III. Analysis

From Newton's laws of motion, the acceleration of the glider is given by

where m1 is the mass of the cart and the black block together (so the total mass sliding on the track), m2 is the mass of the weight hanger and any weights placed on it (the hanging mass) and g is the local value for the acceleration due to gravity, or 9.7963 m/s2.  

A.    Use the null hypothesis to determine how well your 2 values for the acceleration of the cart, obtained in the experiment, agree with one another. You are looking for consistency within experiments (a test of kinematics). Is the difference between the two values statistically significant?

B.     Use the null hypothesis to determine how well your pair of experimental values for the acceleration of the cart agrees with the theoretical value. Can you think of some factors that might be responsible for a systematic difference between theoretical and measured values? Do you think a lighter or heavier cart would yield better agreement with the theoretical values for the acceleration? Can you think of a reason why this might be the case?

Note: there are two graphs and three null tests required:

1. Experimental Value (1) with Experimental Value (2)

2. Experimental Value (1) with Theory

3. Experimental Value (2) with Theory