Potential Energy Essay

The purpose of this experiment was to understand kinetic and potential energy and verify the Law of Conservation of Energy. Kinetic and potential energy are both forms of energy that usually coincide with each other; potential energy usually changes into kinetic energy and vice versa. While potential energy results from an object’s position or arrangement of parts, kinetic energy results from an object’s motion. Together, the sum of an object’s kinetic energy and the potential energy at that instant is its total mechanical energy, which is given as: ME = PE + KE. In order to verify that the total mechanical energy if the system is conserved, the change in the mechanical energy of the system have to be zero. Two experiments were performed with …show more content…
First, the air track was adjusted until it was horizontal to the table surface. Then a pulley system was set up: a glider with a flag was placed on the air track; it was connected to a hanger with an inextensible string. The airflow was also adjusted such that the glider moves freely with no friction. A photo-gate was also placed onto the air track, and this was connected to the computer program, LoggerPro. When the experimental arrangement was completed, the mass of the glider and flag was determined. For the first trial, no additional weights were added onto the glider + flag or the hanger. The air machine was turned on, and the photo-gate was positioned such that the speed of the glider could be measured after it has traveled a distance d, which was set to 0.50m. The photo-gate and flag on the glider were also both straightened. After that, the velocity of the glider (with flag) was measured. This experiment was repeated for 5 additional trials: The first two trials measured the velocity of the mass of glider + flag with no weights added to the hanger; an additional weight of .100 kg was added to the glider and flag for the second run. The other four trials measured the velocity of the glider with an additional 0.100 kg and 0.150 kg to the hanger. Once all experimentation was completed, all data was calculated and organized into

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