Maxwell's Wheel Essay

972 Words Feb 24th, 2012 4 Pages
Experiment 9: Maxwell’s Wheel


The second lab performed on 2/1/12 involved two investigations concerning Maxwell’s wheel. Maxwell’s wheel is an apparatus that consists of a large disk with a long axle. The disk then bound to a support hanging from above with strings attached to each end of the axle. Maxwell’s wheel is considered to be an important apparatus to investigate physical phenomenon’s because it its ability to combine straight line motion and rotation of a rigid body. The two investigations performed during the lab included investigation 1; an investigation into the moment of inertia of Maxwell’s wheel and investigation 2; an investigation into the dynamics of Maxwell’s wheel.

Data & Analysis
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This was an important step because in order to graphically calculate downward acceleration it was necessary to have t^2 to compare to the distance traveled in meters

The graph below illustrates the quantitative results of Y (meters) vs T^2, with a calculated acceleration of 0.0756 m/s^2



In investigation 1 data was collected to determine the moment of inertia allowing for the calculation of theoretical downward acceleration for the wheel apparatus set up by the group. In investigation 2, through the process of conducting time trials an actual value for the downward acceleration of the wheel apparatus was calculated. The respective calculations downward acceleration in investigation 1 and investigation 2 were 0.0813 m/s^2 and 0.0756 m/s^2. These two calculation were close enough together for the group to determine that the expected downward acceleration calculated from data collected in investigation 1 was observed through trials in investigation 2. The difference between the two calculated values for downward acceleration was determined to be the error between a real life experiments and theoretically calculated results. Two major

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