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Work and Energy (Y 30)

Keyword: Mechanics Lab

Demonstration Description:
In this experiment you allow a cart to roll down an inclined ramp and run into a spring that is attached to a force sensor. You will measure the position of the cart and the force exerted on it by the spring while they are in contact. It is a "real world" experiment, which means that there are non-conservative forces: friction as the cart rolls up and down the track, and dissipation (internal friction?) in the spring. The goals of the experiment are:

  • To investigate experimentally the work-kinetic energy theorem, how potential energy in a gravity field converts to kinetic energy which is then converted into the potential energy of a compressed spring.
  • To observe and quantify the effect of non-conservative forces and estimate the work done by these forces at various stages of the cart's motion up and down the ramp.

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