New
New
Year 10
AQA
Foundation

# Measuring acceleration practical (v=s/t, a = Δv/t)

I can accurately measure the acceleration of a dynamics trolley.

New
New
Year 10
AQA
Foundation

# Measuring acceleration practical (v=s/t, a = Δv/t)

I can accurately measure the acceleration of a dynamics trolley.

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## Lesson details

### Key learning points

1. A dynamics trolley has a constant acceleration down a steep ramp.
2. Acceleration = change of velocity ÷ time and change in velocity = final velocity – initial velocity
3. Light gates can improve accuracy of measurement of instantaneous velocity and reduces random errors.
4. Using video recording allows for accurate measurement of small time intervals.

### Common misconception

Pupils often think that final velocity is proportional to acceleration and do not take into account the time over which an object is accelerating.

Compare how many times greater the calculated accelerations of two sets of readings are compared to how many times greater the final velocities are.

### Keywords

• Acceleration - The acceleration of an object is the change in velocity per second.

• Velocity - The velocity of an object is the change in displacement per second.

• Dynamics trolley - A dynamics trolley is a wheeled object used in experiments. It moves very smoothly over flat surfaces.

As timing measurements are short, video analysis is needed to get accurate acceleration measurements. Alternatively, the lesson can be adapted so that data logging equipment is used.
Teacher tip

### Content guidance

• Equipment requiring safe usage.

### Licence

This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).

## Starter quiz

### 6 Questions

Q1.
What is the international standard unit used to measure speed and velocity in physics? Give the symbol.
Correct Answer: m/s, metre per second, metre/s, metre/second
Q2.
Which of the following is a vector quantity?
speed
distance
mass
volume
Q3.
A lorry is travelling along a straight road. Its speed increases from 5.6 m/s to 8.4 m/s. Which of the following is the change in velocity for the lorry?
1.4 m/s
5.6 m/s
8.4 m/s
14 m/s
Q4.
A roller–skater covers a distance of 520 m in 40 s. Which of the following is the speed of the roller–skater?
0.8 m/s
26 m/s
480 m/s
20 000 m/s
Q5.
How far will a wind-up toy travel if it moving at a speed of 0.02 m/s for 1 minute? Include a correct unit with your answer.
Correct Answer: 1.2 m, 120 cm, 1.2 metre, 1.2 metres, 120 centimetres
Q6.
A rocket covers a distance of 500 m whilst travelling at 5.0 km/s. Which of the following is the time taken for the rocket to cover this distance?
0.25 s
1.0 s
10 s
25 s

## Exit quiz

### 6 Questions

Q1.
Match the following key words or phrases to their definitions.
Correct Answer:velocity,the speed of an object in a particular direction

the speed of an object in a particular direction

Correct Answer:rate,the amount of change every second

the amount of change every second

Correct Answer:acceleration,the rate of change of velocity

the rate of change of velocity

Correct Answer:deceleration,the decrease in velocity every second

the decrease in velocity every second

Correct Answer:delta v (𝚫$$v$$),the symbol used to represent change in velocity

the symbol used to represent change in velocity

Q2.
Match the following quantities to their definitions.
Correct Answer:velocity,a vector measured in m/s

a vector measured in m/s

Correct Answer:distance,a scalar measured in m

a scalar measured in m

Correct Answer:acceleration,a vector measured in m/s$$^2$$

a vector measured in m/s$$^2$$

Correct Answer:speed,a scalar measured in m/s

a scalar measured in m/s

Correct Answer:displacement,a vector measured in m

a vector measured in m

Q3.
Which of the following are correct equations for acceleration ($$a$$)?
acceleration = change in velocity + time
Correct answer: acceleration = change in velocity ÷ time
acceleration = change in velocity × time
Correct answer: $$a = {\Delta v \over t}$$
$$a = {\Delta v \times t}$$
Q4.
A car takes 17.6 s to accelerate from 0 m/s to 44 m/s. Calculate the acceleration of the car in m/s$$^2$$. You do not need to include the unit in your answer.
Correct Answer: 2.5, 2.5 m/s^2, 2.5 m/s2
Q5.
A motorcycle reduces its velocity from 25 m/s to 14 m/s in 5.5 s. Which of the following is the deceleration of the motorcycle?
Correct answer: –2.0 m/s$$^2$$
–7.1 m/s$$^2$$
–11.0 m/s$$^2$$
–44.5 m/s$$^2$$
–49.5 m/s$$^2$$
Q6.
A cricket ball moving at 20 m/s is hit by a bat, and then travels in the opposite direction at 15 m/s. The impact lasts for 0.05 s. Calculate the acceleration. You do not need to enter the unit.
Correct Answer: –700, 700, –700 m/s^2, 700 m/s^2