CollegeHigh School / Physics

Atwood's Machine

In a study of an Atwood’s Machine apparatus, a photogate is used to measure the velocity of both hanging masses as one moves up and the other moves down. The slope of the graph of velocity vs. time is the acceleration of the system.

Careful measurement when there is no net force allows the student to compensate for friction.


Student Files

17_Atwoods_Machine.cap 1.03 MB
17_Atwood_s_Machine.docx 3.55 MB
17_Atwood_s_Machine.pdf 415.17 KB

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Photogate Head

Photogate Head

Monitors the motion of objects passing through its gate, counting events as the object breaks the infrared beam.

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Source: Lab #17

Universal 550 Physics Experiment Manual

Atwood's Machine