Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Rotational Dynamics

Figure from experiment 13 from Advanced Physics with Vernier — Mechanics


When you studied Newtonian dynamics you learned that when an object underwent some form of translational motion (whether in a straight line, parabolic, or circular path), the net force applied to the object is proportional to the acceleration. The constant of proportionality is the mass of the accelerating object. When a torque (the rotational analogue to force), is applied to an object that is free to rotate, the object will undergo rotational acceleration. In this experiment, you will investigate the relationship between torque and angular acceleration.


In this experiment, you will

  • Collect angular acceleration data for objects subjected to a torque.
  • Determine an expression for the torque applied to a rotating system.
  • Determine the relationship between torque and angular acceleration.
  • Relate the slope of a linearized graph to system parameters.
  • Make and test predictions of the effect of changes in system parameters on the constant of proportionality.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Advanced Physics with Vernier — Mechanics

See other experiments from the lab book.

1Motion on an Incline
2Error Analysis
3Newton's First Law
4Newton's Second Law
5Newton's Third Law
6Projectile Motion
7Energy Storage and Transfer: Elastic Energy
8Energy Storage and Transfer: Kinetic Energy
9Energy Storage and Transfer: Gravitational Energy
10AImpulse and Momentum (Motion Detector)
10BImpulse and Momentum (Photogate)
11AMomentum and Collisions (Motion Detectors)
11BMomentum and Collisions (Photogates)
12ACentripetal Acceleration
12BCentripetal Acceleration
13Rotational Dynamics
14Conservation of Angular Momentum
15Simple Harmonic Motion: Mathematical Model
16Simple Harmonic Motion: Kinematics and Dynamics
17Pendulum Periods
18Physical Pendulum
19Center of Mass

Experiment 13 from Advanced Physics with Vernier — Mechanics Lab Book

<i>Advanced Physics with Vernier — Mechanics</i> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

Buy the Book

Go to top