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1.

OBJECTIVES
This experiment enables the students to investigate an equilibrium system by
combining different forces.
2. INTRODUCTION
An important difference between scalar and vector quantities is how we combine or
add the vectors and scalars. Scalar addition is done by using ordinary arithmetic while
vector addition is slightly different, due to the direction nature of the vector quantity.
The idea of vectors is one of the most fundamental and useful in all physics. There are
many different quantities that can be expressed as a vector, including the force acting
on a particle.
In this experiment we will observe about equilibrium. When all the forces that act
upon an object are balanced, then the object is said to be in a state of equilibrium. The
forces are considered to be balanced if the rightward forces are balanced by the
leftward forces and the upward forces are balanced by the downward forces.
If an object is at equilibrium, that means all forces are balanced. Balanced is the word
that used to describe equilibrium condition. Thus the net/total/resultant force is zero
and the acceleration is 0 m/s2. All equilibrium objects must have 0 m/s2 acceleration. It
extends from Newtons first law,

F=m a

. 0 m/s2 acceleration doesnt mean

the object is at rest. Object at equilibrium is either at rest or in motion and continuing
in motion with the same speed and direction.
On this experiment, equilibrium will be observed through force table experiment.

Figure 1, Force Table. Retrieved from: http://img.tradeindia.com/fp/1/540/485.jpg

A force table is seen in the figure 1. The table consists of a circular table with
markings ticking off 360 . Pulleys can be attached to the edge of the table,
allowing weights to be suspended from strings. Several weights can be hung from a
central ring, leading to several forces acting on the ring. When the forces are balances,
net force is zero, then the ring is at equilibrium. The purpose of this experiment is to
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determine the conditions for equilibrium and the conditions for non-equilibrium for
several different mass and angle configurations.
For this experiment, only 3 forces will be used to determine equilibrium conditions.
So based on that,
F 1+ F 2+F 3=0
3. SAFETY PRECAUTION
Before entering the laboratory, all students pay attention to this laboratory safety
guide.
Wear a proper attire (shirt, trousers/long pants, shoes)
No food or drink is permitted in the laboratory

Know the location of emergency exits, eyewash stations, safety showers, fire
extinguishers, and first aid kits and how to use them.

Read and follow the instructions in the laboratory manual and those given by the
lecturer.

Read and follow the operating procedures in the use of laboratory equipment.
Keep the table neat and clean after experiment.
4. EQUIPMENTS/APPARATUS
Force table, including central ring and center post.
Three Pulleys
Strings/Cords
Three hanging mass rack with masses

Figure 2, Force Table (Components). Retrieved from: http://www2.volstate.edu/Phy/PHYS2110-2120/Lab


%20Writeups/Force%20Table%202.jpg

5. PROCEDURES
The force table was set up on the level surface.
Three masses were tied on the cords ends, and the other ends of cords were

connected with ring.


Then the cords were put on the pulleys, while the ring was put in the center of the

table.
The pulleys are lie down on the force table, and they are moveable. Moveable due

to adjusting the angles.


The mass can be changed and the pulleys can be moved to adjust the angle due to

find the equilibrium and non-equilibrium condition.


Equilibrium condition is determined based on the ring position, if the ring is
located at the center of the table, it is equilibrium. Otherwise, if it is not located in

the center, it is not equilibrium.


After the condition was founded, all readings (mass, angle) was noted on the

book.
6. RESULT
Table 1, Data

m1
m2
Equilibrium
m3
1
2
3
(g)
(g)
(g)
(Yes/No)
1.
100
243
100
0
100
126
Yes
2.
150
246
150
0
160
124
Yes
3.
200
218
150
0
120
90
Yes
4.
200
206
320
0
190
148
Yes
5.
300
290
300
0
160
148
No
6.
150
235
150
0
180
70
No
All mass is in gram unit. It should be in kilogram unit, so it is needed to be changed. It
No.

is still in mass, not yet in force. The force magnitude can be founded by using weight
formula.

w=mass gravity . Gravity is equal to 9.81 m/s 2. So each force must be

calculated first.

7. DISCUSSION
a) Sketch all of vector diagram by using the above data

b) Compare both result that obtain by using the calculation method and graphically
method (choose three sets of the data for comparison)
Calculation Method
Magnitude
(N)

Angle

F1
F2
F3
F

0.981
0.981
0.981

243
0
126

F1
F2
F3
F

1.962
1.4715
1.1772

F1
F2
F3
F

1.4715
1.4715
1.7658

DATA

Forces

218
0
90
235
0
70

Fx
Fy
F
cos

F
sin )
(
) (
-0.445
0.981
-0.577

-0.874
0
0.793

-0.041

-0.081

-1.546
1.4715
0

-1.208
0
1.1772

-0.0745

-0.0308

-0.844
1.4715
0.604

-1.205
0
1.659

1.2315

0.454

Table 2, Calculation

Graphical Method

Calculation and graphical method had been applied to the experiment. Based on the
experiment, data 1 and data 3 were in equilibrium condition while data 6 was in nonequilibrium condition. Data 1 and data 3 were in equilibrium condition because at
experiment the ring was centered at the force table, and that means equilibrium.
All data of three forces had been collected. We can just simply apply the formula to
prove it. In equilibrium submission of all forces should be equal to zero.
F 1+ F 2+ F 3=0 .
All forces were pointed to some angle, so it needed to be calculated, the force act on
x-axis and y-axis. The calculation is already had been done on the previous page
(refer to Table 2). Based on the theory, in equilibrium submission of all force is equal
to zero. But it is very clear, the calculation on the table two doesnt give submission of
all forces (

Fx Fx

Fx Fx

) equal to zero. Instead of that, the calculation gave us

are equal to almost zero.

With the graphical method we can try to prove the equilibrium condition with adding
all vectors using polygon method. Add all forces by drawing them. In equilibrium
condition

F=0

, it also means no resultant force. Using this method, we can

prove the equilibrium by drawing all forces into polygon. If addition of all forces are
resulting closed traverse, or triangle, it means no resultant force. No resultant force
means

F=0

, it means it is in equilibrium condition. Based on the figure 3 we

can see the result. Data 1 and 3 almost resulting closed traverse/triangle. Referred
back to the experiment data 1 and 3 should be in equilibrium where

F=0

As it can be seen on the result (calculation and graphical method), the result is very
close to what it should be (

F=0

). On the experiment, there might be some

mistakes that had been done which causes inaccurately result. Maybe also because
rounding when doing calculation. It might be caused inaccurately result also. Error
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happens in this kind of experiment. Many things can be happened, just like human
error, instrument error, etc.

8. CONCLUSION
After doing this experiment we can prove that in equilibrium condition submission of
all forces is equal to zero, or the resultant force is equal to zero. Object in equilibrium
condition means that the object has no acceleration; either the object is at rest or the
object in constantly motion.
When doing the experiment it is quite hard to configure the configuration of mass and
angle of the mass. In order to make the ring located in the center, we have to find right
mass and angle configuration.
Collected data and the calculation may be differed a bit compare to each other. It is
caused by error. The error will be given us inaccurately results. Even though it is
error, this theory/calculation still can be used to prove the equilibrium condition.

References
Equilibrium and Statics. (1996-2014). Retrieved February 10, 2014, from The Physics
Classroom: http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/vectors/u3l3c.cfm
Hartsuijker, C., & Welleman, J. W. (2007). Engineering Mechanics: Volume 1: Equilibrium.
Dodrecht, Netherlands: Springer. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from
http://books.google.com.my/books?
id=oPhH90IWW60C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=o
nepage&q&f=false
Riddle, A. (n.d.). Force Table Lab. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from Abi Riddle's Physic
Lab: https://sites.google.com/site/abiriddlesphysicslab/force-table-lab