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# Unit 3: Uniformly Accelerated Particle Model Teacher Notes

## Uniformly Accelerated Particle Model

Teacher Notes
INSTRUCTIONAL GOALS
1.

Conceptsofacceleration,averagevs.instantaneousvelocity
Contrastgraphsofobjectsundergoingconstantvelocityandconstantacceleration
r
Defineinstantaneousvelocity(slopeoftangenttocurvein x vs.tgraph)
Distinguishbetweeninstantaneousandaveragevelocity
Defineacceleration,includingitsvectornature
Motionmapnowincludesaccelerationvectors

2.

Multiplerepresentations(graphical,algebraic,diagrammatic)
Introducestackofkinematiccurves
positionvs.time(slopeoftangent=instantaneousvelocity)
velocityvs.time(slope=acceleration,areaundercurve=changeinposition)
accelerationvs.time(areaundercurve=changeinvelocity)
Relatevariousexpressions

3.

UniformlyAcceleratingParticlemodel
Kinematicalpropertiesofobjectsundergoinguniformlyacceleratedmotion
r
r
Derivethefollowingrelationshipsfrom x vs.tand v vs.tgraphs
r
r v
a

t
r r
r
v v0 at

r
r r
v f vi a t

r r r
r
x x0 v0t 12 at 2
r
r r
r
x f xi vi t 12 at 2

r
r
r r
v f2 vi2 2ax

definitionofaverageacceleration
r
linearequationfora x vs.tgraph
generalizedequationforanytitotfinterval
r
parabolicequationforan x vs.tgraph
generalizedequationforanytitotfinterval
timeindependentequation

4.

Analysisoffreefall

5.

Software
ConceptualKinematicsTutorial
Equivalentonlineversionsareavailable

## ICP RAP Uniform Acceleration - Teacher Notes

SEQUENCE
1.WheelLab:Motionofanobjectonanincline;instantaneousvelocity;slopesoftangents;Tangent
Practice
r
2.Worksheet1af:UniformlyAcceleratedMotionWorksheet.Relatetheaveragevelocityforatimeinterval( v
r
)totheinstantaneousvelocity( v )atthemiddleofthattimeinterval.
3.Worksheet2a:AcceleratedMotionRepresentations
4.Worksheet2b:StacksofKinematicCurves
5.Quiz1:Stacksofxt,vt,andatgraphs
6.DeploymentLabs:Freefallandtopoftheflight;Fancartmotion
7.Worksheet3:QuantitativeAccelerationProblems
8.Quiz2:Velocityvs.TimeGraphs
9.FreefallofWileECoyotePlanetNewtonia
10.FreefallofWileECoyoteNewtoniasMoon
11.ReviewSheet
12.UniformlyAcceleratedParticleModelTest

## 1. Lab: Wheel Lab

Develop the position proportional to time-squared relation during whiteboarding.
Post-lab: Use tangents to the x-t graph curve to create a v-t graph and define instantaneous velocity.

## Lab Notes: Wheel Lab

Apparatus
Wheel(buildfrom4inchholesawcutout,dowel,golftees)
Track(twolengthsofelectricalconduit)
Tickertape
Metronome

Pre-lab discussion

Toproceed,theymustmentionsomethingtotheeffectthattheballspeedsupasitrollsdown.
includetheobservationthattheballspeedsupasitrollsdowntherail.(Donotletthemstatethe
ballacceleratessincewehaven'tdefinedaccelerationyet!)
butthattheycanmeasurepositionandtime.Note:SincethislabissosimilartotheBBlaband
othermotionlabs,thisshouldbeamatterofreviewtomostofthem.
Studentsshouldmarkthepositionoftheobjectatequaltimeintervals.
Timeshouldbeplottedastheindependentvariable.
Onekeydifferencebetweenthislabandthepastmotionlabsisthatthewheelmuststartfrom
position0withavelocityof0.Studentsdontneedtoknowwhyyet.Theyshouldbetoldtomakea
markonthetapenearthetopofthetracktocallposition0.Uponhearingabeatofthemetronome,

SpeedingUpWheelLab
Purpose:todevelopgraphical,mathematical,diagrammatical,andverbalrepresentationsforanobject
Wheelandaxle
Procedure:

Lineonwheelmustpoint
downtheincline.
paperstriponboard
besidepipes
pipes

bricks

Useamarkeronthepapertapetomarkthepositionoftheaxleatequaltimeintervals.
Notre Dame Modeling Project 2012

## ICP RAP Uniform Acceleration - Teacher Notes

IMPORTANT:Yourfirstdotmustbefortime=0,position=0,andvelocity=0.
DataTables:
Lowincline(onebrick)
Heightofraisedend=______

Highincline(twobricks)
Heightofraisedend=______
Time (s)
Position (m)

Graphs:
Createapositiontimegraphforeachsetofdataindividually.Doanynecessarytestplots.Print.Save
yourgraphstothecomputer.
Next,printeachpositiontimegraphindividuallysothatitistheonlythingonthepage,inlandscape
orientation.(UseFile>PrintGraph)

## Lab performance notes

Ifwheelsandaxlesarentavailable,othersetupscanbeusedsuchasacartrollingdownatrack,
piecesofconduitpipe.Justmakesuretheobjectmovesslowlyenoughforstudentstoaccurately
markpositionandtime.
betweenunitsandvariableswhendoingmathematicalanalysis.
Twoanglesofinclinationshouldbeused.Positiontimedatacanbeplottedononesetofaxes.
Butinstructstudentstomakethegraphalargeaspossibleandtoorientthegraphsothatthelong
sideofthepaperisthetimeaxis.

## Sample Data: Wheel Lab

Wheel Lab Data Tables with columns for kinematics graph
Wheel/Axle on Low Incline
time position time position avg velocity midtime time^2
(beats) (cm) (beats) (cm)
(cm/beat) (beats) (beats^2)
0.0
0.0
0.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
0.5
1.0
2.0
3.2
1.0
2.2
2.2
1.5
4.0
3.0
5.6
1.0
2.4
2.4
2.5
9.0
4.0
9.6
1.0
4.0
4.0
3.5
16.0
5.0
13.5
1.0
3.9
3.9
4.5
25.0
6.0
18.3
1.0
4.8
4.8
5.5
36.0
7.0
24.9
1.0
6.6
6.6
6.5
49.0
8.0
31.0
1.0
6.1
6.1
7.5
64.0
9.0
38.1
1.0
7.1
7.1
8.5
81.0
10.0
46.2
1.0
8.1
8.1
9.5
100.0
11.0
55.4
1.0
9.2
9.2
10.5
121.0
12.0
65.0
1.0
9.6
9.6
11.5
144.0
13.0
76.0
1.0
11.0
11.0
12.5
169.0
14.0
86.8
1.0
10.8
10.8
13.5
196.0
15.0
99.2
1.0
12.4
12.4
14.5
225.0

Wheel Lab Graphs of Position vs. Time, Velocity vs. Time and Position vs. Time 2

## ICP RAP Uniform Acceleration - Teacher Notes

Post-lab discussion
Fromthelab,thestudentshavethefollowinggraph:

r
x(cm)

t(s)

Focusthewhiteboarddiscussionontheirexperimentalprocedureandtheverbalinterpretationofthe
parabolicxtgraph.Studentsshouldbeabletodescribethatthedisplacementduringeachtimeinterval
increasesovertheprevioustimeinterval.Sincetheobjecttravelsgreaterdistancesineachsuccessive
timeinterval,thevelocityisincreasing.

Post-lab extension
Discussion
Contrastthexvstgraphforthislabwiththeoneobtainedinunit1.
Unit1

Unit2

One can speak of the average velocity as the slope of the graph (above left) because the slope of a
straight line is constant. It doesn't matter which two points are used to determine the slope.
On the other hand, one could speak of the average velocity of the object in the graph to the right, but
since the object started very slowly and steadily increased its speed, the term average velocity has
little meaning.

r
x
t

## ICP RAP Uniform Acceleration - Teacher Notes

Whatwouldbemoreusefulistohaveawayofdescribingtheobject'sspeedatagiveninstant(oras
intervaltoverwhichyoucalculatetheaveragevelocity,thesecant(lineintersectingthecurveattwo
points)morecloselyresemblesthecurveduringthatinterval.

r
x

r
x

r
x

r
x
Thatis,theslopeofthesecantgivestheaveragevelocityforthatinterval.Astheintervalgetsshorter
x
x
andshorter,thesecantmorecloselyapproximatesthecurve.Thus,theaveragevelocityofthisinterval
t
becomesamoreandmorereasonableestimateofhowfasttheobjectismovingatanyinstantduringthis
t
t
t
t
t
interval.
Asoneshrinkstheinterval,ttozero,thesecantbecomesatangent;theslopeofthetangentisthe

r
x

Student activity
Usingthepositionvs.timegraphsthestudentsproducedinthelab,studentsshould
constructatleastfivetangentstothecurveanddeterminetheslopeofeachtangent.Thisis
paper.Thestudentsshouldthenmakeanewgraphofinstantaneousvelocityvstime.
r
r
r
v r
lineis r a .Thatis,thechangeinvelocityduringagiventimeintervalisdefinedtobetheaverage
t
acceleration.Studentsneedtounderstandtheunitsforacceleration.Inthislab,theunitsfortheslope
ofthegraphwillbe centimeters / beat / beat .Studentsmustbeabletostatethataslopeof5cm/b/bfor
example,meansthatthewheelsvelocitychanged5cm/bforeachbeatoftime.Manytimes,cm/b/bis
writtenascm/b2.Itwillreduceconfusioniftheaccelerationisstatedascentimetersperbeatperbeat
evenifitiswrittenascm/b2.
r
Thegraphof v vstforthewheellab,showntotheright,islinearmeaningthat
accelerationisconstant.Iftheaccelerationisconstant,thentheaverage
accelerationfortheentiretimeintervalisequaltotheinstantaneous
r
r
r
r
writtenas v = at + v 0 ,where v 0 istheyintercept.Itisimportanttodefine
r
theaccelerationthisway,andthenshowexamplesof x vstgraphsinwhichtheaccelerationis
r r
negative.Accelerationwillbenegativeifthequantity v f vi isnegative.
Notre Dame Modeling Project 2012

## ICP RAP Uniform Acceleration - Teacher Notes

r
Onthe x vstgraphsshowntotheright,tangent
linesweredrawntoshowtheinstantaneous
r
r
r
r
v1
v
x
x
2
r r
cases, v2 v1 isnegative,yetverydifferent
situationsarebeingrepresented.Inthegraph
r
v2
ontheleft,anobjectslowsdownwhilemoving
r
v1
inthepositivedirection.Inthegraphonthe
right,theobjectspeedsupwhilemovinginthe
t
t
negativedirection.Inbothgraphs,the
studentsinvariablythinkthatthistermimpliesnegativeaccelerationmeansslowingdown;thetwo
conditionsarenotsynonymous.
Generalizingthelinearequationfromthevelocityvs.timegraphforanytimeintervaltitotfyields
r
r r
v f vi a t .Thedevelopmentofthisexpressionisprovidedbelowtoclarifytheuseoftasopposedtot.

Lab Summary
Atthispoint,thestudentshavesixgraphsandmultipleequationsonmultiplesheetsofpaper.Alab
summarysheetisprovidedinthematerialssothatstudentscantransferalloftheircriticalconclusions
ontoasinglesheetofpaper.

Teacher background

Theslopeisdefinedtobeaveragevelocity.
r
r
x
v
t

Theslopeisdefinedtobeaverageacceleration.
r
r
v
a
t

Eq.1

Eq.6

Equationoftheline

Equationoftheline

Eq.2
Generalizetheequationfortheintervaltitotf.
Attf:
r
r
r
x f v t f x0
Eq.3
Atti:
r
r
r
xi v t i x 0
Eq.4
Subtractequation4from3:

Eq.7
Generalizetheequationfortheintervaltitotf.
Attf:
r
r
r
v f at f v 0
Eq.8
Atti:
r
r
r
vi a t i v 0
Eq.9
Subtractequation9from8:

r r
r
x v t x0

r r
r
v at v0

r
r
r
r
r
x f xi v (t f t i ) x0 x0
r
r
r
x f xi v t
Eq.5

## Notre Dame Modeling Project 2012

r
r
r
r
r
v f vi a (t f t i ) v0 v0
r
r r
v f vi a t
Eq.10

## Post-lab Extension (Development of Kinematic Expressions)

Developingtheremainingkinematicequationsinvolvesfindingtheareaunderavtgraphandalgebraic
combinationofequations.Dependingontheabilityofyourstudents,variouslevelsofguidancecanbe
providedtohelpthestudentsderivetheequationsthemselves.Dontgethunguponthealgebra.Focuson
thephysics.
Thedisplacementofauniformlyacceleratingobjectisequivalenttotheareaunderthevtgraph.Inthis
situation,weareinterestedinthedisplacementduringthetimeintervaltitotf.

AreaofregionA:
1/2heightxbase
r r

areaofatriangle

r
r v t
1 a t t
2

substitute v at

(vf vi ) (t f ti )

r
a(t)2

AreaofregionB
lengthxwidth
areaofarectangle
Thevelocityatthehorizontalaxisiszero;
r
r
(vi 0) (t f t i ) = v i t

ThetotaldisplacementisequaltoA+B.

r
r 2 r
x 12 at vit

Rearranging:

r
r r
r
xf xi vit 12 a t 2

Eq.11

Combiningequations6and11producesatimeindependentkinematicsexpression.
r
r v
a
t

Eq.6

r
r
r
v f vi
v
t r ; t
r
a
a

Eq.12

r
r r
r
x f xi vi t 12 at 2

Eq.11

Rearrange:

r r
r 2
x vit 12 at

Substituteequation12intoequation11:
r
r
r
r
r r v f vi
r v f vi
1
x vi
r 2 a
r
a
a

r
Multiplybothsidesby 2a

r r
r r
r
r
r
2a x 2vi (v f vi ) (v f vi ) 2

10

## ICP RAP Uniform Acceleration - Teacher Notes

Multiplyoutthetermsontheright.

r r
rr
r
r
rr
r
2a x 2vi v f 2vi2 v f2 2vi v f vi2

Simplifytherightsideofequation
r r
r
r
2ax vi2 v f2

Rearrange:

r
r
r r
v f2 vi2 2a x

Eq.13

Summaryofmathematicalmodels:
r
r v
a

t
r r
r
v v0 at

r
r r
v f vi a t

r r r
r2
x x0 v0 t 12 at

r
r r
r
xf xi vit 12 a t 2

r
r
r r
v f2 vi2 2ax

Eq.6 definitionofaverageacceleration
Eq.7 linearequationforavtgraph
Eq.10 generalizedequationforanytitotfinterval
parabolicequationforanxtgraph
Eq.11 generalizedequationforanytitotfinterval
Eq.13 algebraiccombinationofequations3and5

r
Optional Post Lab Extension: Linearizing the x vs. t Graph
BeforeembarkingonthealgebraicjourneytoderiveEq.11andEq.13above,youmaywanttodofurther
analysisofthecurvedpositionvs.timegraph.Intheuniformmotionexperiments,itbecameclearthatif
thestartingpositionoftheobjectwaszeroandtheobjectmovedataconstantvelocity,thenthepositionof
theobjectwasdirectlyproportionaltothetime.Iftwiceasmuchtimeelapsed,theobjectspositionwas
twiceasfarfromzero.
Uponcompletingthegraphofpositionvs.timeforthewheellab,studentsshouldseethattherelationship
Somestudentscanrecognizethattheshapeofthextgraphisparabolic.Afewofthosestudentsmight

Student Activity
positionvs.time2.Thegraphshouldlookliketheonetotheright.

11

for
by
of
t2

## ICP RAP Uniform Acceleration - Teacher Notes

Discussion
Fromthegraph,itisclearthatpositionisdirectlyproportionaltothesquareofthetime.Inother
r
3t,theobjectwillbeat9x.Uponperformingamathematicalanalysisofthegraphof x vs. t 2
studentswillobtainthefollowingmathematicalmodel: xr kt 2 wherekistheslopeofthegraph.
totheunderstandingthattheslopeofthext2graphisequalto1/2oftheaccelerationoftheobject.
r
r
Thus,thegeneralformoftheequationforthext2graphbecomes x 1 2 at 2 .Makeitclear,
however,thatthisrelationshipisonlytrueiftheobjectstartsfromrestatpositionzero.When

## 2. Worksheet 1: Uniformly Accelerated Motion Worksheet

Studentswillseethatthecreatingvelocityvs.timegraphsbyfindingtheslopeofasequenceof
tangentstothextgraphisabittedious.However,theinstantaneousvelocitycanalsobefound
mathematicallyfromasequenceofpositiontimedata.Thedesiredgoaloftheactivityistoestablish
thatforuniformlyacceleratedmotion,theaveragevelocityforatimeintervalisequaltothe
sinceitisthesamealgorithmusedbycomputermotionanalysisprogramssuchasMacMotion,
LoggerPro,andScienceWorkshop.Studentscanusethereasoningdevelopedheretoanalyzethe
motionofapicketfencefallingthroughaphotogate.
Useathoughtexperimentwithsmallnumbers(anaccelerationof2m/s2)tobuildthefirsttwo
columnsofsimulatedpositionvs.timedata,leavingaspacebetweeneachrow.Utilizethe
r
r r
expression v f vi at toleadthestudentstoidentifyingtheinstantaneousvelocityateachtime.
Sincetheinitialvelocityiszero,theaveragevelocityfromt=0tot=tfishalftheinstantaneous
velocityatt=tfandthedisplacementistheaveragevelocitytimest.Forexample,att=3sthe
instantaneousvelocityis2m/s2x3sor6m/s.Theaveragevelocityfromt=0tot=3sis3m/sand
thedisplacementis3m/sx3sor9m.
t
x
vaverage
tmiddleofinterval
t
x
(s)
(m)
(m/s)
(s)
(s)
(m)
0.0
0.0
1.0

1.0

2.0

4.0

3.0

9.0

4.0

16

5.0

25

12

## Unit III Teacher Notes v3.0

6.0
36
Aftercompletingthefirsttwocolumnsofdata,analyzetheresultingxtgraph.Thegoalistofind
thecorrelationbetweenaveragevelocityduringatimeintervalandinstantaneousvelocityataclock

Theaveragevelocityfromt=2stot=4s:
x 16m 4m
v

6 ms
t
4s 2s
Fromthegraph,itappearsthattheslopeofthechordconnectingt=2stot=4shasthesameslope
asthetangenttothecurveatt=3s.Theslopeofthetangentatt=3s:
x 21m 0m
v

6 ms
t
5s 1.5s
x 36m 16m
v

10 ms
t
6s 4s
Fromthegraph,itappearsthattheslopeofthechordconnectingt=4stot=6shasthesameslope
asthetangenttothecurveatt=5s.Theslopeofthetangentatt=5s:
x 35m 0m
v

10 ms
t
6s 2.5s
Althoughtheexamplesabovedonotconstitutearigorousproof,theyprovideastrongargumentfor
thefollowingconclusion:foruniformlyacceleratedmotion,theaveragevelocityforatimeinterval
Modeling Instruction 2010

13

## Unit III Teacher Notes v3.0

t
(s)
0.0
1.0
2.0
3.0

x
(m)

vaverage
(m/s)

x
(m)

tmiddleofinterval
(s)

0.0
1.0

1.0

0.5

1.0

3.0

1.5

1.0

5.0

2.5

1.0

7.0

3.5

1.0

9.0

4.5

1.0

11.0

11

5.5

1.0
4.0
9.0

4.0

16

5.0

25

6.0

t
(s)

36

Usingtheideathattheaveragevelocityduringatimeintervalisequaltotheinstantaneousvelocity
produced.

Thestudentsnowhaveamathematicalwayofproducingavtgraphfromtheirmeasurementsof
positionandtime.Analyzingthevtgraphallowsdeterminationofaccelerationanddisplacement
withorwithoutaninitialvelocity.Withthisbackground,studentscanbegintheuniformly
acceleratedmotionworksheet.
Aftercompletingandwhiteboardingtheworksheet,studentsshouldrevisitthewheellab.Theynow
tangentlines.Theyshouldbeassignedtotaketheiroriginalpositionandtimedataforbothinclines
andmakeavelocityvs.timegraphandapositionvs.time2graph.Onthefollowingpagesareactual
dataobtainedfromawheelandaxlelabandgraphsofxt,xt2andvt.
Modeling Instruction 2010

14

15

## 3. Worksheet 2 Graphs and Tracks

4. Stacks of Kinematic Curves
5. Quiz 1: Stacks of x-t, v-t, and a-t graphs
6. Deployment Labs: Freefall
7. Worksheet 3: Quantitative Acceleration Problems
8. Uniformly Accelerated Particle Model Quiz 2:
Velocity vs. Time Graphs
9. Free fall on Planet Newtonia
10. Free fall on Newtonias Moon
11. Review Sheet
12. Model So Far
1. The slope of a position-time graph is the velocity. If
the position-time graph is curved, the slope of a line
tangent to the curve tells you the velocity at that
time. The velocity at a time is called instantaneous
velocity.
2. In general, acceleration is the rate of change in
velocity, which is the slope of a velocity-time graph.
Mathematically, a = v/t

16

## 3. The velocity of a uniformly accelerating object

increases or decreases by equal amounts each
second. Therefore, the general linearized equation for
r r
r
a v vs. t graph is: v v0 at
4. The area under a velocity-time graph is the object's
change in position, or displacement.
Mathematically, x = at2 + vit
5. The motion map for uniformly accelerated motion features dots whose
successive spacing increases or decreases. Draw the dots for the location of the
object at equally spaced time intervals, then add the velocity and acceleration
vectors.

6. The acceleration due to gravity (g = 9.8 m/s2) near the surface of the earth is
constant for all objects, ignoring effects of air resistance.

17