American Association of Physics Teachers Winter Meeting
We present a simple investigation using a modified “fan cart” that allows students to explore and discover the relationship between work and kinetic energy. The fan cart is modified so that it can be turned on at one location and turned off at a second location. Launching the cart along a track so that it has an almost constant speed, and then triggering the fan for a known distance while monitoring its position using a sonic position sensor allows us to determine a relationship between the force exerted by the fan, the distance traveled, and the final speed of the cart (after the fan has been turned off).
Brian Baumann, Mark F. Masters, Jacob Millspaw, and Eric Ayars (2011).
Helping Students Understand the Work-kinetic Energy Theorem. Presented at American Association of Physics Teachers Winter Meeting, Jacksonville, FL.