The Conservation Of Mechanical Energy Essays

1977 Words Oct 7th, 2014 8 Pages
Conservation of Mechanical Energy
Anupama Cemballi
Department of Physics, Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, OH 44106-7079

Gravitation Potential Energy:
Introduction and Theory:
Gravitational potential energy is the potential energy an elevated object has due to the force of gravity. Potential energy is the stored energy an object has dependent upon its position. Near the surface of the Earth, the gravitational acceleration of an object is 9.8m/s^2. There is no uncertainty associated with this value since it has been measured countless times. The factors that affect the gravitational potential energy include m, mass, and the height of the object to an end point. The work done on an object due to the gravitational force is the object’s mass times gravity times the height. In this experiment, the theory of gravitational potential energy allowed me to make the assumption that the potential energy of the hanging mass would be converted into the cart’s kinetic energy. I also assumed that the encoded pulley was massless and frictionless. The work done by non-conservative forces (W_nc) on an object is equal to the change in the kinetic energy (K) plus the change in gravitation potential energy (U) as given by W_nc= ∆K+ ∆U (1)
This equation can be rewritten as W_nc= 1/2 m(v_f^2-v_i^2 )+mg(h_f-h_i) (2) where m is the mass of the cart, v_f is the final velocity, v_i is the initial velocity, g is gravity, h_f is the final height, and h_i is the…

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