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Department of Physics

E101: Resolution of Forces

Yagi, Kenta B.
2014102958 BSME-2 Group 5

Title page
Data Sheet

Prof. Sarkhan Baun

October 22, 2015


In Physics, there is what you call Physical Quantities. These quantities
are defined as a physical property that can be quantified or be measured.
Scalar Quantities are one - dimensional physical quantities. It is described
as quantities that are only having magnitude without any direction unlike
vectors. Magnitude just tells how much or the size of the quantity is present.
On the other hand, Vector Quantities are described by both magnitude
and its direction in space.
One of the most common vector quantity is Force which is defined as the
push or pull on the object that acts to change its velocity. For example, if you
were a ball sitting on a field and someone kicked you, a force would have acted
on you. As a result, you would go bouncing down the field. It is usually
expressed in the units of Dyne or Newton.
Adding vectors together will form a Resultant Force. And the one that
opposes this force is called an Equilibrant and just by the name itself, it can be
understood that this has the same magnitude as Resultant Force but with a
different direction. Simply put, equilibrant makes the state of equilibrium at
work. Equilibrium is a state of equilibrium where in the sum of all forces will be
equal to zero.
In adding vectors, there are two methods in doing so. The first method is
by using the Graphical Method which requires measurements to be done
accurately with the use of protractor and ruler and the scaling should be precise
to easily understand the dimensions or magnitude of the vector. This is done by
drawing the vectors head to tail or tail to tail. The Graphical Method is
further broken down into two more ways on how to do it properly: the
Parallelogram Method and Polygon Method.

Parallelogram Method is used when there is only two vectors to be

added. The vectors are connected from tail to tail and from these a
parallelogram will be drawn. The Resultant Vector is from the tails of the two
vectors to the opposite side of the parallelogram.

Figure 1. Parallelogram Method

Polygon Method is used when adding any number of vectors. The

vectors are connected from head to tail and continuing it until the last vector
is drawn. The Resultant Vector is then drawn from the tail of the first vector to
the head of the last vector.

Figure 2. Polygon Method

The second method is by Analytical Method. With this method drawings

need not to be accurate because everything is done by computation, analytically,
but the drawing should be properly labelled to prevent having incorrect
information about certain lengths. Knowledge about Trigonometry and
Geometry will be necessary to easily understand what the angles are. It also
provides more accurate details than Graphical Method.

Sine and Cosine Law is used when there are two or three vectors given.
In this method Geometry and Trigonometry knowledge will be the most useful
to easily understand the figure. And as the name implies, it mainly uses the Sine
and Cosine Law in Mathematics which usually is being used when two side of
the triangle are given and one angle or two angles and one side are given and so
on and so forth.

Figure 3. Cosine Law

Figure 4. Sine Law

A vector comprises of two components, the horizontal component, Fx, and the
vertical component, Fy. To compute for these components we use the formula:
= for the horizontal component and
= for the vertical component,
but sometimes it might interchange because it will depend on how the angle
theta is positioned. And this will be used for the next method called Component
Component Method is used for adding two or more vectors analytically.
Components of a Vector can be thought of as the horizontal & vertical
projections of a vector. The Pythagorean Theorem is used in finding the
magnitude of the resultant vector. The horizontal component and the vertical
component will be necessary in obtaining the Resultant Vector. The formula for
this is:
= ( )2 + ( )2

And when the angle is being computed, the formula:

= 1[

| |
| |

We must remember that we cant add or subtract vector quantities to

scalar quantities and vice versa. Consequently, Vector quantities and Scalar
quantities can be multiplied and the product will have the same direction as the
vector combined with the unit of the scalar quantity.
In this experiment, the materials that were used was one (1) force table
where the four (4) pieces of super pulleys with clamp are placed and along with
these are four (4) mass hangers wherein the slotted mass are placed. And also a
protractor to accurately measure the corresponding angle and a weighing scale
is also present to easily measure the mass of an object to be placed on the mass
hangers. The mass hangers should be taken care by not using or applying too
much force on each hanger because there is currently a limit on how heavy it
can only accommodate.
There are three (3) objectives that this experiment is aiming for. The first
is that the students can determine the resultant forces using graphical and
analytical method. The second is so that the students can determine the first
condition of equilibrium and its implications. And lastly, so that the students
can identify and differentiate vector from scalar quantities and compare
resultant from and equilibrant.
During the experiment, there are procedures to be followed to make it
more successful in achieving its objectives. The first step is that the Force Table
is assembled so that the pulleys are properly placed within the table. The second
step is that the mass hangers are suspended using a string that passes through a
frictionless pulleys and putting different masses on each pulleys. The third step
is by trial and error, the fourth mass hanger is adjusted whether its angle or

the mass applied are insufficient or not and continuing this until the ring is fixed
at the center of the table. The fourth mass hanger is the only one to be adjusted
because the other mass hangers are having a fixed mass and angled. The next
step is pulling the string and testing whether it will come back to the center of
the table and if not, adjust the mass hanger again. If the trial is a success the
data gathered should be recorded and make use of this to make compute for the
resultant with the use of the Polygon Method and Component Method. And
once done, repeat the procedures and use different masses on the next trial.
Trial 1:
Actual Value











Polygon Method:
Scale: 1mm: 1g
F4 = 85.00g = 171
% = |

85 85
| 100

= 0.00%

171 171
| 100

= 0.00%

Component Method:
= = 1 + 2 + 3
= 30.00 + 4560 + 6060
= 82.50
= = 1 + 2 + 3
= 0 + 4560 + 6060
= 12.99

= ( )2 + ( )

= (82.50)2 + (12.99)2
= 83.52
= tan1(

) = 8.95

= 8.950 + 1800 = 171.05

% = |

85 83.52
| 100 = 1.74%

% = |


| 100 = 0.03%

In Trial 1, looking back at the table, it is

shown that the angle measured during the
experiment was 171.00 and with a mass
of 85.00g. And upon solving for the most
accurate masses and angles, the methods
Polygon and Component had been used.
With the polygon method the mass that has
been measured is 85.00g and the angle is
171.00. The percentage error for the
resultant and angle was both 0%. Next is
Figure 5. Trial 1 trial and error.

the component method, which produced

the resultant as 83.52g and the angle of

171.05. The percentage error for the resultant and angle was 1.74% and 0.03%,
Trial 2:
Actual Value











Polygon Method:
Scale: 1mm: 1g
F4 = 71.00g = 198

71.60 71
| 100

= 0.84%

199 198
| 100

= 0.50%

Component Method:
= = 1 + 2 + 3
= 6060 + 0 + 3070
= 66.64
= = 1 + 2 + 3
= 6020 + 30.00 + 3070
= 22.33

= ( )2 + ( )

= (66.64)2 + (22.33)2
= 70.28
= tan1(

) = 18.53

= 18.530 + 1800 = 198.53

% = |
% = |

71.6 70.28
| 100 = 1.84%


| 100 = 0.24%

Figure 7. Trial 6 trial and error for resultant.

Meanwhile in Trial 2,
looking back again at the table,
it is shown that the angle
measured during the
experiment was 199.00 and
with a mass of 71.60g. To
solve for a more accurate
resultant and angle, Polygon
Method and Component
Method are used. First is with

the polygon method the mass that has been measured is 71.00g and the angle is
198.00. The percentage error for the resultant and angle was 0.84% and 0.50%,
respectively. While the component method, produced the resultant as 70.28g
and the angle of 198.53. The percentage error for the resultant and angle was
1.84% and 0.24%, consecutively.
The highest percentage error present within the data was in the second
trial, having a 1.84% of error in calculating the resultant. In my own thoughts,
the factors that might have affected the data is when measuring the angle or
mass of the slots, it should be carefully looked upon and be sought thoroughly
because just a single decimal place can greatly affect the result of the data.
One way of identifying if the pulleys are balanced within the force table
is by making sure that the ring is at the center of the table. This is because if it is
at the center of the table it means that the masses of the different mass hangers
are equally placed that it balances each others opposing forces. For example, if

there are only two pulleys, if one pulley have a mass of 15g, then the other
pulley also has a 15g mass, hence, we can therefore conclude that if they are
having the same magnitude but opposes when it comes to their direction they
would have a resultant of zero. The mass hangers have consequently equal
masses and yet we can either include them or disregard them to the measuring
of the grams of each slotted mass. We can disregard the masses of the mass
hangers if they are placed at correct angles without the masses because their
resultant will just be equal to zero because they oppose one another. But when
the angles are changed the mass of the mass hangers should also be included
because changing the angle of the mass hangers affects the direction of the
vectors being measured.
If the string is pulled the released, the ring sometimes fail to go back to
the center. The reason is that when you pull the string, the force the pull is
exerting on the string is being used as the mass of the fourth mass hanger
instead of a slotted mass. Also if the string is slowly or steadily being released it
can be seen that the ring will slowly and gently go back to the center where it
should be. And if this happens, it means that the force being exerted by the pull
is equivalent to the needed mass that would balance out the pulleys.
In the experiment each of the masses plays a vital role in balancing out
the final mass hanger and obtaining the resultant. If there are no other mass
hangers, there will be nothing to evaluate and no data will be gathered because
it will just be in a one - sided direction unless if there is atleast two pulleys. And
every angle in the table corresponds to opposition of forces. In addition to that,
the other pulleys are present so that we can manually sort out what can be the
optimal value of the fourth angle and mass with the use of trial and error
method. Lastly, without other opposing forces present, the final or the optimal
value which can place the ring at the center cannot be obtained because one
pulley represents one vector and one vector only represents one direction.

If the order of adding each vector is changed, it will not affect the
resultant at all. This is because adding vectors are also like adding integers in
which the order on how you add the terms are not important. The Commutative
Property shows that even if the order of adding the terms are changed, there
would always be the same results.
In getting the resultant of the vectors, the most accurate, efficient and
practical method is by using the analytical method specifically the Component
Method. Because in component method, you will have a lesser time dealing
with mistakes unlike the graphical method which consumes so much time just
by making sure that the angles and the measurements are exact. Also it is the
most accurate of all the method because you use different techniques or
theorems which had been proven by mathematicians a very long time. Also with
the use of the this method, you can pinpoint how long or how big the angle or
measurements are because it provides decimal points which with the use of
protractor and rulers are not sufficient of giving and making it more edgy than
the other methods. It is practical to use the component method because if you
are given different vectors, you can easily calculate the needed data and the only
thing needed is a calculator. Whilst the graphical methods requires a protractor
and a ruler, and also making the graph accurate takes more time.

At the end, we observed that different concepts in physics are used with
just a simple experiment expounding our knowledge and experience for future
In obtaining more accurate results, the usage of the Analytical method
will be much preferable because there is lesser room for error. With the analytic
method it is easier to know what would be the exact angles and measurements
of the resultants. Though graphical method is also useful to visually imagine
how the vectors will look like if they are together in a two dimensional plane
the only problem is that it can consume so much time because the scaling and
measuring needs to be accurate.
Equilibrium simply means that everything is balanced. Like in the
experiment, if the ring is at the center of the table it means that there is a state of
equilibrium between the forces acting upon the strings. And if the ring is made
perfectly at the center, then the equilibrium is equal to zero.
Also in this experiment, it would be easier to understand the concept of
scalar and vector quantities due to its application. Scalars are just the magnitude
while the vectors are a magnitude with a direction in a way. Resultant vectors,
as discussed was the sum of all the vectors added up together. And if the there is
another vector with equal magnitude with the resultant but with a different
direction, it is called a equilibrant because it cancels out the pull of one vector
due to their equal magnitude but opposing directions.
The data gathered is not exactly perfect but is almost at the brink of being
perfect but due to some factors that affect the experiment like the critical
measuring of the angles and masses. But even if it is not so much accurate, the
results that were collected provided additional information on how to deal with
certain problems and be knowledgeable about the precautions.