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# Newton's Second Law Tutorial

Work through the tutorial by clicking the image or link below, then answer the questions below. Newton's Second Law Tutorial

Part A
Object A has three times the mass of object B. Identical forces are exerted on the two objects. Which statement is true?

## Hint 1. Newtons Second Law

Use Newtons second law, F = ma, to determine how the acceleration depends on the objects mass. ANSWER: The speeds of the two objects are equal after 2 seconds. The acceleration of object B is three times that of object A. The accelerations of the two objects are equal. The speed of object A is three times that of object B after 3 seconds.

Correct
Since F = ma, the acceleration is given by a = F/m, so the object with the lower mass has a higher acceleration.

Part B
A parachutist is falling toward the ground. The downward force of gravity is exactly equal to the upward force of air resistance. Which statement is true?

## Hint 1. Relationship between acceleration and net force

What is the net force on the parachutist? Is the resulting acceleration upward, zero, or downward? ANSWER: The velocity of the parachutist must be zero. The velocity of the parachutist is increasing with time. The velocity of the parachutist is not changing with time. The velocity of the parachutist is decreasing with time.

Correct
Since the net force is zero, the parachutists acceleration is zero, so the velocity is constant in time.

Part C
A kilogram is a measure of an objects __________. ANSWER: mass weight gravity force

Correct
An object far from any source of gravity still has mass, even if no forces of gravity are acting on it.

Part D
A person who weighs 800 N (about 180 pounds) is standing on a scale inside an elevator. The elevator is moving upward yet slowing down. The reading on the scale is __________.

## Hint 1. Determining the acceleration and direction of the net force

What direction is the persons acceleration? Remember that the net force (due to gravity pulling down and the scale pushing up) is in the same direction as the acceleration.

## ANSWER: less than 800 N greater than 800 N equal to 800 N

Correct
Since the scale is pushing upward with a strength less than the force of gravity, the net force is directed downward, causing the person to decelerate.

Part E
A person who weighs 800 N is squatting on a scale. Suddenly he starts jumping, extending his legs as quickly as possible, so that he can jump into the air. As the person is in the process of jumping (accelerating upward) the reading of the scale is ____________.

## Hint 1. Direction of net force

In what direction is the net force acting on the person? ANSWER: greater than 800 N equal to 800 N less than 800 N

Correct
Since the person is accelerating upward, the scale must be pushing upward more strongly than the force of gravity.

Part F
A bowling ball and a small marble will fall downward to the surface of the Moon at the same rate. Why?

## Hint 1. Newtons Second Law

Use Newtons second law, F = ma, to consider how the acceleration of a falling object depends on the force of gravity and mass. ANSWER:

The force of gravity on an object in a vacuum is zero. The ratio of the force of gravity exerted on an object to the objects mass is the same. The force of gravity is the same for each object.

Correct
The acceleration is given by a = F/m, so all objects fall at the same rate since the force of gravity is proportional to the objects mass.

Part G
Two identical twins are falling toward the ground. The twin in the green jumpsuit is going down head first, and the twin in the red jumpsuit is going down belly first. The two twins have the same mass. Which twin reaches the fastest terminal velocity?

## Hint 1. Terminal Velocity

The terminal velocity occurs when the upward force of wind resistance equals (in strength) the downward force of gravity. How does wind resistance depend on the surface area of the falling object? ANSWER: the twin in the red jumpsuit the twin in the green jumpsuit Both twins have the same terminal velocity.

Correct
Since the twin in the green jumpsuit (going head first) has a smaller surface area plowing through the air, she must fall faster in order for the force of air resistance to have the same strength as the force of gravity.

Part H
Two parachutists have identical parachutes open and are falling toward the ground. The parachutist with the red jumpsuit is much more massive than the parachutist with the blue jumpsuit. How do the terminal velocities of the two parachutists compare?

## Hint 1. Terminal Velocity

The terminal velocity occurs when the force of wind resistance balances the force of gravity. ANSWER:

The blue parachutist has a higher terminal velocity. Both parachutists have the same terminal velocity. The red parachutist has a higher terminal velocity.

Correct
Since the red parachutist is more massive, he experiences a stronger force of gravity acting downward. In order for the wind resistance to balance this stronger force, he must have a faster terminal velocity.

## Video Tutor: Tension in String between Hanging Weights

First, launch the video below. You will be asked to use your knowledge of physics to predict the outcome of an experiment. Then, close the video window and answer the question at right. You can watch the video again at any point.

Part A
Consider the video tutorial you just watched. Suppose that we duplicate this experimental setup in an elevator. What will the spring scale read if the elevator is moving upward at constant speed?

## Hint 1. How to approach the problem

What does the phrase "at constant speed" imply about the acceleration of the system? ANSWER: 0 Less than 18 18 More than 18 but greater than 0

Correct
Since the elevator is not accelerating, the reading on the scale is the same as in the video.

## Video Tutor: Chin Basher?

First, launch the video below. You will be asked to use your knowledge of physics to predict the outcome of an experiment. Then, close the video window and answer the question at right. You can watch the video again at any point.

Part A
Suppose our experimenter repeats his experiment on a planet more massive than Earth, where the acceleration due to gravity is . When he releases the ball from chin height without giving it a push, how will the ball's behavior differ from its behavior on Earth? Ignore friction and air resistance. (Select all that apply.)

## Hint 1. How to approach the problem

To answer this question, you must evaluate how a change in affects the pendulums trajectory (choices A and B), period (choices C and D), and mass (choice E). Trajectory: Here, the key is energy conservation. Think about how kinetic and potential energy interchange as a pendulum swings. For the pendulum to return to a position higher than its starting point, the system of the pendulum and planet would have to gain mechanical energy. Where would that energy come from? (The same argument applies to choice B.) Period: You can answer this question by seeing whether the equation for the period of a pendulum includes . Or you can use reasoning. A greater downward acceleration will cause the pendulum to reach the bottom of its swing more quickly. What does that say about the pendulums total period? Mass : The pendulum will weigh more on the massive planet. Will it have more mass? ANSWER:

It will take more time to return to the point from which it was released. Its mass will be greater. It will stop well short of his face. It will smash his face. It will take less time to return to the point from which it was released.

Correct
The pendulum will swing back and forth more quickly (with a shorter period) because it is oscillating in a stronger gravitational field than that on Earth.

Video: Friction
Watch the video and then answer the following questions.

Part A
After he gets the block to move, what does Dr. Hewitt do to drag the block across the table at a steady rate?

He applies a steadily increasing force. He continues to apply a steady force. He applies a steadily decreasing force.

Correct

Part B
If Dr. Hewitt applies 3 N of force to keep the block moving at a steady rate, what must be the force of friction, and why?

Hint 1.
If the block is moving at a steady rate, what is its acceleration? Once you have figured out its acceleration, what is the net force acting on it, based on Newtons second law? ANSWER: Equal to 3 N, because the force of friction should exactly balance out the force Dr. Hewitt applies, so that there is no net force acting on the block. More than 3 N, because the force of friction is what prevents the block from accelerating due the force applied by Dr. Hewitt. So, it should overcome the force applied by Dr. Hewitt. Less than 3 N, because otherwise the block would not move forward. Dr. Hewitt applies a force of 3 N, so his force must overcome the force of friction.

Correct

Part C
You are dragging a block on a surface with friction at a steady speed of 2 m/s and exert a force of 5 N to do so. What is the force of friction? Why?

Hint 1.
If the block is moving at a steady rate, what is its acceleration? Once you have figured out its acceleration, what is the net force acting on it, based on Newtons second law? ANSWER:

Equal to 5 N, because the force of friction should exactly balance out the force Dr. Hewitt applies, so that there is no net force acting on the block. Less than 5 N, because otherwise the block would not move forward. You apply a force of 5 N, so this force must overcome the force of friction. 10 N, because you are exerting a force of 5 N at a speed of 2 m/s. Multiplying the two numbers gives you 10 N.

Correct

Part D
What general rule can you conclude about the force needed to keep an object in motion at a steady rate?

Hint 1.
If an object is moving at a steady rate, what is its acceleration? Knowing the acceleration and Newtons second law, can you determine the net force acting on the object? If you know the net force and the force of resistance, what can you say about the force that you need to apply to keep the object in motion? ANSWER: The force that you need to apply to keep an object moving at a steady rate is greater than the force resisting the motion of the object. The force that you need to apply to keep an object moving at a steady rate is less than the force resisting the motion of the object. The force that you need to apply to keep an object moving at a steady rate is equal to the force resisting the motion of the object.

Correct