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Vernier Cart Oscillator

Closeup of the cart with attached connector.


The Vernier Track is set up at an angle, resting on a horizontal bar attached to a lab stand. On the same lab stand another bar is attached which serves as an attachment point for a spring. The other end of the spring is attached to one of the carts that go with the track using the attachment connector made for this demo (pictured, lost). The connector has a steel part onto which a large neodymium magnet can be placed. Since the track is made of conductive but non-ferromagnetic aluminum, eddy currents are generated by the magnet when the cart is in motion that produce a damping force which is linearly dependent on velocity.


Demonstrates damped simple harmonic motion. The magnet can be adjusted to be closer or further away from the aluminum vernier track, thereby allowing for the level of damping to be adjusted from a low value (no eddy current damping, just small amount of friction) to a higher value.

When used with a Vernier Motion Sensor mounted on the end of the track an excellent and smooth graph of the decay of the oscillation can be obtained.




Overview of the entire setup, with Vernier parts.

Demo room information

demonstrations/3_oscillations_and_waves/vernier_cart_oscillator/start.txt · Last modified: 2020/02/24 19:05 by demoroom