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Computer Program Detail Page

Item Picture
Relative Motion of Two Carts
written by Aaron Titus
This lab uses Tracker video analysis software to measure and analyze the motion of two carts. Cart 1 has constant acceleration, and Cart 2 has constant velocity. Students are asked to predict the motion of each cart in the reference frame of the other cart. Tracker can be used to change the reference frame to one of the carts and update the graphs. Students measure the relative motion of the other cart and determine whether the reference frame is inertial or non-inertial.

Topics taught in this lab activity include Newton's first law, Newton's second law, reference frames, and the definition of an inertial reference frame.

This video, in conjunction with Tracker's ability to change reference frames, is ideal as an Interactive Lecture Demonstration. The lab questions can be used as ILD questions in lecture. When you ask students to predict the motion of a cart in the reference frame of the other cart, lively discussion will ensue. Teachers can also easily adapt the exercise for Clicker Questions during lecture.

The trz file contains the lab handout, a video showing the motion of two carts, and the Tracker tab file. The video is copyrighted by RIT and was produced by the LivePhoto Physics Series.

The video can be used with other video analysis software; however, the handout has screen captures from Tracker and instructions specifically written for Tracker.
1 supplemental document is available
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Newton's First Law
- Newton's Second Law
= Accelerated Reference Frames
- Relative Motion
= Moving Reference Frames
Education Practices
- Active Learning
= Interactive Lecture Demonstration
= Modeling
- Lower Undergraduate
- High School
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Laboratory
= Lecture/Presentation
= Tutorial
- Audio/Visual
= Movie/Animation
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Learners
- Educators
- application/pdf
- application/zip
- video/quicktime
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Access Rights:
Free access
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license.
Rights Holder:
Aaron Titus
lab, reference frames, relative motion, tracker, video analysis
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created July 21, 2011 by Aaron Titus
Record Updated:
April 27, 2023 by Douglas Brown
Last Update
when Cataloged:
July 21, 2011


Author: Ethan Kao
Posted: October 6, 2012 at 6:28AM

i love this so much!!!

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AIP Format
A. Titus, Computer Program RELATIVE MOTION OF TWO CARTS (2011), WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11333&DocID=2330).
A. Titus, Computer Program RELATIVE MOTION OF TWO CARTS (2011), <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11333&DocID=2330>.
APA Format
Titus, A. (2011). Relative Motion of Two Carts [Computer software]. Retrieved June 17, 2024, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11333&DocID=2330
Chicago Format
Titus, Aaron. "Relative Motion of Two Carts." https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11333&DocID=2330 (accessed 17 June 2024).
MLA Format
Titus, Aaron. Relative Motion of Two Carts. Computer software. 2011. 17 June 2024 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11333&DocID=2330>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Aaron Titus", Title = {Relative Motion of Two Carts}, Month = {July}, Year = {2011} }
Refer Export Format

%A Aaron Titus %T Relative Motion of Two Carts %D July 21, 2011 %U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11333&DocID=2330 %O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Computer Program %A Titus, Aaron %D July 21, 2011 %T Relative Motion of Two Carts %8 July 21, 2011 %U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11333&DocID=2330

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