# F=ma experiment: Trolley being pulled by a falling weight

• coverband
In summary, the conversation discusses changing the weight on a trolley and recording the corresponding acceleration. There is confusion about the equation for the acceleration of the system and how it changes when the sum of the masses is fixed in a plot of acceleration vs. hanging mass. The importance of including the tension on the hanging weight in its free body diagram is also mentioned.
coverband
Homework Statement
Hope I’m posting this in the right area!
Relevant Equations
Experiment involves connecting a trolley to a perpendicular weight via pulley string
The weight accelerating/pulling the trolley is changed and corresponding acceleration recorded. What I don’t understand is why the weight added/removed to the hanging weight is removed/added to the trolley

What is the equation for the acceleration of the system? Write it down and see what happens when you keep the sum of the masses fixed in a plot of acceleration vs. hanging mass.

kuruman said:
What is the equation for the acceleration of the system? Write it down and see what happens when you keep the sum of the masses fixed in a plot of acceleration vs. hanging mass.
Thank you. I neglected the tension on the hanging weight in it’s free body diagram

## 1. How does the mass of the trolley affect the acceleration?

The mass of the trolley has a direct effect on the acceleration. According to Newton's Second Law, the acceleration of an object is directly proportional to the net force acting on it and inversely proportional to its mass. This means that as the mass of the trolley increases, the acceleration decreases.

## 2. Does the weight of the falling weight affect the acceleration of the trolley?

Yes, the weight of the falling weight does affect the acceleration of the trolley. The weight of the falling weight is the force that is pulling the trolley, and according to Newton's Second Law, the acceleration is directly proportional to the net force. Therefore, the heavier the falling weight, the greater the acceleration of the trolley will be.

## 3. How does the force applied to the trolley affect its acceleration?

The force applied to the trolley is the force of the falling weight. As mentioned before, according to Newton's Second Law, the acceleration of an object is directly proportional to the net force acting on it. Therefore, the greater the force applied to the trolley, the greater the acceleration will be.

## 4. What other factors can affect the results of the experiment?

There are a few other factors that can affect the results of the experiment. These include friction between the trolley and the surface it is moving on, air resistance, and the angle at which the weight is falling. These factors can slightly alter the acceleration of the trolley and should be taken into consideration when conducting the experiment.

## 5. How can this experiment be used to demonstrate Newton's laws of motion?

This experiment can be used to demonstrate Newton's Second Law of Motion, which states that the acceleration of an object is directly proportional to the net force acting on it and inversely proportional to its mass. By varying the mass of the trolley and the falling weight, and measuring the resulting acceleration, one can observe how changes in force and mass affect the acceleration of the trolley. This supports the principles of Newton's Second Law.

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