Physics 1 Laboratory - Mechanics

Within the scope of PHYS 103L Physics I Laboratory course, student teams conduct and report several experiments such as Basic Measurements, Newton's Laws, Hooke's Law, Centrifugal Force, Projectile Motion, Conservation of Momentum in Collisions, Basic Pendulum, Moment of Inertia and Angular Motion of a Rotating Disc, and Inclined Plane experiments.

The experiments in the field of mechanics are based on the measurement of time, period and force using proper tools. These measurements are used in order to determine the speed, velocity, acceleration and period of the objects in motion. With the help of physics laws, some physical quantities are determined following these measurements compared with those obtained from theoretical approaches.


1- Basic Measurements
Caliper gauges, micrometers and spherometers are used for the accurate measurement of lengths, thicknesses, diameters and curvatures. Measuring procedures, accuracy of measurement and reading accuracy are demonstrated.

2- Newton's Laws
The distance-time law, the velocity-time law and the relationship between mass, acceleration and force are determined for uniformly accelerated motion in a straight line.

3- Hooke's Law
The validity of Hooke's law is determined for two helical springs with different spring constants. The elongation of the helical spring, which depends on the deforming force, is studied by means of the weights of masses. For comparison, a rubber band, for which no proportionality exists between the exerted force and the resulting elongation, is submitted to the same forces.

4- Centrifugal Force
A body with variable mass moves on a circular path with adjustable radius and variable angular velocity. The centrifugal force of the body will be measured as a function of these parameters.

5- Projectile Motion
A steel ball is fired by a spring at different velocities and at different angles to the horizontal. The relationships between the range, the height of projection, the angle of inclination and the firing velocity are determined.

6- Conservation of Momentum in Collisions
The velocities of two gliders, moving without friction on an air-cushion track, are measured before and after collision, for both elastic and inelastic collision.

7- Basic Pendulum
A mass, considered as of point form, suspended on a thread and subjected to the force of gravity, is deflected from its position of rest. The period of the oscillation thus produced is measured as a function of the thread length and the angle of deflection.

8- Moment of Inertia and Angular Motion Of a Rotating Disc
A moment acts on a body, which can be rotated about a bearing without friction. The moment of inertia is determined from the angular acceleration.

9- Inclined Plane
Measuring the velocity of the car on an inclined plane under some force. Finding the equilibrium force for a wooden and plastic blocks, and determining the coefficients of friction.