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SAMPLE COMPUTATIONS

(Fig 1.1) Velocity of the steel ball and the pendulum right after collision,
u=

2 gy

2(980 cm/s 2)(3.0 cm)

u=

u= 82.43 cm/s
(Fig 1.2) Velocity of the steel ball before the collision,
V1=

m1 +m2
2 gy
m1

V1=

65.875 g+245.8 g
2(980 cm/s2 )(3.0 cm)

65.875 g

V1= 413.66 m/s


(Fig 2)Velocity of the steel ball before the collision,

g
V1= x 2 y

980 cm/ s2
(
57.62
cm
)
V1=
2(7.1 cm)
V1= 478.68cm/s
(Fig 3)Percent Difference

|EV 1EV 2|
(

EV 1 + EV 2
)
2

|413.66 m/s478.68 m/s|


100% =

413.66 m/s+ 478.68 m/s


)
2

100%

= 14.57%
(Table 1) Getting the Initial Velocity of the Steel Ball, Ballistic Method
mass of the steel ball, m1= 65.875g

mass of the pendulum, m2= 245.8g

Average angle (from 5 trials)

35.6 degrees

Initial height of the pendulum

7.1 cm

Final height of the pendulum

11 cm

Velocity of the steel ball and the pendulum after collision, u


Velocity of the steel ball before the collision

87.43 cm/s
413.66 cm/s

(Table 2) Getting the Initial Velocity of the Steel Ball, Trajectory Method

Average x (from 5 trials)

57.62 cm

Height from the reference point to the ground

7.1 cm

Velocity of the steel ball before collision

478.68 cm/s

ANALYSIS
This experiment is about the law of conservation of momentum. This
law states that for a collision occurring between two objects in an isolated
system, the total momentum of the two objects before the collision is equal
to the total momentum of the two objects after the collision, which also
means that the momentum lost by object 1 is equal to the momentum
gained by object 2. In our case the momentum of the steel ball must be
equal to the momentum of the pendulum, because the ball and the
pendulum will have an inelastic collision (their velocity after the collision will
be equal) and it was stated in the law that momentum is conserved in an
inelastic collision. The experiment aims to find the initial velocity of the steel
ball using two different principles, first is the one that Ive already mentioned
which is the law of conservation of momentum and second is the projectile
motion.

In the part 1 of the experiment we used the Ballistic Pendulum to


determine the initial velocity of the steel ball. Set-up 1 was made, the steel

(Set-Up 1) The
ballistic pendulum
ball is fired to the pendulum holder and the displaced angle from the
swinging of pendulum was recorded. Five trials were made in getting the
angle; this angle will be used as a reference in measuring the initial height
and final height of the pendulum. The initial and final height will be used in
computing for the velocity of the steel ball and pendulum right after the
collision, a sample computation was presented earlier at Fig 1.1. A formula
using the law of conservation of momentum was derived in order to solve for
the initial velocity of the ball, a sample computation was also presented
earlier at Fig 1.2. There were no difficulties encountered while performing the
experiment, the instructions in the manual was clearly written in a way that
it was easy to follow.
In the part 2 of the experiment using the projectile motion, we will
verify the result of the initial velocity that weve obtained in the first part.
The pendulum was fixed upward so that we can fire the ball horizontally as
shown in Set-Up 1. The vertical distance of the firing position was recorded.
In our group we tried two different set-ups, we tried to fire the ball from the
spring gun above the table down to the floor (211 cm) so the vertical
distance is affected by the height of the table and we also tried firing the ball
from the spring gun down to the surface of the table only (7.1 cm). A carbon
paper was placed to the predicted area of where the ball will land, then
horizontal distance was measured. Five trials were made to get average

horizontal distance which will be used in computing the initial velocity by


projectile motion, a sample computation was shown in Fig 2 earlier. We
compared the results that we got from the two set-ups that we made. We
computed for the percent difference using the formula in the sample
computation at Fig 3. The percent difference of our first set-up (which is
when we allow the ball from the spring gun to land

(Set-Up 1) The
ballistic pendulum in
projectile method

at the floor) is larger than the percent difference that we get in our second
set-up (which is when we just allow the ball to land at the surface of the
table) so we decided to just record our data in the second set up. The
possible cause of high percent difference in the first set-up is the inaccuracy
in measurements because the distance to be measured in the second set-up
becomes larger, the margin of error also becomes higher.
From the experiment that weve done, I could say that in determining
the initial velocity of the ball, the ballistic method is the more convenient and
more accurate because we can get a lot of source of inaccuracy in the
trajectory method like when we are measuring the horizontal and vertical
distance.

CONCLUSION
The objectives of the experiment are: to use the principles of
conservation of energy and momentum in determining the velocity of the
steel ball using ballistic pendulum and to validate the initial velocity of the
steel ball through projectile motion. The experiment make use of the
principle that the total momentum and energy of a closed system does not
change.
We can use the principle of law of conservation of momentum in
solving for the initial velocity of the steel ball since the pendulum and the
steel ball will be having a completely inelastic collision, they stick together
after the collision and their velocity after the collision will be the equal. It was
in the law that in all kinds of collision, the momentum is conserved, therefore
the formula in solving the final velocity of the steel ball and the pendulum is

can be derived from the equation of the law of conservation of energy which
is

m1 v 1=(m1 +m2)u . In addition if we have a completely inelastic collision, the

kinetic energy is not conserved, instead it was converted to gravitational


potential energy so together with the equation of the law of conservation of
energy above we can use the formula of the gravitational potential energy
PE=( m1 +m2 ) gy

to obtain the formula for the velocity of the steel

ball and the pendulum,

u= 2 gy . When the formula for the final velocity of

which is

the steel ball and the pendulum was already known it was now possible for
us to find for the initial velocity of the steel ball. All this principles were
proved to be true when weve used another method in calculating for the
initial velocity of the ball which is the trajectory method, in this method the
principle of projectile motion was used. The results of the initial velocity of
the steel ball that we obtained from two different methods appears to be
almost the same, so we conclude that momentum is really conserved in a
collision.

APPLICATION
One example of real life application of the momentum and collisions is
the use of air bags in automobiles. Air bags are used in automobiles because
they are able to minimize the effect of the force on an object involved in a
collision. Air bags accomplish this by extending the time required to stop the
momentum of the driver and passenger. When encountering a car collision,
the driver and passenger tend to keep moving in accord with Newton's first
law. Their motion carries them towards a windshield that results in a large
force exerted over a short time in order to stop their momentum. If instead of
hitting the windshield, the driver and passenger hit an air bag, then the time

duration of the impact is increased. When hitting an object with some give
such as an air bag, the time duration might be increased by a factor of 100.
Increasing the time by a factor of 100 will result in a decrease in force by a
factor of 100. Now that's physics in action.
The same principle explains why dashboards are padded. If the air
bags do not deploy (or are not installed in a car), then the driver and
passengers run the risk of stopping their momentum by means of a collision
with the windshield or the dashboard. If the driver or passenger should hit
the dashboard, then the force and time required to stop their momentum is
exerted by the dashboard. Padded dashboards provide some give in such a
collision and serve to extend the time duration of the impact, thus
minimizing the effect of the force. This same principle of padding a potential
impact area can be observed in gymnasiums (underneath the basketball
hoops), in pole-vaulting pits, in baseball gloves and goalie mitts, on the fist of
a boxer, inside the helmet of a football player, and on gymnastic mats. Now
that's physics in action.
Fans of boxing frequently observe this same principle of minimizing the
effect of a force by extending the time of collision. When a boxer recognizes
that he will be hit in the head by his opponent, the boxer often relaxes his
neck and allows his head to move backwards upon impact. In the boxing
world, this is known as riding the punch. A boxer rides the punch in order to
extend the time of impact of the glove with their head. Extending the time
results in decreasing the force and thus minimizing the effect of the force in
the collision. Merely increasing the collision time by a factor of ten would
result in a tenfold decrease in the force.
REFERENCE
[1] (1996).The Physics Classroom. Real World Applications. Retrieved from
http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/momentum/Lesson-1/RealWorld-Applications