Introduction

Newton’s second law of motion explains the relationship among force, mass, and acceleration. In this activity, you will study the relationship between acceleration and mass, while keeping force constant. A car carrying different masses will be pulled across a table by a hanging weight—the constant force. Acceleration will be measured using a computer-interfaced Motion Detector. You will plot a graph of acceleration versus mass, and then use the graph as you make conclusions about the relationship between mass and acceleration.

Objectives

In this experiment, you will

  • Use a Motion Detector to determine acceleration.
  • Record data.
  • Graph data.
  • Make conclusions about the relationship between mass and acceleration.