Newton’s second law motion, which one of these essential laws, can be stated mathematically as: F=ma (Shukla). This means that acceleration (a) of a moving object is directly proportional to applied force (F) and inversely proportional to the mass of the body (m) (Shukla). This acceleration is parallel and is in the direction of the net applied force. This experiment investigated Newton’s Second Law of Motion.
i. This equation shows that provided that the mass of the body is constant, acceleration (a) of the body is directly proportional to the force applied (F). For Newton’s low to be valid the acceleration must take place in the direction of force, and must be parallel to it (Shipman).
It is normally not easy to measure acceleration directly in experiments; therefore, an indirect method is used. In this case travel distances (x) and travel times (t) may be used. These times and distances can be used to calculate acceleration directly, or velocities (initial and final velocities) may be first calculated (Shipman). The velocities may finally be used to calculate acceleration. Therefore,
For test 1, the experiment was set up as shown in the diagram above, but without the photogates. The direction of motion of the body M was noted. For both test 2 and test 3 photogates were installed, and were used to measure time taken (t) to travel the distance x. For test 2, the mass of the object (M) was kept constant while the suspended mass (F) varied using five different masses (50g, 75g, 100g, 125g, and 150g). For each suspended mass (F), the procedure was repeated for five different distances (20cm, 30cm, 40cm, 50cm and 60cm). Time taken to travel each distance xi for each mass was noted and recorded in the worksheet.
For test 3, the suspended mass (F) was kept constant (75g) while the mass of the body (M) was varied; masses 500g, 750g, 1000g, 1250g and 1575g were used. For each mass, the procedure was repeated for five different