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Finding Final Velocity

  1. Feb 14, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    I'm going to be doing a lab, in which I am going to push a block down a ramp. So right now, the problem I'm going to ask is conceptual, and not actually with numbers.

    So basically, I need to find the theoretical acceleration, and the theoretical velocity. Then, I need to find the actual velocity.

    2. Relevant equations

    F = ma
    Ff = μkFn
    Fg = mg
    Vf = Vi + aΔt
    Δd = ViΔt + 1/2aΔt²

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Alright, so here's my thoughts. I will be given the coefficient of kinetic friction. So, to find the acceleration, I'm going to try the following:

    1. Find the distance of the ramp.
    2. Time how long it takes to reach the bottom.
    3. Weigh the block.
    4. Plug in all the info I've found into the formula; Δd = ViΔt + 1/2aΔt²

    So, that takes care of theoretical acceleration, I believe. If I take the theoretical acceleration, and plug it into the next formula; vf = vi + aΔt, then it will give me the theoretical final velocity.

    So now the problem, finding the actual final velocity. I'm not exactly sure how I should do this one, but here's my thoughts;

    If I measure out a certain length at the bottom of the ramp, I can time how long it takes for the block to travel that far. Then, using the average velocity formula, Δd = vΔt, I can find the number which is quite close to the actual velocity at the bottom of the ramp.

    But is there a more accurate way of doing this? (And am I doing this right?)
  2. jcsd
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