Air Track - Accelerometer

Purpose

To demonstrate the behavior of a liquid accelerometer.

Equipment

Accelerometer on air track glider with air track, as photographed.

Suggestions

Ask your students to vote on what they think will happen under various circumstances, then do the experiment.

Setup Time

5 min.

Images

c4-14

Description

The glider/accelerometer assembly moves along the horizontal air track with the surface of the water parallel to the floor in the absence of acceleration. With the air track tilted, the surface of the water is horizontal when the glider is motionless, but becomes parallel to the air track when the glider accelerates down the incline. Various motions and accelerations of the glider can be studied, with the air track either level or tilted.

References

Meiners, Physics Demonstration Experiments, Volume 1, Section 8-3.9, page 146. Advertisement for R Value's Roach Kill, an antifungal agent to be mixed into the water in the accelerometer.