# Frictional Forces Lab Four

Lab Assignment 4: Frictional ForcesInstructors OverviewIn many physics problems involving Newtons laws of motion, youll see statements like, assume a frictionless surface or neglecting air resistance In this lab we will be exploring both friction and air resistance, two resistive forces that are critical in the design of real-world products and systems. Understanding the effects of these types of forces is essential in the design of such things as aircraft, automobiles, braking systems, and countless other objects.This activity is based on Lab 7 of the eScience Lab kit. Although you should read all of the content in Lab 7, we will be performing a targeted subset of the eScience experiments.Our lab consists of two main components. These components are described in detail in the eScience manual. Here is a quick overview:
 In the first part of the lab, you will measure the force it takes to pull objects of different mass. This experiment focuses on the effects of frictional forces. (eScience Experiment 1)
 In the second part of the lab, you will investigate the effects of air resistance by performing controlled drops of coffee filters.
Notes:
o Please follow the instructions in this document for the air resistance experiment.
o Record all of your data in the tables that are provided in this document.
Take detailed notes as you perform the experiment and fill out the sections below. This document serves as your lab report. Please include detailed descriptions of your experimental methods and observations.AbstractExperiment 1  Friction Between Surfaces.Experiment Tips and Procedures: Theory: Friction is the force caused by the contact of surfaces such as a cup of water on a table or by a fluid moving against a structure such as the wind blowing against a windmill. The amount of force in the friction between a cup of water and the table depends on how much force is compressing the cup and table together. Thinking of Newtons 3rd law we recall that the weight of the cup pushes down on the table and the table pushes equally on the cup. We use the force of table pushing up on the cup and call this the normal force, normal because the vector angle is 90 degrees to the surface of the table. It some cases it would not be correct to just use the weight of the object on the table. For example, we might be lifting up on that object and this lift counters some of the weight. If the object weighed 10 N and we applied a lift of 4 N the net force down would be 6N and this is also the normal force. The normal force is always equal to the NET force applied to the table.Friction is always parallel to the surfaces, in the opposite direction that a sideways force is applied to make the object move. So if you pull the cup of water to the right the friction works against you and is a force to the left.The force of friction is related to the normal force. The greater the normal force the greater the compression between the surfaces and the greater the force of friction. We measure the force of friction, label it Fr, and compare it to the Normal force, labeled Fn. The ratio of the Fr to Fn is called µ (the Greek letter mu). Once we know u we can use that to determine the force of friction once we know the normal force. This ratio, µ, is called the coefficient of friction.When the object being studied is not moving we have a STATIC situation and the coefficient is labeled µs. When the object is moving we have a KINETIC situation and the coefficient of friction will have different value, we label it µk.In general, µ = Procedure: 1. Calibrate your spring scale. Holding it vertically adjust it to read 0. 2. Weigh the cups, you can put a small in the side near the top to attached to the scale. 3. To determine the Normal force add the weight of the cup to the weight of the water; 1 ml of water weighs 1 g.Data:

Cup

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Weight (g)

Plastic

Styrofoam

Paper

Frictional Forces
 Use the following volumes of water for the three cup types.
Cup typeVolume 1 (ml)Volume 2 (ml)Plastic300150Styrofoam200100Paper10050Kinetic friction. In this experiment you will measure the kinetic coefficient of friction for the three cups. This will be done for 2 values of normal force for each cup and each experiment will have five trials. Tie a string around the cup and place near the bottom. You will gently pull with a spring scale attached to the string and measure force required to move the cup at a slow but steady (constant velocity) rate. This force is called the applied force. It will equal the force of friction, Fr, if there is non-accelerated motion. When a object is not accelerated it is either not moving at all or moving with a constant velocity.
Make a note on any changes in the applied force after the cup begins to move compared to the value just before the cup moved.ResultsData tables for the friction experiment:Plastic cup

Trial

Applied force with 200 ml of water

Applied force with 100 ml of water

Applied force/Normal force (200ml)

Applied force/Normal force (100ml)

1

2

3

4

5

Average

Styrofoam cupTrialApplied force with 200 ml of waterApplied force with 100 ml of waterApplied force/Normal force (200ml)Applied force/Normal force (100ml)12345AveragePaper cup

Trial

Applied force with 200 ml of water

Applied force with 100 ml of water

Applied force/Normal force (200ml)

Applied force/Normal force (100ml)

1

2

3

4

5

Average

Experiment 2  Air Friction.Air Resistance Procedure  Follow this procedure, not the one outlined in the eScience manual
1. Take a single coffee filter and flatten it out.
2. Hold the filter with both hands away from your body at roughly the height of your head. Measure the drop height.
3. Practice dropping the filter so that it descends in a reasonably smooth fashion.
4. Time five (5) drops. If possible, have a partner help you with the timings.
5. Enter the drop times in the table provided in this document and calculate the average.
6. From the average drop time, calculate the average speed of descent. Show your calculation in the Analysis section of this document.
7. Use small pieces of tape to stick all of the filters together. My kit came with three filters.
8. Repeat steps 1-6 with the super filter.
revisedlab4pdf_file.pdf

Unformatted Attachment Preview

Lab Assignment 4: Frictional Forces
Instructors Overview
In many physics problems involving Newtons laws of motion, youll see
statements like, assume a frictionless surface or neglecting air resistance
In this lab we will be exploring both friction and air resistance, two resistive forces
that are critical in the design of real-world products and systems. Understanding
the effects of these types of forces is essential in the design of such things as
aircraft, automobiles, braking systems, and countless other objects.
This activity is based on Lab 7 of the eScience Lab kit. Although you should read
all of the content in Lab 7, we will be performing a targeted subset of the eScience
experiments.
Our lab consists of two main components. These components are described in
detail in the eScience manual. Here is a quick overview:
 In the first part of the lab, you will measure the force it takes to pull objects
of different mass. This experiment focuses on the effects of frictional
forces. (eScience Experiment 1)
 In the second part of the lab, you will investigate the effects of air
resistance by performing controlled drops of coffee filters.
Notes:
o Please follow the instructions in this document for the air resistance
experiment.
o Record all of your data in the tables that are provided in this document.
Take detailed notes as you perform the experiment and fill out the sections
descriptions of your experimental methods and observations.
Abstract
Experiment 1  Friction Between Surfaces.
Experiment Tips and Procedures:
Theory: Friction is the force caused by the contact of surfaces such as a cup of
water on a table or by a fluid moving against a structure such as the wind blowing
against a windmill.
The amount of force in the friction between a cup of water and the table depends
on how much force is compressing the cup and table together. Thinking of
Newtons 3rd law we recall that the weight of the cup pushes down on the table
and the table pushes equally on the cup. We use the force of table pushing up
on the cup and call this the normal force, normal because the vector angle is 90
degrees to the surface of the table.
It some cases it would not be correct to just use the weight of the object on the
table. For example, we might be lifting up on that object and this lift counters
some of the weight. If the object weighed 10 N and we applied a lift of 4 N the
net force down would be 6N and this is also the normal force. The normal force
is always equal to the NET force applied to the table.
Friction is always parallel to the surfaces, in the opposite direction that a
sideways force is applied to make the object move. So if you pull the cup of
water to the right the friction works against you and is a force to the left.
The force of friction is related to the normal force. The greater the normal force
the greater the compression between the surfaces and the greater the force of
friction. We measure the force of friction, label it Fr, and compare it to the
Normal force, labeled Fn. The ratio of the Fr to Fn is called µ (the Greek letter
mu). Once we know u we can use that to determine the force of friction once we
know the normal force. This ratio, µ, is called the coefficient of friction.
When the object being studied is not moving we have a STATIC situation and the
coefficient is labeled µs. When the object is moving we have a KINETIC
situation and the coefficient of friction will have different value, we label it µk.
In general, µ =
Procedure:
2. Weigh the cups, you can put a small in the side near the top to attached to
the scale.
3. To determine the Normal force add the weight of the cup to the weight of
the water; 1 ml of water weighs 1 g.
Data:
Cup
Plastic
Styrofoam
Paper
Weight (g)
Frictional Forces

Use the following volumes of water for the three cup types.
Cup type
Plastic
Styrofoam
Paper
Volume 1 (ml)
300
200
100
Volume 2 (ml)
150
100
50
Kinetic friction.
In this experiment you will measure the kinetic coefficient of friction for the
three cups. This will be done for 2 values of normal force for each cup and each
experiment will have five trials.
Tie a string around the cup and place near the bottom. You will gently pull
with a spring scale attached to the string and measure force required to move the
cup at a slow but steady (constant velocity) rate. This force is called the applied
force. It will equal the force of friction, Fr, if there is non-accelerated motion.
When a object is not accelerated it is either not moving at all or moving with a
constant velocity.
Make a note on any changes in the applied force after the cup begins to move
compared to the value just before the cup moved.
Results
Data tables for the friction experiment:
Plastic cup
Trial
1
2
3
4
5
Applied
force with
200 ml of
water
Applied
force with
100 ml of
water
Applied
Applied
force/Normal force/Normal
force (200ml) force (100ml)
Average
Styrofoam cup
Trial
Applied
force with
200 ml of
water
Applied
force with
100 ml of
water
Applied
Applied
force/Normal force/Normal
force (200ml) force (100ml)
Applied
force with
200 ml of
water
Applied
force with
100 ml of
water
Applied
Applied
force/Normal force/Normal
force (200ml) force (100ml)
1
2
3
4
5
Average
Paper cup
Trial
1
2
3
4
5
Average
Experiment 2  Air Friction.
Air Resistance Procedure  Follow this procedure, not the one outlined in the
eScience manual
1. Take a single coffee filter and flatten it out.
2. Hold the filter with both hands away from your body at roughly the height of
3. Practice dropping the filter so that it descends in a reasonably smooth
fashion.
4. Time five (5) drops. If possible, have a partner help you with the timings.
5. Enter the drop times in the table provided in this document and calculate the
average.
6. From the average drop time, calculate the average speed of descent. Show
your calculation in the Analysis section of this document.
7. Use small pieces of tape to stick all of the filters together. My kit came with
three filters.
8. Repeat steps 1-6 with the super filter.
Data tables for the air resistance experiment:
Single filter
Trial
1
2
3
4
5
Average
Drop time (sec)
Analysis
Starting with the standard drop equation:
general acceleration value, a.
y=½a
solving for a gives
y = ½ g we replace g with the more
a=
Showing your work calculate a for the single filter and multi-filter.
Analysis and Discussion
Friction Experiment
Using the average values for the 5 trials in each experiment calculate the
coefficient of friction for the 3 cups with both 200 ml and 100 ml of water.
questions:
What happened to your applied force Fapp as you decreased the amount of
How do the experimentally determined ratios of the applied and normal forces
compare between cup types. Did additional weight significantly change the
ratios?
How would you determine the static coefficient of friction?
Air Resistance Experiment
Draw a free body diagram for the falling coffee filter. Using the vectors from the
diagram write an equation for the net force, Fnet.
Calculate the fall time of the filters assuming no air resistance. How does this fall
time compare with the average fall times of the single and multi-filters?
We have assumed an accelerated motion. Without using video data how could
you determine that the motion is accelerated and not one with a constant
velocity?
Why does the combination reach a higher velocity? To answer this question, use
your free body diagram of the falling filter and Newtons second law to write an
equation for the net force on the falling filter. Solve this equation for the
acceleration and note how it depends on the mass of the falling object.
Instructors comment:
When air friction is a significant factor the equations of motion are much more
complex and sometimes require methods on numerical analysis, that is, simple
algebra wont solve the equations. For many objects, especially noted are round
objects such as baseballs, the force of friction depends on the square of the
velocity. In many cases a falling object will reach a steady velocity, called the
terminal velocity. In the case of a sky diver in a spread-eagle form that will be
about 120 mph and in a tuck position it will increase to about 200 mph. With a
cute deployed it can be just a few miles per hour. A bullet fired straight up (never
do that) will return with a velocity of about 110 mph.
Conclusions
References

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