Exploratories

Motion Along The Path

Problem:

How can you describe the motion of an object along a path in terms of displacement and distance traveled?

Materials:

Hot Wheels cars or marbles

Hot Wheels track.

Procedure A:

1. Roll a Hot Wheels car (or marble) along a straight section of track. Measure the cars (marbles) final displacement from the initial starting point.

2.Repeat using a section of track that curves, measuring the motion displacement along the path.

3. Elevate the track so that the car (marble) rolls up and back down. Measure the displacement and distance and compare them.

4. Design a system where the car (marble) moves in a positive direction but stops so that its displacement is negative. The car (marble) stops behind its starting point.

Procedure B:

1. Draw a map of the "path" you take to school and calculate the displacement along the path.

Summing Up:

1. If you return by the same path, whats the total displacement of the trip to and from school?

2. What is the total distance of the trip to and from school?

3. What would be your response to the displacement and distance traveled if you took another route home?

4. Discuss the displacement a of runner in a track meet if the start and finish line are at:

a. the same point on the track.

b. different points on the track.