Newton's Second Law Experiment

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This Java applet simulates an air cushion or a role roadway, as it is used for attempts for the movement with constant acceleration. An acceleration due to gravity was presupposed by 9.81 m/s2.

The mass of the car, the value of the hanging mass and the coefficient of friction (within certain limits) can be changed.

A measurement consists of adjusting the measuring section (from the initial position to the light barrier LS, accuracy 5 mm) with pressed mouse button and the measuring of the necessary time (digital display, accuracy 1 ms). During the movement a red point indicates the time momentary and the distance traveled so far in the time way diagram. If time measurement is final, then the pair of measured values is drawn in into the diagram. If one clicks afterwards with the mouse on the "Record Data" button, then the measured values are entered also into the list. A series of measurements with the same parameters can cover max. 10 measurements.

Underlying formulas:

Application of Newton's force law:


a ... Acceleration
m ... Mass of the hanging mass
g ... Acceleration due to gravity
m ... Coefficient of friction
M ... Mass of the car

Movement with constant acceleration and initial speed 0:


s ... Displacement
a ... Acceleration
t ... Time

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Physics Applets

© Walter Fendt, December 23, 1997
Last update: May 24, 1998

This applet is part of the Contemporary College Physics Simulation Library.

Thanks to professor Taha Mzoughi (Mississippi State University) for the translation!