Linear Momentum


Remember to level the air track and then set up the track, photogates and gliders A and B as seen in the image below.

Notice the locations of the paddles (red boxes) and bumpers (green boxes) as a setup like this will help prevent any breaks from gliders.

You will have to set up pasco software and in a similar fashion to the Potential and Kinetic Energy Lab.

Procedural Hints

You may need to move the photogates multiple times to ensure you have a set up where collision occur in between the 2 gates, that is the glider passes through the gate before and after the collision, never during. If the collision occurs while the glider is in the gate the data will be invalid.

Also if both gliders are moving in the same direction after the collision it may be necessary to remove the first glider from the track after it clears the photogate, before it bounces off the end of the track, and before the second arrives.

Another thing to keep in mind is that direction matters, but the computer doesn’t know which direction the gliders are moving. We need to establish one direction as positive and the other as negative. Any velocity in the positive should be written down as positive and and velocity in the negative direction, should be negative.

When setting up for Part 4 we need to remove the paddle marked with a red box yellow A in the above image and install the clay filled end piece shown by the same markings in the image below. We also need to replace the bumper marked by the green box yellow B in the above image with the “nail” shown by the same markings in the image below.

It is OK if they are swapped, but they must point toward each other so that they can stick together and give us our inelastic collision.

The “nail” can be sharp so be careful when it is moving down the track not to have your hand in front of it.