Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Equilibrium of Forces


Rather than being a guided inquiry activity, this activity is a challenge for students in which they apply the knowledge they have already gained.

In the Preliminary Observations, students observe a system with an unknown force acting on it that causes the object to accelerate. Our example is a Fan Cart, but this is not the only possibility. Students are challenged to determine the unknown force magnitude and apply an equilibrant force so that the system will stay still or move at constant velocity.

Learning Outcomes

Create equilibrium conditions after measuring acceleration and mass of a system.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Additional Requirements

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

Next Generation Science Standards

Disciplinary Core Ideas

  • PS2.A Forces and Motion

Crosscutting Concepts

  • Patterns
  • Cause and Effect
  • Systems and System Models

Science and Engineering Practices

  • Planning and carrying out investigations
  • Constructing explanations and designing solutions
  • Science models, laws, mechanisms, and theories explain natural phenomena

Experiment 7 from Physics Explorations and Projects Lab Book

<i>Physics Explorations and Projects</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.

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