Potential and Kinetic Forces
Use this simulation to explore how acceleration and energy change over time. Be sure to pay attention to the graph! This data collection method will be useful when you try to set a new FLEET high score.
Problems? See below.
Things to Explore
1. Click the filing cabinet and move the mouse to the right to move it up the ramp. Try this 2 or 3 times.
A. Talk with a partner about the forces you see described by the arrows on the filing cabinet. How do these forces compare to forces on your ship in the FLEET simulator?
B. How far do you have to move the mouse to the right to move the filing cabinet?
2. Click the box for "frictionless" and see what happens in the simulation. Also, watch how the graph changes. You can see how much force you apply in the gray box "Applied Force (N)"
A. When is the Force of Gravity the greatest? How does it change over time?
B. When does the wall exert a force?
C. What does a negative number in the "Applied Force (N)" mean?
D. How would this graph look when the wave from the Roll Test hits the side of the ship? What would be the filing cabinet? What would be the wall?
3. Clear the graph and click the "Energy" button on the bottom left so you can see the Force and Energy graphs at the same time.
Questions and Design Challenge:
A. How does the potential energy change as you adjust the height of the ramp? How does kinetic energy change?
B. What energies have values when the cabinet is at rest on the ramp?
C. Make the filing cabinet stop without hitting the ramp. What energy is greatest right before the filing cabinet stops?
D. Make the filing cabinet move with a ramp angle less than 10 degrees.
4. Clear the graph again. Click the "Energy" button on the right so you can see the bar chart. Notice that you can use the STOP button underneath "Applied Force (N)" to pause the forces. Then hit "Go!" and your experiment will simulate.
A. What energies have values when the cabinet is at rest on the ramp?
B. What is the minimum amount of force needed to push the filing cabinet up a 10-degree ramp? How about a 30-degree ramp?
C. How can you calculate the amount of force needed to push any object up any ramp?
5. Clear the graph again. Increase the ramp angle to 90 degrees.
A. What is the minimum applied force so that the cabinet does not slide down the ramp set at 90 degrees?
B. What does this show you about the value of acceleration in the force of gravity?
Extend to FLEET
6. Now talk about these forces in relation to FLEET:
A. Where is the force of friction in FLEET?
B. Where do you see the force of gravity in FLEET?
Consider the wall and what the graph shows about the wall.
C. What force does the wall measure in this simulation?
D. What would generate this force in FLEET?
E. What acts as a wall to the movement of the ship in FLEET?
F. How does mass affect forces of friction, gravity and collision in this simulation? How will they affect the forces in FLEET?
Think about energy in FLEET.
G. Where is potential energy stored in a ship?
H. How is it converted to kinetic energy?
Think about a ship moving in the Speed Test in FLEET.
I. How would you stop the ship?
J. Would it require a force or an energy to stop this ship?
K. Describe the forces as a ship slows down. You may want to use a diagram to make your answer clearer.
L. Describe the energy as a ship slows down. You may want to use a diagram to make your answer clearer.
If you have extra time, and the permission of your instructor, replicate the previous experiments on the simulator below. Click "Show" in the upper right corner under "Free body diagram". Use the free body diagram and the playback feature to collect data. Try to simulate a ship going up a wave, and a ship going down a wave.
If "Click to Run", does not work for you, then try downloading Java from one of the links below.
OS X 10.9.5 or later