PHY 2048L
Lab 6

Torques and Rotational Equilibrium

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Updated: 1/21/2013

We will be doing "Lab 10", exactly as described in the lab manual.

This lab gives you hands-on experience with torque, timed to match our introduction of it in the classroom.

Guiding Question:

Important: Be sure you use quantitative data to support your answer!

Preparing for the lab:

Read the theory for "Lab 10" (pages 105 to 107) in the lab manual before answering the questions on LON-CAPA.

Hints: Be sure you read the question carefully and note which axis is to be used and where the fulcrum is located. In one case, which you will also encounter in the lab, you cannot ignore the mass of the meter stick. In another, the force applied by the fulcrum must be accounted for.


This lab is very straightforward. As in other labs, you will get the best results (agreement to better than 3 sig figs is possible in this case) if you measure the mass of each mass you use. The setup is critical if you wish to get precision results. (See note following picture of the lab equipment we will use.) You only need a simple loop of string to hang the mass. Smaller is better, and a 'fisherman' or 'surgeon' knot will hold better than a square knot when making the loop.


The last two questions you must answer as part of your lab report (on page 116) often give students trouble. Be sure you are including every force when doing the calculation for question 6. Note that question 6 is about part four while question 5 is about part one. Finally, note that the point of question 6 is to use your data to show that the torques must balance no matter which axis you use to calculate them - provided you include the torques due to every force in the problem.


highly sophisticated lab equipment we will use

Picture of the highly sophisticated lab equipment we will use, arranged as you should find it when you arrive in the lab. (Hint: It is actually more sophisticated than you might expect at first glance, and a necessary first step will be for you to figure out how to set it up correctly. You will not use it in the configuration you see in this picture.)
It is very important that you put your lab station back the way you found it.


 ?? Contact me if you have any questions.