I'm getting some weird results from a calculation I'm doing and quite honestly, I'm pretty sure it's due to human error. I do have an apparatus involved for the experimental process for my lab but I don't think it's what's causing the problem. I've come to the conclusion that my notes do not contain the right equations for these calculations.
For the theoretical masses, I know the total mass of the point masses and the distance from the axis to the masses. I'm pretty sure the equation of this is either 1/2mr^2 or just mr^2. The 1/2Mr^2 is from my notes but I think the correct answer would be mr^2. However the hanging mass lies on an apparatus that is a cylinder so 1/2Mr^2 could be correct.
The experimental part of the lab involved an apparatus that looked like a wheel which lowered a hanging mass on a string by turning the wheel (also by gravity). For the point mass and apparatus combined, I know the hanging mass, slope, and radius. I also know this data for the apparatus. I started out by finding the Force (which I was told is also equal to the torque) using the equation F=m(g-a). I know a is acceleration, but I'm not exactly sure how that factors out. From there I'd probably use τ = I α but I know the angular acceleration nor how to calculate it.
The next part of my lab involves calculating the experimental rotational inertia of the ring and disk, and I know the hanging mass, slop and radius of each one. Would that be where 1/2Mr^2 comes in?