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Homework Help: Need help starting a Scientific Investigation Report

  1. Oct 9, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    My investigation report concerns Newton's second law and testing it to conclude that the Force is directly proportional to the acceleration.

    We measured a cart down a runway with mass increments of 10g per result.

    Starting off with 100g attached to the cart via thread (+ pulley), recording that data and then taking off 10g (from the thread) and adding that mass to the cart and recording the result.

    After we had recorded all the data (which would eventually end up having 100g on the cart/trolley) we need to then plot a graph.

    I am confused with the plotting of the graph because everywhere I look has Force on the y-axis, whereas I need "Newtons" (displayed on my graph as 10^-2N (why???) in the x-axis and acceleration on the y-axis.

    2. Relevant equations

    a = 1/m (equals F?)

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 9, 2016 #2
    You didn't specify but I assume the data you collected were acceleration measurements?
  4. Oct 10, 2016 #3


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    Homework Helper

    When doing an experiment we normally put the variable that is changed directly by the experimenter on the x-axis.
    This variable is called the independent variable. You changed the force directly by transferring the mass from the hanger to the trolley.
    The other variable, the dependent variable, the acceleration, was then measured. It changed as a result of you canging the force,
    so it is then plotted on the y-axis since it is the dependent variable in your experiment, that is a(F).
    Hope that makes it clear :)
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