Rotation and Torque Experiments
This set of rotational and torque experiments can be performed with the equipment from the Rotational Motion Plus Kit (ME-1261).
The torsional pendulum consists of a torsion wire attached to a Rotary Motion Sensor with an object (a disk, a ring, or a rod with point masses) mounted on top of it. The period of oscillation is measured from a plot of the angular displacement versus time. To calculate the theoretical period, the rotational inertia is determined by measuring the dimensions of the object and the torsional spring constant is determined from the slope of a plot of force versus angular displacement.
Students set up various systems to learn about gravitational torque and center of mass. They find the mass of an object, determine the mass of a meter stick, predict the location of a mass to balance an off-center meter stick, and locate the center of mass of an irregular object.
Students construct and collect data with an experimental system to determine angular velocity, angular acceleration, applied torque, and the rotational inertia of the meter stick component.
Students use a meter stick as a physical pendulum to explore the factors that affect the period and the mathematical properties of the physical pendulum period equation.
A rod rotates in a horizontal plane, and is made to slow steadily to a stop. This setup is used to explore the different types of acceleration involved in this motion: centripetal, tangential, and angular acceleration.
The purpose of this experiment is to find the rotational inertia of a ring and a disk experimentally and to verify that these values correspond to the calculated theoretical values.
Newton’s Second Law for rotation: The resulting angular acceleration (α) of an object is directly proportional to the net torque (τ) on that object. The hanging mass applies a torque to the shaft of the Rotary Motion Sensor and the resulting angular acceleration of the rod and brass masses is investigated.
This lab investigates the potential energies for a modified Atwood’s Machine, where a disk has been added to the Rotary Motion Sensor pulley.
A non-rotating ring is dropped onto a rotating disk. The angular speed is measured immediately before the drop and after the ring stops sliding on the disk. The measurements are repeated with a non-rotating disk being dropped onto a rotating disk. For each situation, the initial angular momentum is compared to the final angular momentum. Initial and final kinetic energy are also calculated and compared.
The purpose of this experiment is to use measurements of the motion of a simple pendulum to calculate and compare the different types of energy present in the system.
A rod oscillates as a physical pendulum. The period is measured directly by the Rotary Motion Sensor, and the value is compared to the theoretical period calculated from the dimensions of the pendulum.
This experiment explores the oscillatory motion of a physical pendulum for both small and large amplitudes. Waveforms are examined for angular displacement, velocity and acceleration, and the dependence of the period of a pendulum on the amplitude of oscillation is investigated.