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Electromagnetic Braking Experiment

  1. Mar 17, 2006 #1
    I am currently doing an electromagnetic braking experiment for a course at school. While I have got some results, I am unsure:

    a) whether they are accurate to what should be expected.
    b) where I am going to go with the results- is there any formulae manipulation anyone can suggest so that my experiment actually has some meaningful conclusion?

    Here is the experiment.

    An frictionless air track is set up with a vehicle which hovers on it smoothly so there is no friction. At the extremities of the central third of the air track, two light gates are set up that will record the vehicle's speed. A plate of copper metal is slotted into a groove made on the vehicle and two electromagnets (suspended by clamps) are positioned one at either side of the track, between the light gates.

    The light gates have their induvidual fast timers and the electromagnets are supplied by dc voltage from a power pack.

    The electromagnet is switched on and the vehicle is pushed down the track, thorugh light gate one, then through the electromagnetic field of the electromagnets and finally through the second light gate.

    I chose to alter the intial speed of the vehicle and the field strength (by altering the voltage) observe how they effect the change in kinetic energy.

    Both graphs resulted in sraight lines through the origin.

    Is this what can be expected?

    My teachers have limited knowledge of this, and after spending hours upon hours of looking for relevant information to confirm/disagree with my results, I am not sure which direction I should next go in.

    I have also heard the "Braking Force" term being used. Would this be equal to the initial velocity v1 - the final velocity v2? Or some factor of this?

    Thanks in advance, I hope I can get some replies.

  2. jcsd
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