Featured in PASCO’s Physics through Inquiry Teacher Guide

Physics through Inquiry Teacher Guide

(PS-2873C)

Features over 30 inquiry based labs covering the core topic areas of mechanics, electricity and magnetism, optics, thermodynamics and more.

Work and Energy

Lab Summary

Use a motion sensor and force sensor to develop an understanding of the work-energy theorem that relates the work done on an object by a net force to the change in the object’s kinetic energy.

Theory

Students develop an understanding of the work-energy theorem. In this lab, students investigate:

  • The work done on a dynamics cart by a net force.
  • Graphical representations of force applied over a distance.
  • Changes in kinetic energy relative to the amount of work done on the cart.

Method

Students will gain experience conducting the following procedures:

  • Assembling a modified Atwood machine using a cart, track, and pulley system.
  • Measuring the force applied to a cart by the hanging mass, while simultaneously measuring the displacement of the cart as it accelerates.
  • Analyzing a force versus distance graph in order to evaluate the area under the graph, which is a representation for the mechanical work done on the cart.
  • Quantifying the magnitude of the cart's change in kinetic energy by calculating and taking the difference in the final and initial kinetic energies using recorded velocity data.
  • Comparing measured values for the change in kinetic energy of the cart to the work done on the cart.

Sensors / Equipment Used:

PASPORT Force Sensor

(PS-2104)

Designed to measure both pulling and pushing forces. Uses range from collisions to tug-of-war.

PASPORT Motion Sensor

(PS-2103A)

The PASPORT Motion Sensor accurately measures position, velocity, and acceleration of a target. Can be used to track the motion of carts, balls, people and more.

Materials Used:

Dynamics track

Dynamics cart

Dynamics track end stop

Super pulley with clamp

Mass and hanger set

Balance

String 1.5 m

Your Bundle Options:

Option 1:

Physics Starter Sensor Bundle

(PS-2923)

A sensor bundle specifically designed to get you started using probeware in your physics lab. Also: perform 26 of the 37 Lab Activities from Physics through Inquiry.

Option 2:

Physics Standard Sensor Bundle

(PS-2931B)

Contains the probeware needed to perform all 37 lab activities in the Physics through Inquiry lab manual.

Interface Required

This experiment may require software and an interface for data collection.