Constructing and Using Graphs

Materials: Computer and School Network

Time Allotment: 5 Class Days

Purpose:

The purpose of this lab is to investigate the relationship between the key features of p-t, v-t and a-t graphs and the characteristics of a motion and to apply these relationships to analyze the motion of several objects.

Getting Started:

  1. Log on to the student server in the usual manner.
  2. Open the Math/Science folder; then open the Science Apps folder; open the Physics folder.
  3. Once the Physics Explorer-One Body application; chose Open... from the File menu.
  4. A directory dialogue box should appear. Open the Physics 163 folder, the Unit 1 folder, the Constructing Graphs folder, and finally the Const. V/Object-Pos. file by double-clicking on its icon.

    Upon completing the above procedure, a Physics Explorer file will open up and three separate windows will be displayed on the monitor. The top window (titled Const. V/Object-Pos.) will model/simulate the motion of the object. The window in the middle (titled Graph Window) will display a graphical representation of the object's motion. The bottom window (titled Navigation Window) contains buttons which will allow the user to automatically see the next type of motion.

Running the Simulations:

On the left side of the model/simulation window, there is a panel of tools which are important to the operation of this lab. The top three tools in the panel are Control tools which are used to control the simulation. The top tool is the GO Tool. Clicking once on the GO Tool will run the simulation from the beginning. The second tool in the panel is the STOP Tool. Clicking on the STOP Tool pauses the simulation. Double-clicking on the STOP Tool will reset the simulation to its initial state. The third tool in the panel is the CONTINUE Tool. Clicking on the CONTINUE Tool (which works only if the STOP Tool has been clicked) will allow the simulation to continue from where it left off before being stopped. Try experimenting with these three tools, observing how they are useful in controlling the simulation.

Observing the Simulations:

Predict the shape of the curves which might result when an object moves with constant velocity in the positive direction. Run the simulation and observe the graphs in the Graph Window. In the data section, draw the appropriate shape of the graphs which result when an object moves with constant velocity in the positive direction.

Repeat the above procedure for the next type of motion: an object moving with constant velocity in the negative direction. To access the simulation for this motion click on the button titled Const. V/Object-Neg. Be sure to make a prediction of the shape of the graph prior to running the simulation. Repeat this procedure for all six types of motion.

Data:

Constant Velocity

Moving in + Direction

Constant Velocity

Moving in - Direction

Constant + Accel'n

Moving in + Direction

Constant - Accel'n

Moving in + Direction

Constant - Accel'n

Moving in - Direction

Constant - Accel'n

Moving in + Direction

Drawing Generalizations:

1. In the table below, identify the basic shape (straight/horizontal, straight/diagonal, curved) of the three different graphs for motions which are constant velocity and constant acceleration.

Pos.-time Graphs

Vel.-time Graphs

Acc.-time Graphs

Constant

Velocity

 

_______________

 

_______________

 

_______________

Constant

Acceleration

 

_______________

 

_______________

 

_______________

2. Explain how a positive velocity is distinguished from a negative velocity (if at all) by each of the three types of graphs.

Pos.-time Graphs

Vel.-time Graphs

Acc.-time Graphs

Positive

Velocity

 

_______________

 

_______________

 

_______________

Negative

Velocity

 

_______________

 

_______________

 

_______________

3. Explain how a negative acceleration is distinguished from a positive acceleration (if at all) by each of the three types of graphs.

Pos.-time Graphs

Vel.-time Graphs

Acc.-time Graphs

Positive

Acceleration

 

_______________

 

_______________

 

_______________

Negative

Acceleration

 

_______________

 

_______________

 

_______________

 

Application of Understanding:

Read the following descriptions of motion. Sketch the appropriate graph. Include some markings on the axis of the graphs to indicate key values of time, position, and velocity. Answer each of the given question. Show your work for each question.

  1. Wyatt Happens is traveling at +25.0 m/sec for 10 seconds. Wyatt accelerates at +0.50 m/sec/sec for 10 seconds. Sketch a velocity-time graph for Wyatt's motion. Use the graph to determine the distance traveled by Wyatt during the last 10 seconds.

     

     

     

     

  2. Lon Moar is walking south at 2.0 m/sec for 10 seconds. He has a northward acceleration of 1 m/sec/sec for 7 seconds and then runs north at 5.0 m/sec for 4 seconds. Sketch a velocity-time graph for Lon's motion. Use the graph to determine the distance which Lon Moar moves.

     

     

     

     

  3. Otto Body is riding at 15 m/sec for 10 seconds. Otto then accelerates at +1.0 m/sec/sec for 5 seconds. Otto then travels at a constant velocity for 10 seconds. Represent Otto Body's motion with a velocity-time graph. Use the graph to determine the distance which Otto travels during the 25 seconds.

     

     

     

     

  4. Rennata Gas is driving through town at 25.0 m/sec for 5 seconds. Rennata Gas begins to deaccelerate at a constant rate of -1.0 m/sec/sec. Eventually Rennata comes to a complete stop. Represent Rennata's motion with a velocity-time graph. Calculate the distance which Rennata travels while deaccelerating. Represent this distance on the velocity-time graph.

     

     

     

     

  5. Otto Emissions is driving his car at 25.0 m/sec for 5 seconds. Otto accelerates at +2.0 m/sec/sec for 5 seconds. Otto then maintains a constant velocity for 10 more seconds. Sketch a velocity-time graph for Otto Emission's motion. Use the graph to determine the distance which Otto traveled during the last 10 seconds.

     

     

     

     

  6. Luke Autbeloe jumps off the edge of a cliff with an initial upward velocity of +50.0 m/sec. Luke accelerates with a constant downward acceleration of -10.0 m/sec/sec. Sketch a velocity-time graph for the first 15 seconds of Luke's motion. Indicate this time on the graph.

     

     

     

     

  7. Justin Time accelerates from rest at a rate of +3.0 m/sec/sec for 5 seconds. Justin then travels at a constant velocity of 15.0 m/sec for 5 seconds. Justin then decelerates at -1 m/sec/sec to a final rest position. Sketch a position-time and a velocity-time graph for Justin Case's motion.

     

     

     

     

  8. Scotty Beameup travels upward at a constant velocity of +2.0 m/sec for 5 seconds. Scotty then accelerates upward at a rate of +1.0 m/sec/sec for 10 seconds. Then Scotty travels upward at a constant velocity of +12.0 m/sec for 5 seconds. Sketch a position-time and a velocity-time graph for Scotty Beameup's motion. Determine the total distance traveled by Scotty during thses 20 seconds.

     

     

     

     

  9. Rhoda Bicycle is traveling east with a constant velocity of 5.0 m/sec for 5 seconds. Rhoda then accelerates at a rate of -1.0 m/sec/sec for 10.0 seconds. Sketch a position-time and a velocity-time graph for Rhoda Bicycle's motion.

     

     

     

     

  10. Willie Makitt accelerates from rest at a rate of +2.0 m/sec/sec for 5 seconds. Willie then decelerates at -1 m/sec/sec until he is stopped. Willie stops for 5 seconds and then accelerates for 10 seconds at a rate of -1.0 m/sec/sec. Sketch a position-time and a velocity-time graph for Willie Makitt's motion. Determine the total disance which Willie moves during this entire time.

     

     

     

     

  11. Chuck Wagon travels with a constant velocity of 0.5 mile/minute for 10 minutes. Chuck then (de)accelerates at -.25 mile/min/min for 2 minutes. Sketch a position-time and a velocity-time graph for Chuck Wagon's motion.

     

     

     

     

  12. Robin Banks travels north with a velocity of 10.0 m/sec for 5 seconds. Robin then (de)accelerates to rest in 2 seconds. Robin then turns around and accelerates southward at 4 m/sec/sec for 2 seconds. Finally, he travels south at 8.0 m/sec for 10 seconds. Sketch a position-time and a velocity-time graph for Robin Bank's motion.

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion:

In the space below, state a conclusion for this lab which summarizes the information learned about all three types of graphs (position vs. time and velocity vs. time and acceleration vs. time) for both types of motion (constant and changing velocity). Write clearly and specifically. Do a bang-up job.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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This page created by Tom Henderson and last updated on 11/16/98.