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Homework Help: Help to Understanding Vectors, Equilibrants, and Force Tables

  1. Sep 30, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    I performed a physics lab in which we had a level force table with a string around a post in the middle with four strings attached. we then attached pulleys for the strings and weights. we used vectors and weights to find the equilibrium - when the ring was centered. It is a pretty common lab. I'm just having difficulty answering analysis questions.

    1. Suppose that the weight holders in this experiment all have the same mass. May their masses be neglected? Explain.

    2. If the force table were tilted at a considerable angle, would the results be altered in any way? Explain.

    3. Discuss the effects of friction on the measurements.

    2. Relevant equations

    No equations!

    3. The attempt at a solution

    1. I don't think mass could be neglected because force is a vector quantity - they have magnitude and direction. Without the mass, there is no magnitude. ...Is that wrong? Or worded wrongly?

    2. The results would be altered if the table was tilted...not sure of explanation. The levelness of the table allows results to be accurate. Adding a tilt...would cause more mass to be added to one side to level out the ring.?

    3. Friction - existed in the pulleys preventing the pulleys from transferring full amount of tension to the ring

    I just need help answering and wording my answers.

    Also would sources of error for lab include...
    -inaccurate measurements from the lab members - not precise measurements
    -inability to add a fraction of a weight to a weight holder
    -force table might not be completely level

    Thank you!!!
  2. jcsd
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