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This is a teacher or student controlled, realistic 3d simulation of an airtrack that can be used to confirm Newton’s Second Law.

This experiment uses an AirTrack to confirm Newton’s second law that force = mass times the acceleration. A pully arrangement is used to allow an adjustable weight to pull the glider along the AirTrack so that it accelerates. By measuring the time the glider takes to pass through two successive photogate timers its acceleration can be calculated. Changing the weight pulling the glider allows for a range of forces and accelerations to be observed. These values can be plotted to confirm the law.

The user has control over the air pump, the positions of the photogates and their settings, the weight pulling the glider. The user is free to move anywhere within the laboratory in order to interact with the apparatus.

There is a video of this simulation here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olWPmaxleoc&t=8s

You can try one of our simulations here:
Instructions on performing the experiment and controlling the simulation are within the simulation.

The simulation is perfect for demonstrating this experiment in front of the class but can also be used by students in a variety of ways:

Directly to prepare for a laboratory experiment by familiarising them with the equipment to be used and the methodology of the experiment.

As revision for an experiment that has previously been performed in the laboratory.

For home-learning where there is no access to a laboratory.

To make up for an experiment missed due to sickness.

As a personal experience of an experiment normally only performed by the teacher in front of the class.
Download contains full instructions on using the simulation, a PowerPoint giving full instructons including a video , background on the Physics and link to the simulation.

The Virtual Physics Laboratory of which this simulation is a part, had the Association for Science Education’s Green Tick of Approval. More information can be found on our website at www.virtual-science.co.uk.

I’ve found your software very useful when a concept comes up with pupils and I have to demonstrate something really quickly without having the time to set up a formal experiment for them. The graphics are great and I really like the ability to move around the classroom and observe the experiment from different aspects. I am far more likely to go to one of your interactive experiments if it’s demonstrating something that we don’t have equipment for.“

Andrew McPhee Wellington School


This product is for a single user and is for personal and classroom use only. Copying any part of this resource is forbidden and violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Purchasing and downloading this product is your consent to these conditions.

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Last Update: 4th December 2023
Released: 29th November 2023