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.

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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

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Atwood's Machine