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NAMES Adam Shaffer

FRICTION LAB
Honors Physics

Julian Gregorio

Friction
PURPOSE:

After completing this experiment, you should be able to describe what factors affect the coefficient of
friction between two surfaces.

EQUIPMENT: Level plane, spring scale, wooden block, sandpaper, string, platform (or digital) balance, masses.
PROCEDURE:
1.

Set up your apparatus as seen in the picture: Make sure your board is
horizontal. Place the block on the larger (broader) wood side.

2.

Make a Free-Body-Diagram (FBD):

Drag, rotate, and label the arrows to show all the force acting
on the block as you pull it.

Fnormal
Ffriction

Fpull
Fgravity

Part 1: Wooden Surface: (Table 1)


3.
4.

5.

Data Table #1: Wooden surface

Find the mass of your block using the balances. Convert this to
kilograms and place this in data table #1 as the mass for trial 1.

Trial

Mass (kg)

F pull (N)

Pull the block so that it moves at a constant velocity across the board.
The scale should show a steady reading. Place your scale reading in
the data table.

.110kg

.25N

.210kg

.50N

Add at least 100 g to the block and find the force needed to pull the
block at a constant velocity again. Repeat this 2 more times, each time
changing the mass of the block by at least 100 g. Record your scale
readings in table #1.

.310kg

.70N

.410kg

.80N

Caution!
Do NOT pull the block at an angle.
You will not get accurate results.

Part 2: Sandpaper: (Table 2)

Data Table #2: Sandpaper surface

6.

Now, place your block on the sandpaper side with no masses on it.

Trial

Mass (kg)

F pull (N)

7.

Pull the block so that it moves at a constant velocity, and record the
scale reading. (trial 5)

.110kg

.3N

8.

Add at least 100 g to the block and find the force needed to pull the
block at a constant velocity again. Repeat this 2 more times, each
time changing the mass of the block by at least 100 g. Record your
scale readings in table #2.

.210kg

.8N

.310kg

1.25N

.410kg

1.85N

Data Table #3: Narrow Wooden surface

Part 3: Narrow Wooden Surface: (Table 3)


9.

Now, place your block on the narrow wooden side with no masses
on it.

10.

Pull the block so that it moves at a constant velocity, and record


the scale reading. (trial 5)

11.

Add at least 100 g to the block and find the force needed to pull
the block at a constant velocity again. Repeat this 2 more times,
each time changing the mass of the block by at least 100 g. Record
your scale readings in table #3.

Trial

Mass (kg)

F pull (N)

.110kg

.15N

10

.210kg

.35N

11

.310kg

.6N

12

.410kg

.8N

CALCULATIONS:
1.

2.

Copy the forces


(Fpull) into the
right.
Fill in the
your friction force.

If you pull the block

Trial

pulling the block

F gravity

.25

.25

1.079

.5

.5

2.060

.7

.7

3.041

.8

.8

4.022

acceleration.

.3

1.079

.8

.8

2.060

1.25

1.25

3.041

1.85

1.85

4.022

friction.

F normal

1.07
9
2.06
0
3.04
1
4.02
2

Average for trials 1 through 4 =

.3

force of
(Look back at the
help.)

F friction

there is no net force,


If this is true, then

F pull

1.07
9
2.06
0
3.04
1
4.02
2

Find your
your mass (in

Find your
weight.
(Look back at the
help.)

.15

.15

1.079

10

.35

.35

2.060

4.

11

.6

.6

3.041

12

.8

.8

4.022

.232
.243

from the spring scale


calculation table to the

blanks below and find

.230
.199

at a constant velocity,

.226

and therefore no

.278

the force you are

.388
.411

with is equal to the

free-body diagram for

.460
.384

Average for trials 5 through 8 =


3.

1.07
9
2.06
0
3.04
1
4.02
2

Average for trials 9 through 12 =

.139

weight by multiplying
Kilograms) by 9.81.

.169
normal force from your

.197

free-body diagram for

.199
.176

5.

Using the
calculate your coefficient of friction ().

equation,

F friction
FNormal

QUESTIONS:
Note:

1.

We have very limited data to work with. A Change needs to be significant a change of 0.1 or more is
probably significant, but a much smaller change, probably is not.

How did the force of friction change as you added mass in each part?
Part 1

Part 2

In part one our data


was a bit sporadic
and didnt give us
clear enough info.

Part 3

Coefficient increased
as mass did.

Coefficient increased
as mass did.

2. Does the weight (or mass) of the block affect ? Support you answer using specific examples from your data.

Yes. The more mass the block has the more friction occurs do to the gravity
increasing making it harder for the block to move across the surface. This is
shown in part 2 and 3 where our coefficient of friction increases.
3.

Compare the s for each part.


Part 2 vs. Part 1

The coefficient is much more in


part two due to the surface being
much more rough creating more
drag.

Part 3 vs. Part 1

With less surface area in part 3,


the friction was much less.

4. Upon what does (the coefficient of friction) depend?

On friction and normal force which is also depend on the mass and gravity.

5. Upon what does the frictional force (FF) on an object depend?

The amount of pull and the mass which also plays a role in gravity.