The total work done on an object is compared with the change in kinetic energy of the object. Using a High Resolution Force Sensor and a Motion Sensor, students record and display the force as a function of position. The work done is the area under the Force vs. Position plot. At any point during the experiment, kinetic energy is calculated from the velocity measured with the Motion Sensor. Students explore the meaning of dissipative forces.
PASCO Advantage: Instead of just focusing on the end points, real-time measurements of force, position, and velocity allow students to continuously examine the work done and the resulting kinetic energy of the cart during its entire trip down the track.