An air track is a perforated rail which is connected to an air blower. Compressed air is sprayed from the holes and forms a thin layer on the surface of the track. This layer fills the space between the air track and the inner surface of a glider. As a result, the movement of the glider can be regarded as almost friction-free. This apparatus can be used to experimentally study important concepts in kinematics such as velocity, acceleration, momentum, collisions, and kinetic energy. It is an ideal teaching aid for physics. In this experiment, we provide students with an opportunity to explore some of these ideas through experiments that they can devise on their own.
|Software Code||Matlab codes to automate the computation of acceleration from photogate signalsPython script with raw data to compute acceleration|
|Software Code||Air Track Analyzer (Download)|
|Sample Results||Data showing verification of Newton’s second law of motion|
Further Readings and References
Procedure for data analysis