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Lab Questions for AP Physics B & C (page 2)

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By McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Feb 14, 2011

In the laboratory, you are given a metal block, about the size of a brick. You are also given a 2.0-m-long wooden plank with a pulley attached to one end. Your goal is to determine experimentally the coefficient of kinetic friction, μk, between the metal block and the wooden plank.

1. From the list below, select the additional equipment you will need to do your experiment by checking the line to the left of each item. Indicate if you intend to use more than one of an item.
2. Draw a labeled diagram showing how the plank, the metal block, and the additional equipment you selected will be used to measure μk.
3. Briefly outline the procedure you will use, being explicit about what measurements you need to make and how these measurements will be used to determine μk.

Determine the mass, m, of the block with the balance. The weight of the block is mg. Attach a string to the block and pass the string over the pulley. Hang masses from the other end of the string, changing the amount of mass until the block can move across the plank at constant speed. Use the motion detector to verify that the speed of the block is as close to constant as possible.

The block is in equilibrium. So, the weight of the hanging masses is equal to the friction force on the block; the normal force on the block is equal to its weight. The coefficient of kinetic friction is thus equal to the weight of the hanging masses divided by the block's weight.

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