The coefficient of kinetic friction will be determined from acceleration. Using a Motion Detector, you can measure the acceleration of the block as it slides to a stop. This acceleration can be determined from the velocity vs. time graph. While sliding, the only force acting on the block in the horizontal direction is that of friction. From the mass of the block and its acceleration, you can find the frictional force and finally, the coefficient of kinetic friction.
1. Setup the experiment with a Motion Sensor clamped to the end of your bench. Load the relevant experiment from a link under web browser favorites. The software will show two graphs: distance/time and velocity/time.
2. Test sliding the block toward the Motion Detector so that the block leaves your hand and slides to a stop. Minimize the rotation of the block. After it leaves your hand, the block should slide about meter before it stops and should not come any closer to the Motion Detector than half meter.
3. Test collecting data by clicking software "Collect" button and give the block a push so that it slides toward the Motion Detector. The velocity graph should have a portion with a linearly decreasing section corresponding to the freely sliding motion of the block.
4. Test analyzing the linear region of your velocity/time graph. Select a region that shows the linear decreasing speed of the block (dragging the mouse over this section). The slope of this section of the velocity graph is the acceleration. Determine the slope by clicking the Linear Regression button.
5. Record in your notes an example sketch of the graph and this value of acceleration.
1. Setup a data table for recording acceleration of three trials with different masses. (For each mass, do three trials.)
2. Conduct the experiment and collect data for a range of masses (at least five different masses)