3
(g/cm )
Table A2
3
Metals
(kg/m )
Solids
Aluminum
Brass
Copper
Glass
crown
flint
Gold
Iron and steel
(general)
Lead
Nickel
Silver
Wood
oak
pine
Zinc
2.7
8.4
8.9
Aluminum
Brass
Copper
Iron
cast
wrought
Steel
3
2.7 3 10
8.4 3 103
8.9 3 103
2.5–2.7
3.0–3.6
19.3
2.5–2.7 3 103
3.0–3.6 3 103
19.3 3 103
7.88
11.3
8.8
10.5
7.88 3 103
11.3 3 103
8.8 3 103
10.5 3 103
0.60–0.90
0.35–0.50
7.1
0.60–0.90 3 103
0.35–0.50 3 103
7.1 3 103
0.79
0.81
1.60
0.79 3 103
0.81 3 103
1.60 3 103
Young’s Modulus for Some Metals
(N/m2)
6.5 3 1010
9.0 3 1010
12.0 3 1010
9.0 3 1010
19.0 3 1010
19.2 3 1010
Liquids
Alcohol
ethyl
methyl
Carbon tetrachloride
Gasoline
Glycerine
Mercury
Turpentine
Water
0.68–0.75
1.26
13.6
0.87
1.00
0.68–0.75 3 103
1.26 3 103
13.6 3 103
0.87 3 103
1.00 3 103
0.001293
0.001975
0.000179
0.000089
0.000125
0.00143
0.001293 3 103
0.001975 3 103
0.000179 3 103
0.000089 3 103
0.000125 3 103
0.00143 3 103
Table A3
Gases (at STP):
Air
Carbon dioxide
Helium
Hydrogen
Nitrogen
Oxygen
Coefficients of Linear Thermal Expansion
Substance
(1/oC)
Aluminum
Brass
Copper
Glass
window
Pyrex
Iron
Lead
Nickel
Silver
Steel
Tin
Zinc
24.0 3 1026
18.8 3 1026
16.8 3 1026
8.5 3 1026
3.3 3 1026
11.4 3 1026
29.4 3 1026
12.8 3 1026
18.8 3 1026
13.4 3 1026
26.9 3 1026
26.4 3 1026
511
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512
APPENDIX A
/ Material Properties
Table A4
Table A5
Specific Heats
Substance
kcal/(kg-oC) or cal/(g-oC)
J/(kg-oC)
Aluminum
Brass
Copper
Glass
Iron
Lead
Mercury
Nickel
Silver
Steel
Tin
Water
Zinc
0.22
0.092
0.093
0.16
0.11
0.031
0.033
0.11
0.056
0.11
0.054
1.00
0.093
921
385
389
670
460
130
138
460
234
460
226
4186
389
Color Code for Resistors (Composition Type)
(ohms, V)
Band C
Bands A and B
Color
Black
Brown
Red
Orange
Yellow
Green
Blue
Purple
(violet)
Gray
White
Significant
figure
Color
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
Black
Brown
Red
Orange
Yellow
Green
Blue
7
8
9
Silver
Gold
Band D
Multiplier
1
10
100
1,000
10,000
100,000
1,000,000
Color
Resistance
tolerance
(percent)
Silver
Gold
Red
610
65
62
0.01
0.1
For example, if the bands on a resistor are red (A), black (B), orange (C), the
resistance is 20 3 1000 5 20,000 V, or 20 kV.
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APPENDIX A
Table A6
Resistivities and Temperature Coefficients
Substance
Aluminum
Brass
Constantan
Copper
German silver
(18% Ni)
Iron
Manganin
Mercury
Nichrome
Nickel
Silver
Tin
Resistivity r
(V-cm)
Temperature
coefficient
(1/oC)
2.8 3 1026
7 3 1026
49 3 1026
1.72 3 1026
0.0039
0.002
0.00001
0.00393
33 3 1026
10 3 1026
44 3 1026
95.8 3 1026
100 3 1026
7.8 3 1026
1.6 3 1026
11.5 3 1026
0.0004
0.005
0.00001
0.00089
0.0004
0.006
0.0038
0.0042
Table A7
/ Material Properties
513
Wire Sizes [American Wire Gauge (AWG)]
Diameter
Gauge
No.
in.
0000
000
00
0
1
0.4600
0.4096
0.3648
0.3249
0.2893
1.168
1.040
0.9266
0.8252
0.7348
2
3
4
5
0.2576
0.2294
0.2043
0.1819
0.6543
0.5827
0.5189
0.4620
6
7
8
9
10
0.1620
0.1443
0.1285
0.1144
0.1019
0.4115
0.3665
0.3264
0.2906
0.2588
11
12
13
14
15
0.09074
0.08081
0.07196
0.06408
0.05707
0.2305
0.2053
0.1828
0.1628
0.1450
16
17
18
19
20
0.05082
0.04526
0.04030
0.03589
0.03196
0.1291
0.1150
0.1024
0.09116
0.08118
21
22
23
24
25
0.02846
0.02535
0.02257
0.02010
0.01790
0.07229
0.06439
0.05733
0.05105
0.04547
26
27
28
29
30
0.01594
0.01419
0.01264
0.01126
0.01003
0.04049
0.03604
0.03211
0.02860
0.02548
31
32
33
34
35
0.008928
0.007950
0.007080
0.006304
0.005614
0.02268
0.02019
0.01798
0.01601
0.01426
36
37
38
39
40
0.005000
0.004453
0.003965
0.003531
0.003145
0.01270
0.01131
0.01007
0.008969
0.007988
cm
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514
APPENDIX A
/ Material Properties
Table A8
Major Visible Spectral Lines of Some
Elements
Wavelength
Element
(nm)
Color
Relative
intensity
Helium
388.9
396.5 (near)
402.6 (near)
438.8
447.1
471.3
492.2
501.5
587.6
667.8
706.5
Violet
Violet
Violet
Blue-violet
Dark blue
Blue
Blue-green
Green
Yellow
Red
Red
1000
50
70
30
100
40
50
100
1000
100
70
Mercury
404.7
407.8
435.8
491.6
546.1
577.0
579.0
690.7
Violet
Violet
Blue
Blue-green
Green
Yellow
Yellow
Red
300
150
500
50
2000
200
1000
125
Sodium
449.4
449.8
466.5
466.9
498.3
514.9
515.3
567.0
567.5
568.3
568.8
589.0
589.6
615.4
616.1
Blue
Blue
Blue
Blue
Green
Green
Green
Green
Green
Green
Green
Yellow-orange
Yellow-orange
Orange
Orange
60
70
80
200
200
400
600
100
150
80
300
9000
5000
500
500
Wavelengths of various colors
Color
Red
Orange
Yellow
Green
Blue
Violet
Representative (nm)
General
ranges (nm)
650.0
647.0–700.0
600.0
584.0–647.0
580.0
575.0–585.0
520.0
491.2–575.0
470.0
424.0–491.2
410.0
400.0–420.0
Visible spectrum < 400.0–700.0 nm
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APPENDIX A
Table A9
/ Material Properties
515
Radioisotopes
Principal Radiations (MeV)
Isotope
Barium-133
Bismuth-210
Carbon-14
Cesium-137
Barium-137m
Cobalt-60
Iodine-131
Lead-210
Manganese-54
Phosphorus-32
Polonium-210
Potassium-42
Half-life
10.4 years
5.01 days
5730 years
30.1 years
2.6 min
5.26 years
8.07 days
22.3 years
312.5 days
14.3 days
138.4 days
12.4 hours
Radium-226
1600 years
Sodium-22
2.60 years
Strontium-90
Thallium-204
Uranium-238
Yttrium-90
Zinc-65
28.1 years
3.78 years
4.5 3 106 years
64.0 hours
243.6 days
Alpha
Beta
4.654, 4.691
1.161
0.156
0.512, 1.173
Gamma
0.356
0.662
0.315
0.606
0.017, 0.061
0.0465
0.835
1.710
5.305
3.52
1.97
4.781
4.598
0.545
1.82
0.186
1.275
0.546
0.763
4.195
0.48
2.27
0.329
1.116
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516
APPENDIX A
Table A10
/ Material Properties
Elements: Atomic Numbers and Atomic Weights
The atomic weights are based on 12C 5 12.0000. If the element does not occur naturally,
the mass number of the most stable isotope is given in parentheses.
Actinium
Aluminum
Americium
Antimony
Argon
Arsenic
Astatine
Barium
Berkelium
Beryllium
Bismuth
Boron
Bromine
Cadmium
Calcium
Californium
Carbon
Cerium
Cesium
Chlorine
Chromium
Cobalt
Copper
Curium
Dysprosium
Einsteinium
Erbium
Europium
Fermium
Fluorine
Francium
Gadolinium
Gallium
Germanium
Gold
Hafnium
Hahnium
Helium
Holmium
Hydrogen
Indium
Iodine
Iridium
Iron
Krypton
Lanthanium
Lawrencium
Lead
Lithium
Lutetium
Magnesium
Manganese
Mendelevium
Symbol
Atomic
number
Atomic
weight
Ac
Al
Am
Sb
Ar
As
At
Ba
Bk
Be
Bi
B
Br
Cd
Ca
Cf
C
Ce
Cs
Cl
Cr
Co
Cu
Cm
Dy
Es
Er
Eu
Fm
F
Fr
Gd
Ga
Ge
Au
Hf
Ha
He
Ho
H
In
I
Ir
Fe
Kr
La
Lr
Pb
Li
Lu
Mg
Mn
Md
89
13
95
51
18
33
85
56
97
4
83
5
35
48
20
98
6
58
55
17
24
27
29
96
66
99
68
63
100
9
87
64
31
32
79
72
105
2
67
1
49
53
77
26
36
57
103
82
3
71
12
25
101
(227)
26.9815
(243)
121.75
39.948
74.9216
(210)
137.34
(247)
9.01218
208.9806
10.81
79.90
112.40
40.08
(251)
12.011
140.12
132.9055
35.453
51.996
58.9332
63.545
(247)
162.50
(254)
167.26
151.96
(253)
18.9984
(223)
157.25
69.72
72.59
196.967
178.49
(260)
4.00260
164.9303
1.0080
114.82
126.9045
192.22
55.847
83.80
138.9055
(257)
207.12
6.941
174.97
24.305
54.9380
(256)
Mercury
Molybdenum
Neodymium
Neon
Neptunium
Nickel
Niobium
Nitrogen
Nobelium
Osmium
Oxygen
Palladium
Phosphorus
Platinum
Plutonium
Polonium
Potassium
Praseodymium
Promethium
Protactinium
Radium
Radon
Rhenium
Rhodium
Rubidium
Ruthenium
Rutherfordium
Samarium
Scandium
Selenium
Silicon
Silver
Sodium
Strontium
Sulfur
Tantalum
Technetium
Tellerium
Terbium
Thallium
Thorium
Thulium
Tin
Titanium
Tungsten
Uranium
Vanadium
Xenon
Ytterbium
Yttrium
Zinc
Zirconium
Symbol
Atomic
number
Atomic
weight
Hg
Mo
Nd
Ne
Np
Ni
Nb
N
No
Os
O
Pd
P
Pt
Pu
Po
K
Pr
Pm
Pa
Ra
Rn
Re
Rh
Rb
Ru
Rf
Sm
Sc
Se
Si
Ag
Na
Sr
S
Ta
Tc
Te
Tb
Tl
Th
Tm
Sn
Ti
W
U
Vy
Xe
Yb
Y
Zn
Zr
80
42
60
10
93
28
41
7
102
76
8
46
15
78
94
84
19
59
61
91
88
86
75
45
37
44
104
62
21
34
14
47
11
38
16
73
43
52
65
81
90
69
50
22
74
92
23
54
70
39
30
40
200.59
95.94
144.24
20.179
(237)
58.71
92.9064
14.0067
(253)
190.2
15.9994
106.4
30.9738
195.09
(224)
(209)
39.102
140.9077
(145)
(231)
(226)
(222)
186.2
102.9055
85.4678
101.07
(257)
150.4
44.9559
78.96
28.086
107.868
22.9898
87.62
32.06
180.9479
(99)
127.60
158.9254
204.37
232.0381
168.9342
118.69
47.90
183.85
238.029
50.9414
131.30
173.04
88.9059
65.37
91.22
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A P P E N D I X
B
Mathematical and
Physical Constants
Table B1
Metric Prefixes
Multiple
Name
1018
1015
1012
109
106
103
102
101
1
1021
1022
1023
1026
1029
10212
10215
10218
1,000,000,000,000,000,000
1,000,000,000,000,000
1,000,000,000,000
1,000,000,000
1,000,000
1,000
100
10
1
0.1
0.01
0.001
0.000001
0.000000001
0.000000000001
0.000000000000001
0.000000000000000001
Table B2
Abbreviation
exa
peta
tera
giga
mega
kilo
hecto
deka
—
deci
centi
milli
micro
nano
pico
femto
atto
E
P
T
G
M
k
h
da
—
d
c
m
m
n
p
f
a
Physical Constants
Acceleration due to gravity
g
Universal gravitational constant
G
Electron charge
Speed of light
e
c
Boltzmann’s constant
Planck’s constant
k
h
h
me
mp
mn
k
eo
mo
Electron rest mass
Proton rest mass
Neutron rest mass
Coulomb’s law constant
Permittivity of free space
Permeability of free space
Astronomical and Earth data
Radius of the Earth
equatorial
polar
average
Mass of the Earth
the Moon
the Sun
Average distance of the Earth
from the Sun
Average distance of the Moon
from the Earth
Diameter of the Moon
Diameter of the Sun
9.8 m/s2 5 980 cm/s2 5 32.2 ft/s2
N-m2
6.67 3 100211
kg2
219
1.60 3 10 C
3.0 3 108 m/s 5 3.0 3 1010cm/s
5 1.86 3 105 mi/s
1.38 3 10223 J/K
6.63 3 10234 J-s 5 4.14 3 10215 eV-s
h/2p 5 1.05 3 10234 J-s 5 6.58 3 10216 eV-s
9.11 3 10231 kg 5 5.49 3 1024 u 4 0.511 MeV
1.672 3 10227 kg 5 1.00783 u 4 938.3 MeV
1.674 3 10227 kg 5 1.00867 u 4 939.1 MeV
1/4peo 5 9.0 3 109 N-m2 /C2
8.85 3 10212 C2 /N-m2
4p 3 1027 5 1.26 3 1026 Wb/A-m (T-M/A)
3963 mi 5 6.378 3 106 m
3950 mi 5 6.357 3 106 m
6.4 3 103 km (for general calculations)
6.0 3 1024 kg
7.4 3 1022 kg 5 811 mass of the Earth
2.0 3 1030 kg
93 3 106 mi 5 1.5 3 108 km
2.4 3 105 mi 5 3.8 3 105 km
2160 mi < 3500 km
864,000 mi < 1.4 106 km
517
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518
APPENDIX B
Table B3
/ Mathematical and Physical Constants
Conversion Factors
Mass
1 g 5 1023 kg
1 metric ton 5 1000 kg
1 kg 5 103 g
1 u 5 1.66 3 10224 g 5 1.66 3 10227 kg
Length
1 cm 5 1022 m 5 0.394 in.
1 m 5 1023 km 5 3.28 ft 5 39.4 in.
1 km 5 103 m 5 0.621 mi
1 in. 5 2.54 cm 5 2.54 3 1022 m
1 ft 5 12 in. 5 30.5 cm 5 0.305 m
1 mi 5 5280 ft 5 609 m 5 1.609 km
Area
1 cm2 5 1024 m2 5 0.1550 in2 5 1.08 5 1023 ft2
1 m2 5 104 cm2 5 10.76 ft2 5 1550 in2
1 in2 5 6.94 3 1023 ft2 5 6.45 cm2 5 6.45 3 1024 m2
1 ft2 5 144 in2 5 9.29 3 1022 m2 5 929 cm2
Volume
1 cm3 5 1026 m3 5 3.53 3 1025 ft3 5 6.10 3 1022 in3
1 m3 5 106 cm3 5 103 liters 5 35.3 ft3 5 6.10 3 104 in3 5 264 gal
1 liter 5 103 cm3 5 1023 m3 5 1.056 qt 5 0.264 gal
1 in3 5 5.79 3 1024 ft3 5 16.4 cm3 5 1.64 3 1025 m3
1 ft3 5 1728 in3 5 7.48 gal 5 0.0283 m3 5 28.3 liters
1 qt 5 2 pt 5 946.5 cm3 5 0.946 liter
1 gal 5 4 qt 5 231 in3 5 3.785 liters
Time
1 h 5 60 min 5 3600 s
1 day 5 24h 5 1440 min 5 8.64 3 104 s
1 year 5 365 days 5 8.76 3 103 h 5 5.26 3 105 min 5 3.16 3 107 s
Angle
360° 5 2p rad
180° 5 p rad
90° 5 p/2 rad
60° 5 p/3 rad
45° 5 p/4 rad
30° 5 p/6 rad
1 rad 5 57.3°
1° 5 0.0175 rad
Speed
1 m/s 5 3.6 km/h 5 3.28 ft/s 5 2.24 mi/h
1 km/h 5 0.278 m/s 5 0.621 mi/h 5 0.911 ft/s
1 ft/s 5 0.682 mi/h 5 0.305 m/s 5 1.10 km/h
1 mi/h 5 1.467 ft/s 5 1.609 km/h 5 0.447 m/s
60 mi/h 5 88 ft/s
Force
1 newton 1 N 2 5 105 dynes 5 0.225 lb
1 lb 5 4.45 N
Equivalent weight of 1-kg mass on the Earth’s surface 5 2.2 lb 5 9.8 N
Pressure
1 Pa AN/m2 B 5 1.45 3 1024 lb/in2 5 7.4 3 1023 torr (mm Hg)
1 tor (mm Hg) 5 133 Pa AN/m2 B 5 0.02 lb/in2
1 atm 5 14.7 lb/in2 5 1.013 3 105 N/m2 (Pa)
5 30 in. Hg 5 76 cm Hg
1 bar 5 105 N/m2 (Pa)
1 millibar 5 102 N/m2 (Pa)
Energy
1 J 5 107 ergs 5 0.738 ft-lb 5 0.239 cal 5 9.48 3 1024 Btu 5 6.24 3 1018 eV
1 kcal 5 4186 J 5 3.968 Btu
1 Btu 5 1055 J 5 778 ft-lb 5 0.252 kcal
1 cal 5 4.186 J 5 3.97 5 1023 Btu 5 3.09 ft-lb
1 ft-lb 5 1.356 J 5 1.29 3 1023 Btu
1 eV 5 1.60 3 10219 J
Power
1 W 5 0.738 ft-lb/s 5 1.34 3 1023 hp 5 3.41 Btu/h
1 ft-lb/s 5 1.36 W 5 1.82 3 1023 hp
1 hp 5 550 ft-lb/s 5 745.7 W 5 2545 Btu/h
Rest massenergy
equivalents
1 u 5 1.66 3 10227 kg 4 931 MeV
1 electron mass 5 9.11 3 10231 kg 5 5.49 3 1024 u 4 0.511 MeV
1 proton mass 5 1.672 3 10227 kg 5 1.00728 u 4 938.3 MeV
1 neutron mass 5 1.674 3 10227 kg 5 1.00867 u 4 939.6 MeV
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APPENDIX B
/ Mathematical and Physical Constants
519
Table B4 Trigonometric Relationships
u (rad)
sin u
cos u
tan u
0° (0)
0
1
0
30° (p/6)
0.500
0.866
0.577
45° (p/4)
0.707
0.707
1.00
60° (p/3)
0.866
0.500
1.73
90° (p/2)
1
0
S `
The sign of trigonometric functions depends on the quadrant, or sign of x and y, for example, in the second quadrant (2x, y),
2x / r 5 cos u and x/r 5 sin u, or by:
Reduction Formulas
(u in second quadrant)
sin u 5 cos u (u 2 90°)
cos u 5 2sin 1 u290° 2
5
5
(u in third quadrant)
2sin (u 2 180°)
2cos (u 2 180°)
5
5
(u in fourth quadrant)
2cos (u 2 270°)
sin (u 2 270°)
Fundamental Identities
sin2u 1 cos2u 5 1
sin 2u 5 2 sin u cos u
cos 2u 5 cos2u 2 sin2u 5 2 cos2u 2 1 5 1 2 2 sin2u
sin2u 5 12 (1 2 cos 2u)
cos2u 5 12 (1 1 cos 2u)
For half-angle (u / 2) identities, replace u / 2, for example,
sin2u / 2 5 12 1 1 2 cos u 2
cos2u/2 5 12 (1 1 cos u)
sin (a 6 b) 5 sin a cos b 6 cos a sin b
For very small angles:
cos u < 1
sin u < u (radians)
tan u 5
sin u
<u
cos u
cos (a 6 b) 5 cos a cos b 7 sin a sin b
Law of sines:
a
b
c
5
5
sin a
sin b
sin g
Law of cosines:
a2 5 b2 1 c2 2 2bc cos a
b2 5 a2 1 c2 2 2ac cos b
c2 5 a2 1 b2 2 2ab cos g
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A P P E N D I X
C
Absolute Deviation and Mean
Absolute Deviation
0 d1 0
0 d2 0
0 d3 0
0 d4 0
0 d5 0
ABSOLUTE DEVIATION
Having obtained a set of measurements and determined the
mean value, it is helpful to report how widely the individual
measurements are scattered from the mean. A quantitative
description of this scatter, or dispersion, of measurements
will give an idea of the precision of the experiment.
The absolute deviation 0 di 0 is the absolute difference
between a measured value 1 xi 2 and the mean (x) of a set of
measurements.
0 di 0 5 0 xi 2 x 0
5
5
5
5
5
0 5.42 2 5.93 0
0 6.18 2 5.93 0
0 5.70 2 5.93 0
0 6.01 2 5.93 0
0 6.32 2 5.93 0
5 0.51
5 0.25
5 0.23
5 0.08
5 0.39
Then
d5
(C.1 )
5
1 N
a 0 di 0
N i51
0.51 1 0.25 1 0.23 1 0.08 1 0.39
5 0.29
5
Mean Absolute Deviation
The mean absolute deviation is a measure of the dispersion of experimental measurements about the mean
(that is, a measure of precision). It is common practice to
report the experimental value E of a quantity in the form
To obtain what is called the mean (or average) absolute
deviation of a set of N measurements, the absolute deviations 0 di 0 are determined (Eq. C.1).
The mean absolute deviation d is then
E5x6d
d5
5
0 d1 0 1 0 d2 0 1 0 d3 0 1 c1 0 dN 0
N
1 N
a 0 di 0
N i51
In Example C.1, this would be E 5 5.93 6 0.29. The 6
term gives a measure of the precision of the experimental
value. The accuracy of the mean value of a set of experimental measurements (5.93 in the example above) may be
expressed in terms of percent error or percent difference.
The dispersion of an experimental measurements
may be expressed by other means (such as the standard
deviation; see Appendix D), so the method should be
specified when reporting.
(C.2)
(The mean absolute deviation is sometimes referred to as
simply the mean deviation.)
Example C.1 What is the mean deviation of the set
of numbers given in Example 1.6 in Experiment 1?
Solution First find the absolute deviation of each of the
numbers, using the determined mean of 5.93.
520
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A P P E N D I X
D
Standard Deviation and Method
of Least Squares
STANDARD DEVIATION
Then
To avoid the problem of negative deviations and absolute
values, it is statistically convenient to use the square of the
deviation.
The variance s2 of a set of measurements is the average of the squares of the deviations:
s5
1 5 2
a di
Å N i51
1/2
1 x1 2 x 2 1 1 x2 2 x 2 1 1 x3 2 x 2 1. . . 1 1 xN 2 x 2
N
2
s2 5
2
2
0.26 1 0.06 1 0.05 1 0.01 1 0.15
5 °
¢
5
2
5 0.33
The experimental value E is then commonly reported as
5 d21 1 d22 1 d23 1 . . . d2N
5
1 N
1 N 2
2
1
2
x
2
x
5
i
a
a di
N i51
N i51
E 5 x 6 s 5 5.93 6 0.33
The standard deviation is used to describe the precision of the mean of a set of measurements. For a normal distribution of random errors,† it can be statistically
shown that the probability that an individual measurement
will fall within 1 standard deviation of the mean, which
is assumed to be the true value, is 68% (● Fig. D.1). The
(D.1)
The square root of the variance s is called the standard
deviation*:
s5
1 N
1 N 2
1 xi 2 x 2 2 5
a
a di
Å N i51
Å N i51
(D.2)
Because we take the average of the squares of the deviations and then the square root, the standard deviation is
sometimes called the root-mean-square deviation, or
simply the root mean square. Notice that s always has
the same units as xi and that it is always positive.
Example D.1 What is the standard deviation of the
set of numbers given in Example 1.6 in Experiment 1?
Solution First find the square of the deviation of each of
the numbers.
d12
d22
d32
d42
d52
5 (5.42 2 5.93)2
5 (6.18 2 5.93)2
5 (5.70 2 5.93)2
5 (6.01 2 5.93)2
5 (6.32 2 5.93)2
5 0.26
5 0.06
5 0.05
5 0.01
5 0.15
Figure D.1
*For a small number of measurements, it can be statistically shown that a
better value of the standard deviation is given by s 5 " 3 1 / 1 N 2 1 2 4 Sd2i,
where N is replaced by N 2 1. Your instructor maywant you to use this
form of the standard deviation.
See text for description.
†
This normal, or Gaussian, distribution is represented by a “bell-shaped”
curve (Fig. D.1). That is, the scatter, or dispersion, of the measurements
is assumed to be symmetric about the true value of a quantity.
521
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522
APPENDIX D
/ Standard Deviation and Method of Least Squares
probability of a measurement falling within 2 standard
deviations is 95%.
br 5 y 2 mrx
N
where x and y are the mean values, x 5 a xi and
METHOD OF LEAST SQUARES
i51
N
Let yr 5 mrx 1 br be the predicted equation of the bestfitting straight line for a set of data. The vertical deviation
of the ith data point from this line is then (yi 2 yir).
The principle of least squares may be stated as follows: The “best-fitting” straight line is the one that minimizes the sum of the squares of the deviations of the
measured y values from those of the predicted equation
yr 5 mrx 1 br.
The numerical values of the slope mr and intercept
br that minimize the sum of the squares of the deviations,
y 5 a yi,
i51
and
N
Mxy 5 a 1 xi 2 x 2 1 yi 2 y 2
i51
N
N
N
a a xi b a a yi b
i51
5 a xiyi 2
i51
N
i51
N
N
r 2
a 1 yi 2 yi) , may be found using differential calculus.
N
i51
i51
Mxx 5 a 1 xi 2 x 2 2 5 a x2i 2
i51
The results are as follows:
mr 5
N
2
a a xi b
i51
N
N
Mxy
where the sums of the deviations, for example, a 1 xi 2 x 2 ,
Mxx
i51
are zero.
and
Exercises
1. Plot the data given in Data Table 1 on a sheet of graph paper, and draw the straight line you
judge to fit the data best.
2. Using the method of least squares, find the slope and intercept of the “best-fitting” straight
line, and compare them with the slope and intercept of the line you drew in Exercise 1. Plot
this “best-fitting” line on the graph. (Recall that the slope of a line is the change in y for a
1-unit increase in x.)
Data Table 1
yii
xi
25
12
44
28
78
47
80
70
43
16
58
53
95
72
67
38
x2i
xi yi
Sums (S)
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A P P E N D I X
E
Graphing Exponential
Functions
Hence the slope of the resulting straight line is
(0.4343)a rather than simply a.
The logarithmic ordinate scale is called “one-cycle,”
“two-cycle,” and so on, depending on the number of powers of 10 covered on the axis. The beginnings of the cycles
are consecutively labeled in multiples of 10 (for example,
0.1, 1.0, 10, or 1.0, 10, 100, etc.), depending on the range
(cycles) of the function. (Common logarithms can also
be plotted on semi-log paper.)
Care must be taken in determining the slope of the
line on a semi-log plot. On an ordinary Cartesian graph,
the slope of a line is given by Dy/Dx 5 (y2 2 y1)/(x2 2 x1).
However, on a semi-log graph, the slope of a line is
given by
In some cases, exponential functions of the form
lt
N 5 Noe
(E.1)
(or y 5 Aeax)
are plotted on Cartesian coordinates in linear form by first
taking the natural, or Naperian, logarithm (base e) of both
sides of the equation. For example, N 5 Noelt,
ln N 5 ln (Noelt) 5 ln No 1 ln elt 5 ln No 1 lt
or
ln N 5 lt 1 ln No
(E.2)
Similarly, for y 5 Aeax,
ln y 5 ln A 1 ln eax 5 ln A 1 ax
slope 5
or
ln y 5 ax 1 ln A
(E.3)
(E.5)
On a semi-log plot, the listed ordinate values are y, not ln y.
Hence, one must explicitly take the logs of the ordinate
values of the endpoints of the slope interval, y2 and y1, or
the log of their ratio:
These equations have the general form of a straight line when
plotted on a Cartesian graph (y 5 mx 1 b). For example,
when we plot ln N versus t as Cartesian coordinates, the slope
of the line is l and the intercept is ln No. The value of No is
obtained by taking the antilog of the intercept value ln No.
(For a decaying exponential, N 5 Noe2lt, the slope would be
negative. Note that before plotting ln N versus t on Cartesian
graph paper, we must find ln N for each value of N.)
Because logarithmic functions occur quite often in
physics, special graph paper, called semi-log graph paper,
is printed with graduations along the y or ordinate axis
that are spaced logarithmically rather than linearly. The x
or abscissa axis is graduated linearly. (Look at a sheet of
semi-log graph paper.)
If a quantity is plotted on the ordinate axis of semi-log
paper, the logarithmic graduated scale automatically takes
the logarithm, so it is not necessary to look up the logarithm for each y value. However, commercial logarithmic
graph paper is set up for common (base 10) logarithms
rather than natural (base e) logarithms. Exponential functions may be treated as follows. Taking the (common) log
of each side of y 5 Aeax yields
slope 5
5
D log y
log y2 2 log y1
5
x2 2 x1
Dx
log y2 /y1
x2 2 x1
(E.6)
The value of No can be read directly from the y-intercept
of the graph.
Another common equation form in physics is
y 5 axn
(E.7)
For example, the electric field, E 5 kq/r2 5 kqr22, is of
this form, with a 5 kq and n 5 22. By plotting y versus xn on Cartesian graph paper, we obtain a straight line
with a slope of a. However, in an experiment the measured
values are usually y and x, so computation of the xn’s is
required.
But in some instances the exponent n may not be
known. This constant, along with the constant a, may be
found by plotting y versus x on log graph paper. (This is
commonly called log-log graph paper because of the
logarithmic graduations on both axes. Look at a sheet of
log-log graph paper.)
log y 5 log A 1 log eax
5 log A 1 ax log e
5 log A 1 (0.4343)ax
D log N
D log y
aor
b
Dx
Dt
(E.4)
where log e 5 0.4343.
523
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524
APPENDIX E
/ Graphing Exponential Functions
At logarithmic graduations on axes, we again automatically take the logarithms of x and y. Working with
common logarithms (base 10) in this instance, we find
that the log-log plot of y versus x yields a straight line, as
can be seen by taking the (common) log of both sides of
Eq. E.7.
log y 5 log (axn) 5 log a 1 log xn
slope 5
5
5 log a 1 n log x
or
log y 5 n log x 1 log a
Again, care must be taken in determining the slope of
a straight line on a log-log graph. In this case,
(E.8)
which has the general form of a straight line with a slope of
n and an intercept of log a. For the electric field example,
this would be
kq
E 5 2 5 kqr22
r
log E 5 22 log r 1 log kq
D log y
D log x
log y2 2 log y1
log y2 /y1
5
log x2 2 log x1
log x2 /x1
(E.9)
and the logs of the endpoints of the slope interval or
their ratio must be found explicitly. (The ordinate and
abscissa values on the log-log plot are y and x, not log y
and log x.)
As in the case of the semi-log plot, the value of a in
y 5 axn can be read directly from the y-intercept of the
graph. However, in this case, the intercept is not at x 5 0
but at x 5 1, since the intercept log y 5 log a requires that
log x 5 0 and log 1 5 0.
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Conversion Factors
Mass
Length
Area
Volume
Time
Angle
Speed
Force
Pressure
Energy
Power
Rest mass-energy
equivalents
1 g 5 10–3 kg
1 kg 5 103 g
1 u 5 1.66 3 10–24 g 5 1.66 3 10–27 kg
1 metric ton 5 1000 kg
1 cm 5 10–2 m 5 0.394 in.
1 m 5 10–3 km 5 3.28 ft 5 39.4 in.
1 km 5 103 m 5 0.621 mi
1 in. 5 2.54 cm 5 2.54 3 10–2 m
1 ft 5 12 in. 5 30.5 cm 5 0.305 m
1 mi 5 5280 ft 5 1.609 m 5 1.609 km
1 cm2 5 10–4 m2 5 0.1550 in2 5 1.08 3 10–3 ft2
1 m2 5 104 cm2 5 10.76 ft2 5 1550 in2
1 in2 5 6.94 310–3 ft2 5 6.45 cm2 5 6.45 310–4 m2
1 ft2 5 144 in2 5 9.29 3 10–2 m2 5 929 cm2
1 cm3 5 10–6 m3 5 3.53 3 10–5 ft3 5 6.10 3 10–2 in3
1 m3 5 106 cm3 5 103 L 5 35.3 ft3 5 6.10 3104 in3 5 264 gal
1 liter 5 103 cm3 5 10–3 m3 5 1.056 qt 5 0.264 gal
1 in3 5 5.79 3 10–4 ft3 5 16.4 cm3 5 1.64 310–5 m3
1 ft3 5 1728 in3 5 7.48 gal 5 0.0283 m3 5 28.3 liters
1 qt 5 2 pt 5 946.5 cm3 5 0.946 liter
1 gal 5 4 qt 5 231 in3 5 3.785 liters
1 h 5 60 min 5 3600 s
1 day 5 24 h 5 1440 min 5 8.64 3 104 s
1 year 5 365 days 5 8.76 3 103 h 5 5.26 3 105 min 5 3.16 3 107 s
360º 5 2p rad
180º 5 p rad,
1 rad 5 57.3º
90º 5 p/2 rad
60º 5 p/3 rad,
1º 5 0.0175 rad
45º 5 p/4 rad
30º 5 p/6 rad, 1 rev/min 5 (p/30) rad/s 5 0.1047 rad/s
1 m/s 5 3.6 km/h 5 3.28 ft/s 5 2.24 mi/h
1 km/h 5 0.278 m/s 5 0.621 mi/h 5 0.911 ft/s
1 ft/s 5 0.682 mi/h 5 0.305 m/s 5 1.10 km/h
1 mi/h 5 1.467 ft/s 5 1.609 km/h 5 0.447 m/s
60 mi/h 5 88 ft/s
1 N 5 0.225 lb
1 lb 5 4.45 N
Equivalent weight of 1-kg mass on the Earth’s surface 5 2.2 lb 5 9.8 N
1 Pa (N/m2) 5 1.45 310–4 lb/in2 5 7.4 3 10–3 torr (mm Hg)
1 torr (mm Hg) 5 133 Pa (N/m2) 5 0.02 lb/in2
1 atm 5 14.7 lb/in2 5 1.013 3105 N/m2 (Pa)
1 lb/in2 5 6.90 3 103 Pa (N/m2)
1 bar 5 105 N/m2 (Pa)
1 millibar 5 102 N/m2 (Pa)
1 J 5 107 ergs 5 0.738 ft-lb 5 0.239 cal 5 9.48 3 10–4 Btu 5 6.24 3 1018 eV
1 kcal 5 4186 J 5 3.968 Btu
1 Btu 5 1055 J 5 778 ft-lb 5 0.252 kcal
1 cal 5 4.186 J 5 3.97 3 10–3 Btu 5 3.09 ft-lb
1 ft-lb 5 1.356 J 5 1.29 3 10–3 Btu
1 eV 5 1.60 3 10–19 J
1 kWh 5 3.6 3 106
1 W 5 0.738 ft-lb/s 5 1.34 3 10–3 hp 5 3.41 Btu/h
1 ft-lb/s 5 1.36 W 5 1.82 3 10–3 hp
1 hp 5 550 ft-lb/s 5 745.7 W 5 2545 Btu/h
1 u 5 1.66 3 10–27 kg 4 931 MeV
1 electron mass 5 9.11 3 10–31 kg 5 5.49 3 10–4 u 4 0.511 MeV
1 proton mass 5 1.673 3 10–27 kg 5 1.00728 u 4 938.3 MeV
1 neutron mass 5 1.675 3 10–27 kg 5 1.00867 u 4 939.6 MeV
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