Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016
We refocussed our attention on Mechanics and simple machines. We started by exploring periodic motion with our ramps and rollers system. Establishing our definition for frequency, we
investigated what affected frequency in our ramp and roller system. Next we used our physics station to explore swinging pendulums. Was it the length of string, the weight or the release angle that change the frequency of our pendulum?
Next we looked at simple machines. We classified simple machines into the following two groups; pivot group or wheel and axle, pulley, and lever. The second group is the wedge, screw and incline plane. Then we used a giant lever to lift our teacher with one hand. This was accomplished by moving the fulcrum towards the load and making the effort arm as long as possible. we wrote a simple equation F d = f D ;
with D meaning big distance and f meaning little force
while d meaning little distance and F meaning big force.
To sum up, simple machines make work easier because we are spreading force out over a distance.
We used small levers and spring scales to explore this concept. We moved on to explore pulley systems. We learned that there was no mechanical advantage with one pulley. However, when we added more pulleys onto our system we could cut the effort in half, thirds and even down to a quarter
of the force needed to lift a load.
At the end of the day we went on a field trip to the test beam facility. In this facility we met a fascinating scientist who took us on a tour. The test beam facility is used to test detectors to see if they are functioning properly. Scientists and companies from around the world use Fermilab's beam to test their equipment.