(Pre-Labs must be submitted to the Physics lab on separate paper (not in your notebook)
as you come into the lab. See Lab Points)
*** Steps of this prelab are intended to lead you through understanding vectors ***
(check your textbook for help in understanding vectors)
1. Begin by preparing this unique data set for yourself of vector magnitude and direction.
- Write down your student number
- Write down the last three non-zero digits of your student number as a value for "C".
(for example 203304007 would yield 347)
- Calculate the vector magnitude components as: Mx = C, My = C/2
- Calculate the vector position components as: Px = -C/3, Py = -C/4
- Unit for C is Newton
2. Draw the vector on graph paper with an appropriate scale including the origin (pick some up from the Physics lab - check the counter just outside the lab door or as a last resort you may remove a page from the back of your notebook.)
Start by outlining an xy-axis to the left and bottom of the graph paper. The axis labels are "x-position" and "y-position".
Determine and add a scale for plotting your vector on the graph with the origin included as part of the graph. Build the scale around your vector. Appropriate scaling will use intervals that are simple (such as in 1's, 2's, 4's or 5's), covering most of the page and showing the vector as large as possible. Note, scaling intervals in multiples of 3 is a poor increment to use.
Draw the vector on your graph. The vector is drawn as an arrow starting at location (Px , Py) with a length and direction as indicated by the magnitude (Mx , My). Note the magnitude components are not the end location of the arrow head but rather need to be added to the vector position position to locate the arrow head..
Add a title to your graph. All graphs have titles. Use a descriptive title (avoiding using "versus" in the title).
3. Calculate the magnitude of the vector from the vector components of Mx and My (using Pythagoras). Indicate the resultant value on your vector graph. Note, magnitude has units.
4. Calculate the angular direction of the resultant vector (using trig). Note, angle by convention is usually determined from the positive x direction. Indicate the angle you determined on your vector graph.