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CONSERVATION OF

MOMENTUM
CHAPTER 2 FORCE AND MOTION
The Principle of Conservation of Momentum
The total momentum of in a closed system is
constant, if no external force acts on the
system.

Conservation : the total amount of matter /
quantity remains the same before and after the
occurrence of an event.
A closed system : the sum of external forces acting
on the system is zero.
Example of an external force is friction.

The Principle of Conservation of Momentum
shall be discussed in two situations
A collision
The total momentum of
the objects:
before a collision =
after the collision
An explosion
The sum of the
momentums remains as
zero after an explosion
COLLISION
CONSERVATION OF MOMENTUM
THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF COLLISIONS.
Elastic Collisions
Two objects collide and move apart after a
collision.

Inelastic collisions
Formula:

1
+
2

2
=
1

1
+
2

2

Two objects combine and stop, or move
together with a common velocity after a
collision.

Formula:

1
+
2

2
=
1
+
2

There are two types of collisions. The first is an inelastic collision,
which is more common in everyday life.
During an inelastic collision, some of the kinetic energy, or
movement energy, is lost on impact. This energy is converted into
another type of energy, such as sound or heat.






An elastic collision occurs when the total kinetic energy, or
movement energy, of two or more objects is the same after a
collision as before the collision.
Unlike an inelastic collision, no energy is transformed into another type.
Completely elastic collisions dont usually happen in the real world, aside
from between subatomic particles, but the collision between two billiard balls
is a close approximation.





Another example of approximate elastic collisions

When the 1
st
ball is pulled to the side and then released so as fall back and strike the 2
nd

ball.
It is observed that the 1
st
ball stops, but the last ball swings out to the same height from
which the ball P was released.
This shows the last ball possesses the same amount of momentum and kinetic energy
as 1
st
ball before it struck the 2
nd
ball.
The total momentum of the ball: before a collision = after the collision
Activity 2.3
To verify the principle of conservation of
momentum in
Elastic collisions, and Inelastic collisions
Apparatus / Materials:
Ticker-timer, 12 V a.c. power supply, runway, 4 trolleys, wooden block, ticker
tape, cellophane tape, and plasticine.





Procedure:
The runway is adjusted to compensate the friction.
Trolley A with a spring-loaded piston is placed at the higher end of the runway
and trolley B is placed halfway down the runway and stayed at rest.
Two ticker tapes are passed through the ticker timer, one attached to trolley A
and another attached to trolley B.
The ticker-timer is switched on and trolley A is given a slight push so that it
moves down the runway at a uniform velocity and collides with trolley B
which is stationery.
After collision, the two trolleys move separately.

RESULT:
Ticker-tape obtained:
Trolley A Trolley B
DISCUSSION
The spring-loaded piston acts as a spring buffer in the collision in
order to make the trolley bounce off the other one.
Strictly speaking, this collision is not a perfect elastic collision as
part of the kinetic energy of the colliding trolley changes to sound
or heat energy during the collision.

CONCLUSION:
Total momentum before collision = total momentum after
collision
The principle of conservation of momentum is verified.

INELASTIC COLLISION
PROCEDURE:
The runway is adjusted to compensate the friction.
The spring loaded piston of trolley A is removed and some plasticine is pasted onto
trolley A and B.
A ticker tape is attached to trolley A only.
The ticker-timer is switched on and trolley A is given a slight push so that it moves
down the runway at a uniform velocity and collides with trolley B which is stationery.
After collision, the two trolleys are move together.


RESULT
Conclusion:
Total momentum before collision = total momentum after collision
The principle of conservation of momentum is verified.
EXERCISE:
1.
Block A of mass 5 kg is moving with velocity 2 m s
-1
and
collides with another stationery block B of unknown mass.
After the collision, block A moves with velocity 0.5 m s
-1
.
Given that the collision is elastic. Find the momentum of
block B after the collision.

2
A truck travels at a velocity of 15 m s-
1
collides
head-on with a car that travels at 30 m s
-1
. The mass
of the truck and the car are 6000 kg and 1500 kg
respectively. What is the final velocity of the two
vehicles after the collision if they stick together?
3
An astronaut of mass 90kg moves at a velocity
of 6ms
-1
and bumps into a stationary astronaut
of mass 100kg. How fast do the two astronauts
move together after collision?

4
A 50kg skater is moving due east at a speed of 3ms
-1

before colliding into another skater of mass 60kg
moving in the opposite direction at a speed of 7 ms
-
1
. After the collision, the two skater hold on to each
other. In which direction will they move? What is
the speed of the two skaters?

5
A trolley of mass 3 kg moving at a velocity of 2 ms
-1

collides with another trolley of mass 0.5 kg which is
moving at a velocity of 1 ms
-1
in the same direction.
If the 0.5 kg trolley moves at a velocity of 2.5 ms
-1
in
the same direction after collision, what is the
velocity of the 3 kg trolley?

6
The diagram shows two trolleys of different masses before and
after a collision. Find the velocity of the 3 kg trolley after the
collision.