In your discussion of Newton’s first law, you learned that when the sum of the forces acting on an object is zero, its velocity does not change. However, when a net force acts on the object, it accelerates. In this experiment, you will determine the relationship between the net force acting on an object and its acceleration.


In this experiment, you will

  • Identify the forces acting on an object both when its change in velocity, Δv, is zero and when it is accelerating.
  • Collect force, velocity, and time data as a cart is accelerated on a track.
  • Use graphical methods to determine the acceleration of the cart.
  • Determine the relationship between the cart’s acceleration and the net force applied to it.
  • Determine the effect of the mass on the relationship between acceleration and force.