1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Atwood Machine Lab help

  1. Dec 9, 2014 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Good Morning, my teacher is making us redo this lab with data he collected. I was wondering if someone could check to see if I did it right so far. I have to graph the left side of equation B (in the spreadsheet) and the same for A. then I have to find the moment of inertia. This is different then what I have seen on here or elsewhere. It is difficult because he doesn't teach or explain well and the class is struggling. Any helpl is appreciated.

    2. Relevant equations
    Did I do equation B right?
    How do I get the moment of Inertia from this data?
    Any other useful information one can provide is nice.

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 10, 2014 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Plot the the difference between the two weights, W1 - W2,
    minus the resultant force, mtotala , as a function of the acceleration, a,
    of the system. The gradient is the effective mass of the pulley and the y-intercept is
    the friction in the system. We approximate the pulley with a disc so its moment of
    inertia is then its mass time the square of its radius. Your accelerations look a bit
    low though.
  4. Dec 10, 2014 #3
    Thanks, I'll try that when I get home. I'll look into why the acceleration is low. So the left side of the equations are essentially the weight differences between masses and difference between resultant forces?
  5. Dec 10, 2014 #4


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    For these two masspieces
    m1 = 0.0432 kg and m2 = 0.0072 kg
    one get that the acceleration should be about 7 m/s2
    assuming no friction and that the pulley has minimal influence (which
    is what one would expect for the small mass of only five grams), where
    as you get about 6 m/s2.

    Yes the equation basically says that the weight difference minus the
    friction in the system gives us the resultant force, which is the total
    mass (including the efffective mass of the pulley) times the acceleration
    of the system.
  6. Dec 10, 2014 #5
    Thanks for the help. Just wondering if there is a better way to solve for the acceleration in this problem for future reference. Thanks again.
  7. Dec 10, 2014 #6
    Also how do I get inertia
  8. Dec 11, 2014 #7


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    You seemed to have used a pulley with a photogate for the measurements
    since you gave values for the angular acceleration of the pulley.
    Just how you got the value for the angular acceleration is not clear.
    You have several options that can be explored to get the acceleration
    using such a system. It is always best to get the required value from a graph
    of data and not just a single value. That way you have more confidence
    in the final value that you require. Maybe a graph of the angular velocity
    of the pulley as a function of time. You can also use the dimensions of
    the pulley to calculate the distance through which the system travelled.

    What is (the) inertia (of the system) measured in?

    What type of graph will give you the inertia (of the system) as its gradient?
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted

Similar Discussions: Atwood Machine Lab help