Acceleration down an inclined plane

  • Thread starter Worfie
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Hello,

After collecting data for the classic physics experiment - motion down an inclined plane, I assembled my graph, and found something startling; in my graph, acceleration is proportional to mass (use the attached file for reference).

Theoretically, my graph should resemble the inverse, by a ∝ 1/m.

Can anyone explain possible reasons for this?

The experiment was running a margarine container down a wooden slope, varying the mass of the margarine container by adding brass weights each time.
 

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  • #2
Orodruin
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Theoretically, my graph should resemble the inverse, by a ∝ 1/m.

What makes you think so?
 
  • #3
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F=ma, therefore a=F/m, which implies as the mass increases, acceleration decreases.
 
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Orodruin
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What is F in your case?
 
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F=mg(sinθ-cosθ)

where θ is the angle of the inclined plane.

This is the net force of the block down the plane.
 
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Orodruin
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And inserting this into your expression for the acceleration gives?

Edit: you are also missing a friction coefficient...
 

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