1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min 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!

Cart down a ramp, acceleration of 0.6m/s^2

  1. Feb 8, 2008 #1
    We rolled down a cart down a ramp with a tickertape. When the average velocities were calulated and they were used to calculate acceleration. But we got acceleration of like 0.6, 0.2m/s^2 etc.... shouldn't it be 9.8m/s^2..?! When i graphed the average velocity and the line of best fit was drawn and the slope calculated i got 6.5m/s^2. Why did i get an acceleration of such numbers like 0.6?? What are some explanations to account for this acceleration?????
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 8, 2008 #2

    Hootenanny

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    In which direction does the cart's weight act?
     
  4. Feb 8, 2008 #3
    um.. the cart's weight acts down??
     
  5. Feb 8, 2008 #4

    Hootenanny

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Down the ramp or directly down towards the centre of the earth?
     
  6. Feb 8, 2008 #5
    down toward the earth... so there are two directions involved in this motion??
    so 9.8m/s^2 is the acceleration down towards the earth... then what would be 0.6m/s^2??
     
  7. Feb 8, 2008 #6
    cart down a ramp accelerates at 0.6m/s^2?? not 9.8m/s^2?

    We rolled down a cart down a ramp with a tickertape. When the average velocities were calulated and they were used to calculate acceleration. But we got acceleration of like 0.6, 0.2m/s^2 etc.... shouldn't it be 9.8m/s^2..?! When i graphed the average velocity and the line of best fit was drawn and the slope calculated i got 6.5m/s^2. Why did i get an acceleration of such numbers like 0.6?? What are some explanations to account for this acceleration?????
     
  8. Feb 8, 2008 #7

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    The acceleration depends on the slope of the ramp. 9.8 m/s^2 would only be expected if the ramp were vertical--the cart was in free fall. :wink:
     
  9. Feb 8, 2008 #8

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    This is easy enough to calculate by finding the component of the gravitational force that is applied along the slope of the ramp. It's simple trigonometry.
     
  10. Feb 8, 2008 #9
    then what is 0.6m/s^2???
     
  11. Feb 8, 2008 #10

    Hootenanny

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re-read Doc Al's post.
     
  12. Sep 20, 2008 #11
    Acceleration is equal to gravity only if the object is in free-fall. If the object is rolling or sliding down an inclined plane, the acceleration is dependent on friction and the angle of the incline. Remember that acceleration down an inclined plane is independent of the mass. Hope this helps!
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?