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Lab
Assignment 4:  Types of Force

Instructor’s Overview

In many physics problems involving
Newton’s laws of motion, you’ll see statements like, “assume a frictionless
surface” or “neglecting air resistance…” 
In this lab we will be exploring both friction and air resistance, two
resistive forces that are critical in the design of real-world products and
systems.  Understanding the effects of
these types of forces is essential in the design of such things as aircraft,
automobiles, braking systems, and countless other objects.

This activity is based on Lab 4 of the
eScience Lab kit.  Although you should
read all of the content in Lab 4, we will be performing a targeted subset of
the eScience experiments.

Our lab consists of two main
components.  These components are
described in detail in the eScience manual. 
Here is a quick overview:

  • In the first part of the lab, you will measure
    the force it takes to pull objects of different mass.  This experiment focuses on the effects
    of frictional forces.  (eScience
    Experiment 1)
  • In the second part of the lab, you will
    investigate the effects of air resistance by performing controlled drops
    of coffee filters.

Notes:

o 
Please
follow the instructions in this document for the air resistance experiment.

o 
Record all of your
data in the tables that are provided in this document.

Take detailed
notes as you perform the experiment and fill out the sections below.  This document serves as your lab report.  Please include detailed descriptions of your
experimental methods and observations.

Experiment Tips and Procedures

Frictional
Forces

· 
Use
the following volumes of water for the three cup types (some of the volumes
outlined in the eScience manual are excessive):

Cup
type

Volume
1 (ml)

Volume
2 (ml)

Plastic

300

150

Styrofoam

200

100

Paper

100

50

Air
Resistance Procedure – Follow this procedure, not the one outlined in the
eScience manual

1.  Take a single coffee filter and
flatten it out.

2.  Hold the filter with both hands away
from your body at roughly the height of your head.  Measure the drop height.

3.  Practice dropping the filter so that
it descends in a reasonably smooth fashion.

4.  Time five (5) drops.  If possible, have a partner help you with the
timings.

5.  Enter the drop times in the table
provided in this document and calculate the average.

6.  From the average drop time, calculate
the average speed of descent.  Show your
calculation in the Analysis section of this document.

7.  Use small pieces of tape to stick all
of the filters together.  My kit came
with three filters.

8.  Repeat steps 1-6 with the “super
filter.”

Date:

Student:

Abstract

Introduction

Background:

Objective:

Hypothesis:

Material and Methods

Results

Data tables for the friction experiment:

Plastic cup

Trial

Applied
force with 300 ml of water

Applied
force with 150 ml of water

Applied
force/Normal force (300ml)

Applied
force/Normal force (150ml)

1

2

3

4

5

Average

Styrofoam cup

Trial

Applied
force with 200 ml of water

Applied
force with 100 ml of water

Applied
force/Normal force (200ml)

Applied
force/Normal force (100ml)

1

2

3

4

5

Average

Paper cup

Trial

Applied
force with 100 ml of water

Applied
force with 50 ml of water

Applied
force/Normal force (100ml)

Applied
force/Normal force (50ml)

1

2

3

4

5

Average

Data tables for the air resistance
experiment:

 

Multi-filter

Trial

Drop
time (sec)

1

2

3

4

5

Average

 

Single filter

Trial

Drop
time (sec)

  1

2

3

4

5

Average

Analysis and Discussion

Friction Experiment

Air Resistance Experiment

Based on your experimental results,
please answer the following questions:

Friction experiment

What happened to your applied force Fapp as
you decreased the amount of water in the cup? 
Explain your answer.

Draw a free body diagram when the applied force is
equal to the force of friction (just before the cup begins to slide).  Label the force due to gravity mg, the normal
force FN, and the friction force Ff, but don’t use any
specific numbers. What makes this a state of equilibrium?

How do the experimentally determined ratios of the
applied and normal forces compare between cup types?  What does the ratio of the applied force and
the normal force represent?

Look carefully at the force applied right before the
cups begin to slide and compare with the force applied as the cup is sliding at
constant velocity. Is there a difference in the magnitude of forces? If so,
explain. What can you conclude about the coefficients of friction (μs
and μk) using the equation Ff=μFN?

Air resistance experiment

Draw a free body diagram for the falling coffee
filter. What is the net force?

How would the free body diagram differ for a round
rubber ball dropped from the same height?

Are the filters actually traveling at the average
speed over the duration of its fall? 
Where does the acceleration occur?

Calculate the fall time of
the filters assuming no air resistance. 
How does this fall time compare with the average fall times of the
single and multi-filters?

Why does the combination reach a higher velocity?  To answer this question, use your free body
diagram of the falling filter and Newton’s second law to write an equation for
the net force on the falling filter. 
Solve this equation for the acceleration and note how it depends on the
mass of the falling object.

Conclusions

References