Day 55: Units and graphing skills (or the lack thereof)

Today we finished data and whiteboarded for changing force constant mass with a spring pulling a cart, the unbalanced forces paradigm lab. A fair number of groups did not follow the convention to put the independent variable on the x axis and the dependent on the y, but it lead to a good discussion about how inverting the axis simply inverts the slope. It was also very apparent that 1) increasing the force linearly increased the acceleration, 2) that similar masses had similar slopes, and 3) that larger masses have smaller a vs. F slopes. Tomorrow we change the mass and measure resulting accelerations. Many groups need to work a bit on making sure they have units, etc, on their whiteboards. Slow and steady, I hope…

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