swim, chem, baseball, I talk with my hands

Physics Honors – Lab 08 – Conservation of Energy


  • The purpose of this lab is to verify the conservation of energy of a cart rolling down a track
  • each student group is asked to write a procedure that utilizes the existing lab equipment in order to accomplish the goal of the lab
  • suggested equipment: GLX Xplorer, Motion Sensor
  • How will you do this without a meter stick?
Suggestions & Commentary
  • start the cart from rest near the top of the ramp, against a fixed object (ruler?) to insure the same “top of the hill”
  • record the angle of ramp and the distance traveled (h = (distance traveled)sin(theta)
  • note the velocity of the cart at a fixed distance down the ramp to insure a constant change in vertical height
  • is there a way to change this lab into a “y vs. x” experiment, in order to generate a graph?
  • I will be taking a closer look at the number od digits you are using in your measurements.
  • How many digits are meaningful?
  • Do you need to even measure mass?
Notes & Processing & Hints
  • use the conservation of energy equation to prove (or disprove) the law
  • what factors could interfere with the lab? how would they interfere?
  • calculating the percent difference between two quantities is the best way to show that a law is verified


This entry was posted on November 8, 2011 by in Labs, Physics Honors, SHP and tagged , , .


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