Purpose: to determine the inertial mass of a moving object using the relationship between force and acceleration.
Pasco cart with launcher and Pasco track
LabQuest Hand-held Processor with Motion Detector probe
1. Place the cart on one end of the track with launcher.
2. Place the motion detector at the opposite end of the track. Be sure the motion detector is set
for recording small objects. Your teacher can show you how to choose this setting. Attach
the motion detector to the LabQuest unit in the digital/sonic port. The pre-established time
sampling set-up should work well for this lab and will not need adjustment.
3. Retract the launch to the one-centimeter position and prepare to release the trigger.
4. Coordinate with the person performing operating the LabQuest. Pull the trigger and begin the
LabQuest so that the motion detector records the almost the entire travel of the cart.
5. The LabQuest graphing function will record velocity versus time for the trial. Find the portion
of the graph that corresponds to the cart’s travel and determine the acceleration from the
graph during this time. Record the acceleration in the data table.
6. Repeat these steps with the launcher at the 2-cm, the 3-cm, and 4-cm settings.
The Conclusion: Our purpose was to determine the inertial mass of a moving object using the relationship between force and acceleration, we accomplished this by finding how the acceleration increased as the force increased. It then became obvious that as the force increased, so did the acceleration of the object.