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In the Rotational Motion and Angular Momentum Inquiry Lab Kit for AP® Physics 1, study the rates of falling masses and use this knowledge in a two-part experiment.

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AP Physics 1, Big Ideas 3 4, Investigation 11

From spinning ice skaters to gears to tires to the huge Ferris wheels at amusement parks, rotational motion and angular momentum are all around us. What equations define the relationship of these properties of motion?

In this advanced-inquiry lab, students first conduct a series of experiments designed to investigate the connections between rotational motion and angular momentum. By studying the rates of falling masses connected to a multi-pulley coaxial wheel and axle, these relationships are revealed. In part two, the students use this knowledge in a guided-inquiry challenge lab. They must select the proper pulley and hanging mass combination that results in the hanging mass taking exactly 4.00 seconds to strike the ground!

Complete for 24 students working in groups of four. Support stands, clamps and weights are required and available separately. All materials are reusable.

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Developing and using models
Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Using mathematics and computational thinking
Constructing explanations and designing solutions

Disciplinary Core Ideas

HS-PS2.A: Forces and Motion
HS-PS3.A: Definitions of Energy
HS-PS3.B: Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer

Crosscutting Concepts

Patterns
Cause and effect
Scale, proportion, and quantity
Energy and matter

Performance Expectations

HS-PS2-1. Analyze data to support the claim that Newton’s second law of motion describes the mathematical relationship among the net force on a macroscopic object, its mass, and its acceleration.
HS-PS2-2. Use mathematical representations to support the claim that the total momentum of a system of objects is conserved when there is no net force on the system.
HS-PS3-2. Develop and use models to illustrate that energy at the macroscopic scale can be accounted for as a combination of energy associated with the motion of particles (objects) and energy associated with the relative position of particles (objects).
HS-PS2-3. Apply scientific and engineering ideas to design, evaluate, and refine a device that minimizes the force on a macroscopic object during a collision.
HS-PS3-1. Create a computational model to calculate the change in the energy of one component in a system when the change in energy of the other component(s) and energy flows in and out of the system are known.