Cart Lab Write-Up

Objective: To determine, with a constant incline, how an object changes speed over time.
Procedure: We conducted our lab through numerous trials to first get accurate and precise data. Some variables that were in our system were object size, angle of surface, density of object, texture of surface, wind resistance, gravity, starting velocity, the object, and obviously time. In this experiment we focused on two things. Our independent variable was the time, which was taken by the motion detector we used, as well as our dependant variable of position. The controls we used were the ramp, gravity, direction, incline angle, the cart, and motion detector. Once conducting the experiment and calculating its velocity by putting its displacement and dividing it by the time it took (given by the motion detector), we then could calculate changes in velocity using simple subtraction from one data set to the next. We organized this data in a neat table, and graphed it using the amazing skills physicist Mr. Petsko taught. The step by step process is very simple for this experiment. Assemble your motion detector, ramp, and cart on the ramp. Using logger pro, record the carts motion down the ramp at a given starting point. Record the data for certain times, and do various times making sure to be precise. Once recorded, calculate velocities and then changes in velocities and graph. This data gives you what you need to make a conclusion.
Time (Seconds) Position 1 Position 2 Position 3 Average
.5814 .158 .154 .154 .155
.6137 .182 .175 .173 .177
.6460 .209 .200 .198 .202
.7106 .241 .228 .225 .231
.7426 .272 .259 .254 .262
.7752 .306 .291 .285 .294
.8075 .344 .325 .317 .329
.8348 .381 .360 .352 .364
.8721 .420 .398 .389 .402

Angle of ramp: 11 degrees.
Equipment: Ramp, motion detector, cart, and gravity all were the same.


Analysis: The data seemed to grow in velocity as time went on and our graph came out as a parabola. This tells us that the object was gaining speed more and more rapidly as time went on. We were able to derive a math equation to come up with a physics equation for this problem. We found that Acceleration=Velocity * Time.
Conclusion: Our data came out just as we thought it would. Originally, we hypothesized that as time would go by, the acceleration would increase. Once we ran our tests and collected data, we saw that this was true, however only for a short while. The object gained speed (accelerated) down the ramp until it hit a certain point where it then kept a uniform speed. The purpose of our test was to see how an object gains speed from being at rest. The object gained speed over time just as we thought.