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2016 AP PHysics C Question 1


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On the 2016 AP Physics C Free Response (Mech 1), it states that a force sensor pulls a string which in turn pulls a cart of mass m.  It states that there is friction between the cart and the track and labels in a data table Force sensor reading and corresponding acceleration.  Question b) asks the student to graph the acceleration and force to then eventually take the slope of that graph to determine the unknown mass of the cart.  My confusion is that the force sensor is not reading the Net Force only the applied force.  If there is friction involved how are they using the Force sensor  values as the "NET FORCE" in order to find the mass?  Thank you for any explanation.

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