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Kalvin Foo

Conservation of Momentum Lab

Purpose: Prove that within an elastic collision, momentum is preserved.

Apparatus:

Data:
Ball 1 Ball 2
Mass: 8.3 grams Mass= 8.3 grams
Distance Trial 1= .404 m Distance Trial 1= .227 m
Distance Trial 2= .383 m Distance Trial 2= .214 m
Distance Trial 3= .395 m Distance Trial 3= .218 m
Distance Trial 4= .370 m (average=.388 m) Distance Trial 4= .194 m (average=.21325 m)
Distance To Table= .133 m vertical Distance To Table= .133 m vertical
Distance from Drop point to ground= .935 m Distance from Drop point to ground= .935 m

Calculations:
Time in air: x = v1t + .5(a)t2, .935= 0(t) + .5(9.8)t2, t= .4368 seconds
Velocity of Ball 1 at the end of ramp= mgh= .5mv2, 8.3(9.8)(.133)=.5(8.3)v2, v= 1.61m/s
Momentum of Ball 1 at end of ramp= mv= .0083 kg (1.61m/s)= .0134 kgm/s
Velocity of Ball 1 after collision hitting ground= (delta)s/(delta)t= .388/.4368= .888 m/s
Momentum of Ball 1 after collision hitting ground= mv= .888(.0083)= .0073 kgm/s
Velocity of Ball 2 after collision hitting ground= (delta)s/(delta)t= .213 /.4368= .488 m/s
Momentum of Ball 1 after collision hitting ground= mv= .488(.0083)= .0041 kgm/s

Momentum initial= Momentum final


.0134 kgm/s= .0073 kgm/s + .0041 kgm/s
.0134 kgm/s= .01143 kgm/s, 16% error

Sources of Error: A major flaw of the calculations performed had to deal with the initial velocity
calculation, because kinetic energy may have been displaced due to friction from the ramp, thus
changing the velocity and momentum calculated.
Conclusion: The purpose of the lab was to prove the conservation of momentum in an inelastic
collision, where negligible change in shape occurred in the transfer of momentum during
collision. The lab worked by calculating the momentum of the first ball before it hit the second
by use of the law of conservation of energy, changing the potential energy to solve for the
velocity, then momentum. This momentum was then compared to the sum of the momentums of
the two balls upon impact by measuring dx/dt, change in distance/ change in time, which gives
velocity. With the velocities, masses, and momentums, it was proved (with 15% error) that
momentum is conserved, because Momentum initial= Momentum final .