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Student Question

Postsecondary • 2yr.


I have a lab that involves Newton's law. Basically, one person has to sit on a moving cart and we are required to find the weight of the person and the cart together experimentally. We cannot weight them. However, we have a rope, a spring scale, a timer and tape measure. I am not sure exactly how to proceed. We can use newton's second law (F= ma) to find the acceleration and we can also use the kinematic equations. Can you please help me with the procedure? What steps should I do?

Thank you!


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Explanations (1)

  • Explanation from Alloprof

    Explanation from Alloprof

    This Explanation was submitted by a member of the Alloprof team.

    Team Alloprof • 2yr.


    This does sound a bit complicated; let me give you a hand! 

    First, do your spring scale read data in Newtons? If so, maybe you could use it to find the Force (F) of the system? Maybe using another object could help you determine it? 

    Then, there is a kinematic equation that considers time, initial speed, and acceleration together. Therefore, I believe you have all the necessary tools to record the distance, the time, and the initial speed. Then you could find out the value of the acceleration (a) to find out the weight (m) using the F = ma formula.

    What do you think? 

    If things still feel unclear, you know where to reach us! 


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