Circular Friction Lab

Circular Friction Lab

Purpose:

In this lab you will be investigating the relationship between the size of a circle and the maximum speed you can safely go around the circle.  You will also be looking at how this number changes with surface type.

Part 1:  Learning the Program

  1. Open the Circular Test Track Program in a new tab by clicking here. Then click on the begin button to move into the circular test track.

  2. Poke around in the program and make sure you can change the road surface, adjust the mass and speed of the car, and the radius of the turn.

  3. Make sure you can run a simulated turn attempt  and also reset the car to its starting location.

  4. Make sure you can tell the difference between a successful turn and one that occurred at too great a speed.

Part 2:  Maximum Safe Speed vs. Radius for surface 1

  1. Pick any type of surface you want to use for this part of the lab, but don't change the surface until you have complete this part.

  2. Pick any mass that you want for your car, but don't change it during the course of this part of the lab.

  3. Pick any starting radius you want to use and then run as many trials using as many different speeds as necessary until you determine the maximum safe speed at which you can navigate this turn.  If you get to 30 m/s and the car has not slipped, use a smaller radius.  Record your radius and speed in a data table. Have enough rows for 8 total radii.

  4. Repeat this procedure with a new radius turn and do this until you have found the safe speed for 8 very different size turns.

  5. Create a graph to determine the equation that will relate max safe speed to radius for your surface.  Put the graph in your lab book along with the equation you obtained.

  6. Give a sentence of conclusion about what you learned in this part of the lab.

Part 3:  Maximum Safe Speed vs. Radius for Surface 2

  1. Pick a new surface you want to use for this part of the lab.

  2. Leave the mass at the same value you had for the previous part of the lab.

  3. Pick any starting radius you want to use and then run as many trials using as many different speeds as necessary until you determine the maximum safe speed at which you can navigate this turn.  Record your radius and speed in a data table. Have enough rows for 8 total radii.

  4. Repeat this procedure with a new radius turn and do this until you have found the safe speed for 8 very different size turns.

  5. Create a new data set so that this graph can be displayed on the same axes and the graph for part 2.  Add this onto the  graph in your lab book along with the new equation you obtained.

  6. Give a sentence of conclusion about what you learned in this part of the lab.

Part 4:  Maximum Safe Speed vs. Mass of Car

  1. Pick any type of surface you want to use for this part of the lab.

  2. Pick any radius you want to use for this part of the lab.  Leave the radius at the same value for this entire part of the lab.

  3. Pick any starting mass you want to use and then run as many trials using as many different speeds as necessary until you determine the maximum safe speed at which you can navigate this turn with a car of this mass.  Record your mass and speed in a data table. Have enough rows for 5 total masses.

  4. Repeat this procedure with a new car mass and do this until you have found the safe speed for 5 very different mass cars.

  5. Create a brand new graph (new file) in Logger Pro and plot out the relationship between the max speed and the mass.   Add this graph along with the new equation you obtained into your lab book.

  6. Give a sentence of conclusion about what you learned in this part of the lab.

Part 5:  Minimum Radius vs. Speed of Car

  1. Pick any type of surface you want to use for this part of the lab.

  2. Pick any car mass you want to use for this part of the lab.

  3. Pick any starting speed you want to use and then run as many trials using as many different radii as necessary until you determine the sharpest turn you can navigate at this speed.  Record your speed and radii in a data table. Have enough rows for 5 total speeds.

  4. Repeat this procedure with a new speed and do this until you have found the smallest turn for 5 very different speeds.

  5. Create a brand new graph (new file) in Logger Pro and plot out the relationship between the minimum radius and the speed.   Add this graph along with the new equation you obtained into your lab book.

  6. Give a sentence of conclusion about what you learned in this part of the lab.

  7. Click here to answer questions about this lab

Things to have in your lab book:

  • Purpose

  • A picture of the lab set up. The way the program looks. 

  • Multiple Data Tables

  • 3 different graphs along with equations.

  • Conclusions for each part

  • A source of error and how it can be corrected
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