Experiment: Mass on a string
A mass hanging between two strings has become a standard textbook problem for investigating the 1st condition for equilibrium, the vector sum of all forces must be zero. This is usually done by resolving forces into their xy components at the center connection point and considering the x and y directions independently.
Setup the experiment as in the figure with a 500g mass. Arrange the mass such that the experiment is not symmetric (length and angle of string to each side is different).
- Sketch the setup into your notes.
- Use a protractor to measure all angles. From the spring balances, measure the tension in the strings.
- Draw a free body diagram and include all your measurements.
- From the measured forces and angles, determine the vertical components of the tension in the strings.
- Compare the magnitudes the force due to the hanging mass to the total vertical force due to string tension. Compare by taking the absolute difference as well as a percent difference.
- Write down a concluding sentence that compares expected to measured.
- Repeat the experiment with a 700g mass on the string. Just take the measurements for this and leave the calculations for a future time.