School of Physics Lecture Demonstration Manual

Mb-3 Newton's Cart

Published: Thursday 09 March 2006 - Updated: Thursday 24 March 2011


To demonstrate that force can be resolved into its individual components.



Click on pictures to enlarge.

Newton's Cart Pic 1

Newton's Cart Pic 2


Newtons Cart 1

On High Speed

Newtons Cart 2

With Air-flow Blocked

Newtons Cart 3

With Added Mass

Newtons Cart 45 degrees

Fan at 45 degree angle

Newtons Cart 90 degrees

Fan at 90 degree angle


Newton's Cart has a propeller attached to it, which can be rotated through 180 degrees. At zero degrees the propeller will produce the maximum acceleration, while the propeller set at 90 degrees will produce zero net acceleration in the forward direction. The acceleration can be measured with a stopwatch and can be used to confirm component calculations. Also masses may be placed on the cart to vary the acceleration so as to demonstrate Newton's Second Law.

Safety notes


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