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The goal of this lab is to reproduce the position-time graph for an object that is accelerating, using a simple car and a metronome.

  1. Set up a single car on a track. Prop the track up on a textbook, so that if released the car will go slightly down the track.
  2. Get a metronome. The easiest way is with Google metronome.
  3. Set the metronome to 120 bpm. This means that it will tick twice a second. (If more than one group is completing the lab at once, it is best if they share a metronome.)
  4. Place the car on top of the track. Let go of the cart on a tick, and catch it on the next tick. Measure how far the car went. This is the distance it traveled after 1 tick.
  5. Place the car on top of the track. Let go of the cart on a tick, and catch it after two ticks. Measure how far the car went. This is the distance it traveled after 2 tick.
  6. Repeat the process from above to fill out the following table. For each number of ticks, measure the distance. The time is the number of ticks divided by two (because there are two ticks per second).
  7. Using data from the table, create a graph of position-time. The position is the distance traveled, in centimeters.
  8. Based on your graph, what is the motion of the car as it moves down the ramp?
    1. moving at a constant speed
    2. speeding up
    3. slowing down
    4. not moving
  9. Write a one-paragraph analysis for this lab. In your analysis, you must connect the shape of the position-time graph you determined to the motion of the car.