How does mass affect acceleration?

  • #1

Homework Statement



Hello all. I performed an experiment in Physics class to attempt to answer the following question:

How will changing the mass of a trolley affect its acceleration when it goes down the slope?

I changed the mass of a trolley on each trial, let it go down a slope, and measured its acceleration. I added a total of 50 grams to the trolley but the acceleration always remained constant. I am perplexed as to how this happened.

Variables:

  • Dependent (measured): acceleration
  • Independent (being changed): mass of trolley
  • Controlled (kept stable): angle of slope and distance traveled

Homework Equations



F = ma

The Attempt at a Solution



Newton's Second Law states that mass and acceleration are inversely related (i.e, if mass increases, acceleration should increase), but such case did not happen. How did it not?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Filip Larsen
Gold Member
1,360
276
Welcome to PF!

What force (F) do primarily work on the trolley when it accelerates down the slope? Perhaps you can write up an equation for F and equate that to ma and see if there is something you can reduce away.
 

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