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Incline and Acceleration

  1. Mar 4, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data


    I was thinking about designing an experiment in which i would investigate the angle of incline of a surface and the acceleration of a toy car moving down it. I will most likely be using a stopwatch. My question is:
    How should i go about calculating the acceleration without having to account for air ressistance and friction etc - or do i have t do that? I wanna keep it relatively simple.

    2. Relevant equations

    delta V/ delta t = acceleration
    Suvat equations?

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I was thinking about simply taking the time and the displacement (42cm)and using this.
    Possibly suvat equations but i really don't know?

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 4, 2010 #2


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    Homework Helper

    At an angle θ, the weight, mg, has components mgsinθ and mgcosθ. If you are neglecting all friction (inc. the one due to the surface), then only one force acts parallel to the incline, which is mgsinθ. So the acceleration will be constant for an angle θ.
  4. Mar 6, 2010 #3
    Well thank you. However i cannot simply use a formula us such. I wish to derive it using for example, a stopwatch. Any ideas?

    Thanks again
  5. Mar 6, 2010 #4


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    you could measure the distance down the incline and then time it from the top to the bottom. s=ut+1/2at2 which will simplify to s=1/2at2 and find 'a'.
  6. Mar 6, 2010 #5
    Thank you, i will do so!
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