Collisions Lab

Purpose - Find the relationship between Sum-of-Momentums before the collision to Sum-of-Momentums after the collision under a variety of conditions (initial velocity (-,0, +) and type of collision. A secondary purpose is to find the relationship between initial Kinetic energy and Final Kinetic Energy.

Materials - dynamic carts, masses, motion detectors

 Trail       Mass Car 1 Initial Velocity Final Velocity Mass Car 2  Initial Velocity Final Velocity Type of collision Notes

Calculation Tables:

Momentum (p)
 Initial:   Final:  
 Car 1 Car 2 Total Initial p Car 1 Car 2  Total Final p

Kinetic energy (E
 Initial:   Final:  
 Car 1     Car 2  Total Initial Ek Car 1     Car 2 Total Final Ek

  • Total Initial Momentum vs. Final Initial Momentum
  • Total Initial Kinetic Energy vs.Total Final Kinetic Energy (just dots on graph -  no line).   

1. How does the Total Initial Momentum compare to the Final Initial Momentum?   Provide Claim and Evidence:

2. How does the Total Initial Kinetic Energy compare to the Final Initial Kinetic Energy?   Provide Claim and Evidence:

3. Is momentum conserved? Provide Claim and Evidence:

4. Is Kinetic Energy conserved? Provide Claim and Evidence:

5. Can you explain the difference in Kinetic energy conversion?  Look at your data and see what factors were different between when Ek was conserved and when Ewas lost. 

6. Magnet to magnet collision is called elastic collision.  Velcro to Velcro is called inelastic collision. What is the difference between the two types of collisions? State at least 2 differences.

  • Restate Purpose
  • List Claims and Evidence. Discuss graphs, relationships from graphs, what the slope and y-intercept and area under that curve means (if anything). 
  • Discuss errors.