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Student Question

Postsecondary • 2yr.


I sent a question a few minutes ago and received an answer. However, because I cannot respond back on the same post, I am putting the answer here since I still need a bit of help :)

The spring scale reads the measures in Newtons, so I know I can find the force with that. However, I am not sure how to do the procedure experimentally more specifically. I was thinking I could pull the person in the cart with a constant force for a certain distance and a certain amount of time to find it's constant velocity. Then I could release the person and measure the distance and time taken to stop, so the constant velocity calculated earlier would be my Vinitial and Vfinal=0. Finally, with that data, I could manipulate the equations to find the unknown. Does that sound right?

Also, would the acceleration calculated from the kinematic equations be same one that is used in F=ma and the force with which I pulled the person is F. So the only thing missing would be m, right?



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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.

    Hi NicePearl6852,

    Thank you for your question!

    I think you got it, if you pull the person in the cart with a constant force for a certain distance, you will be able to find the initial velocity. Then, if you use the kinematic equations right, you can find the acceleration because you have the Vinitial, Vfinal and the time required for the object to stop. You can now use Newton's second law (f = ma) to find the mass of the cart and the person.

    Exactly, the acceleration you will find experimentally is the same as the one in Newton's second law!

    Hopefully, that helps and let us know if we can do anything else to help!! 

    Anthony B.

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