Analytical Essay on Newton’s Second Law of Motion

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Table of contents

  1. Abstract
  2. Introduction
  3. Methodology
  4. Results and Analysis
  5. Conclusions
  6. References


The topic of this paper that I want to specifically talk about is Newton’s Second Law of Motion and how his theory would show how the forms of mass, acceleration, and force would all coexists amongst each other whether that be finding the acceleration of an object on a particular surface or to measure the applied force on the object after each trial in the experiment. The question of this lab experiment is to find that the mathematical equation developed by Newton’s second law in what way does it explain in Part 1 and Part 2 of my experiment how mass and acceleration of an object are inversely proportional, and the force and acceleration of an object are directly proportional.


Newton’s Second Law of Motion states that a force that acts upon an object or mass is equal to the acceleration acted upon onto that mass. The mathematical equation that would identify selectively to Newton’s Second Law of Motion is F=ma. In the experiment that was conducted with my group, we found Newton’s 2nd law of motion through two parts which are listed as the following: Part 1 my colleagues and I found the acceleration as well as the force applied to the object once it was in motion from a horizontal plane, and in Part 2 we discovered the force applied as well as acceleration of the glider and weight that were connected to a string on an inclined plane. The objective for the theory of Newton’s 2nd law of motion for this experiment is to find the change in acceleration of an object attach to a string from an inclined surface as well as from a horizontal surface after each trail and after having complete each trial to explain how Newton’s second law of motion correlates the change in acceleration of the objects.


The research question that my colleagues and I are trying to find is does the data tables for Part 1 and Part 2 that were conducted to find the acceleration of a lab glider on different surfaces are the experiments valid enough to explain Newton’s Second Law of motion. In part 1 in order to complete the data my group and I used a pulley with a glider that was connected by a string. Since the force of gravity is pulling the weight down on the outside of the pulley it subsequently, pulls the glider down the frictionless pulley. The first procedure that was done in order to complete the table for Part 1 of the glider on a horizontal plane was to start off with mass of the glider to be about 100g and additionally the weight of the hanging mas would add up to be the sum of small mass from roughly 30 to 40g. Through a series of trials my group would reduce the weight of the hanging mass to eventually receive the change in acceleration. Now in order for my group to discover the acceleration after each trial we used a motion detector as well as a computer program called Logger Pro which allowed us to determine the acceleration of the glider. After discovering the acceleration after each trial, my group also made sure to transfer weights from the hanger to the glider so the mass of the two would stay in equilibrium.

In part 2, the only difference that is compared here from Part 1 is the surface. As stated earlier the glider and the weight connected by a string on a pulley are now on an inclined surface. In order to find the plane of the inclined surface, we had to make sure the surface of the board was at an angle. Once we found the angle of inclination, that angle was to be remained throughout all of Part 2. Thus, we used logger pro to measure the acceleration of two different angles. In order to receive different angles my group could have decided to change the weight either by add more or even adding more books to the base of the board to make a larger angle.

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Moreover, the materials that my group used that helped allowed us to understand newtons second law of motion was we had: a computer, Vernier computer interface, logger pro, Vernier motion detector, Pasco air track with accessories, ruler, a smart pulley, and a thread. Each instrument that I have listed above allowed my colleagues to enter all the information listed into our data tables for not just Part 1, but the information was also used in Part 2 to help us prepare for the graphs that are to be constructed amongst force vs accelation in graphical analysis.

Results and Analysis

After completing the procedure in Part 1 my group was able to fill out information pertaining to the acceleration of the lab glider on the horizontal surface. We were able to use this simple formula where we took the mass of the glider plus the mass of the weight to find the applied force of the system. The graph below are the results that my group manage to collect after each trial. As you can see from my data table my group was able was to find not only the masses of each object, but we were able to find the applied force to system as well as the theoretical and measured differences for each trial of this lab. What my group initially explored in the portion of the lab we were able to understand the components of force and their relationship to Newton’s Second law by measuring the acceleration of the glider being acted up by the force. However, some possible sources of error that would propagate from this lab would be my group not calibrating properly the logger pro which would hinder us from having valid results that would help explain the theory of Newton’s second law of motion. The next photo I want to show are results of the force vs. acceleration in our graphical analysis for part 1 of my groups experiment. From the data that was collected from my group we were able to see a linear line in our graph which is accurate needless to say because since our graph is linear it shows that there is a direct relationship of force and acceleration. This graph is a good representation of Newton’s second law in that it corresponds with the mathematical equation of a=F/m. Since mass is being divided by an applied force our acceleration should increase after each trial.

Now in part 2, the same principle in solving and completing the data from part 1 would apply to this one as well. However, the only difference in solving the rest of the data for part 2 is that it is on an inclined plane. What my group interpreted about this graph specifically the slope and the y-intercept is that we found Mwg=(Mw+Mc)-a + Mcg sin(theta). From this equation the slope was (Mw+Mc)-a and the y-intercept is Mcg sin(theta). This equation alone allowed me to confer that after each trial that was conducted and the accelation and force was calculated. My group and I was able to identify that when we compared the results from Part 2 to Part 1, we found that the measured theoretical and decreased and as a result of that the percent difference increased substantially. Moreover, some possible errors that would have resulted from this table would be that the inclined plane was not properly set or not properly measuring the inclination angle of the inclined plane. Another possible error that would arise from my groups data is that the masses of the glider and weight would have been miscounted hindering our data from having valid information. The table below shows my groups data that was received after two trials of the glider and weight connected with a string on an inclined plane.

Likewise, in Part 2 my group and I was also able to construct another graph that showed how force vs. acceleration were inversely proportional. Just like in part 1, the data that my group collected for in part 2 yielded a linear graph that proved that this experiment created was a great representation of Newton’s second law of motion. Now below this text I have the results that show Newton’s Second law of motion equation to be valid information to explain how force [image: ]applied to an object is proportional to the acceleration of that object.


In completing this experiment, I learned specifically how measure the masses of objects as well as find the applied forces on the objects. As well as I was able to complete each data table in Part 1 and 2 with finding acceleration with the help of logger pro the theoretical or measured value. Most importantly my group and I was able to construct graphs in each part that allowed us to see the correlation of force to acceleration. The theory of Newton’s second law of motion from this experiment did allow my group and I to discover that mass of an object would be inversely proportional to its acceleration, and as for the force applied on to an object it would show a direct proportion. Newton’s second law of motion is fundamentally linked to motion that people experience on a daily basis. For example, an article called Science Experiment: Newton’s Second Law of Motion provided that riding a bicycle is a great example of Newton’s Second law of motion coming in effect. The author of the article Fred Bortz stated “ in riding a bicycle the bicycle would be the mass and your legs pushing down on the pedal to accelerate you forward is the force, and you would increase the speed of the bicycle by applying more force to the bicycle” (Bortz). In all I can honestly say that in finishing this experiment I was able to get a better understanding of Newton’s Second Law of motion whether that finding the acceleration of an object on different surfaces or being able to calculate using the second law of motion formula to calculate theoretical, measured, and percent differences values.


  1. Bortz, F. (2019, November 19). Science Experiment: Newton's Second Law of Motion. Retrieved November 20, 2019, from
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Analytical Essay on Newton’s Second Law of Motion. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 17, 2024, from
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