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How to test f=ma using trolley and ticker timer?

  1. Sep 24, 2014 #1
    To test mass affects acceleration.
    is it correct to change the mass of plasticine attached to the trolley and measure the length of the ticker tape strip with the constant variable be the angle of the inclined plane?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 24, 2014 #2


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    It might be, depending on exactly how your "ticker timer" works. The experiments that I've done using a tape strip involved measuring not the length of the entire tape, but instead the locations of markings made on it as the trolley moves along it. Can you provide more details about your apparatus so we can be sure we're all discussing the same thing?
  4. Sep 26, 2014 #3
    My apparatus includes inclined plane, ticker tape, ticker timer, wooden block, trolley and plasticine.

    Is it correct to measure the length of the ticker tape strip to indicate the change in acceleration? Why?
  5. Sep 26, 2014 #4
    What length of the ticker tape are you talking about?
    What are you considering as the start and finish of the ticker tape?
    I know how I did the experiment, but an outline of your procedure might also be in order.
    Somehow you have to convert the distance between ticks into an average velocity, and do a calculation to find the acceleration.
    How do you think you should do that?
  6. Sep 27, 2014 #5


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    You can find the acceleration by measuring the spacing between dots at a point where they are close together and then measuring the spacing further along the tape. The two dot spacings will give you the two speeds and the number of spaces in between will give the time taken for the change in speed. That will give acceleration, using the appropriate 'suvat' equation.
    But there are a few different combinations of the measurements you can do with ticker timer tape results. Just remember that tape distance represents s and number of dots represents t.
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