Conservation of Thermal Energy

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Conservation of Thermal Energy Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                           Jiyu Lin
                                                                     March 22, 2011
                                Internal Energy Lab

To find the change in thermal energy of a wood block sliding down a metal incline
1. Measure the mass of the wood block
2. Set up metal incline
3. Measure height from the lab table to the top of the incline
4. Measure the length of the incline
5. Record the time needed for the wood block to slide down the incline
6. Repeat for multiple trials

Mass of wooden block: 0.1045 kg
Height of incline at top: 0.605 m
Length of incline: 1.163 m
Trial       Time (seconds)
1           1.01
2           1.10
3           1.06
4           1.07
5           1.10
6           1.05
Calculations and Results
Discussion and Conclusion
I found the change in internal energy to be 0.372 Joules. I think this result is
reasonable because a small wooden block sliding down a short incline should only
experience a relatively small change in energy. Still, there could be some error with
my calculations. The recorded times for each trial may be different depending on how
our group released the block from the top. One trial we may have just let the block go
very naturally and the next time we could have accidentally gave it a little push which
would make it accelerate faster to the bottom.
This type of physics measurement would be important to engineers dealing with large
machines. This experiment dealt with very small masses and short distances (therefore
a small amount of energy), but on a larger scale the energy would be much greater and
would need to be monitored carefully to maintain safety precautions in the machine’s

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