Lab
Conservation of Energy and Vertical Circles
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The purpose of this lab is to investigate the behavior of a metal, dye-cast hot-wheels car moving through a loop-the-loop.
During this investigation, we will make use of energy methods as well as centripetal acceleration.
Refer to the following information for the next three questions.
Part 1. Initial measurements
What is the inner diameter of the track's loop-the-loop in centimeters?
What is the radius of the loop-the-loop in centimeters?
What is the mass of your car in grams?
Refer to the following information for the next three questions.
Part 2: Initial Calculations
Using the properties of vertical circular motion, calculate the critical velocity, in m/sec, needed by the car to travel around the loop-the-loop without losing contact with the track. Show your calculations.
Using conservation of energy calculate the ideal height, in meters, from which the car should be released so that it will successfully complete the loop-the-loop. Show your calculations.
How much initial potential energy, in Joules, will the car posses as it begins its trip down the track?
Refer to the following information for the next two questions.
Part 3. Experimentation
After setting up the track so that the car is able to be released from the height calculated in Part 2 above, release the car to test if it is able to successfully make it through the loop-the-loop. Repeat this at least three times. Did the car remain in contact with the track through the loop-the-loop?
yes
no
Describe what happened.
Now increase the height of the track by small intervals (1 to 2 cm) checking to see if the car successfully completes the loop-the-loop. Record your results in the table below.
description of behavior
intial height
(cm)
ending height
(cm)
does not make it, falls from the track
makes it but occasionally loses contact with the track
makes it and stays in contact with the track throughout the loop
Refer to the following information for the next three questions.
Part 4: Conclusions
Using the final value in your chart above for when the car was just able to complete the loop-the-loop and still remain in contact with the track calculate the car's experimental potential energy at the top of the track.
Determine the difference between the initial PE (in Part 2) and the experimental PE (Part 4) actually needed for the car to complete the loop-the-loop.
What does this numerical difference represent?
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Resource Lesson:
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Centripetal Acceleration and Angular Motion
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Derivation: Period of a Simple Pendulum
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Energy Conservation in Simple Pendulums
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Gravitational Energy Wells
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Kepler's Laws
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LC Circuit
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Magnetic Forces on Particles (Part II)
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Mechanical Energy
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Momentum and Energy
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Period of a Pendulum
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Potential Energy Functions
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Principal of Least Action
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Rotational Dynamics: Pivoting Rods
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Rotational Kinematics
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Rotational Kinetic Energy
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SHM Equations
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Simple Harmonic Motion
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Springs and Blocks
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Symmetries in Physics
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Tension Cases: Four Special Situations
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The Law of Universal Gravitation
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Thin Rods: Moment of Inertia
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Vertical Circles and Non-Uniform Circular Motion
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Worksheet:
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The Pool Game
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The Satellite
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The Spring Phling
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Timex
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Centripetal Acceleration
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Centripetal Force
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Conservation of Energy
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Momentum and Energy
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Momentum and Kinetic Energy
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Power Production
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Satellites: Circular and Elliptical
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Work and Energy
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Circular Orbits
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Cliffs
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Elliptical Orbits
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Escape Velocity
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Gravitation #2
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Pendulum
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Ramps
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Rotating Disk
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Satellite Positions
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Spiral Tube
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Advanced Properties of Freely Falling Bodies #1
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Energy/Work Vocabulary
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Kepler's Laws: Worksheet #1
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Kepler's Laws: Worksheet #2
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More Practice with SHM Equations
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Pendulum Lab Review
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Pendulum Lab Review
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Potential Energy Functions
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Practice: Momentum and Energy #1
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Practice: Momentum and Energy #2
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Practice: SHM Equations
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Practice: Uniform Circular Motion
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Practice: Vertical Circular Motion
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Rotational Kinetic Energy
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SHM Properties
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Static Springs: The Basics
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Universal Gravitation and Satellites
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Vertical Circular Motion #1
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Work and Energy Practice: An Assortment of Situations
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Work and Energy Practice: Forces at Angles
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Centripetal Acceleration
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Centripetal Force
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Work, Power, Kinetic Energy
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