Momentous Design Lab

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  • Topic: Momentum, Mass, Force
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Momentous Design Proposal

name :sonia malini
Date of investigation: 8 September, 15 September 2009
Date of submission: 29 September 2009

The main purpose of the experiment is to investigate validity of the conservation of linear momentum from three main different types of momentum, namely: head on collision of equal masses, head on collision on unequal masses and exploding carts. Theory

In the 17th century, Isaac Newton was the one who realized that the momentum is conserved in collision. Momentum is the product of mass and velocity (direction). In the other way, momentum is also a vector so the direction is important to the determination of the total momentum of a system of objects. Furthermore, the laws of the conservation of momentum infer that the total momentum of a system of objects before collision and after collision remain the same. Therefore, if two objects collide, the total momentum before collision is equal to the total momentum after the collision. The total system of momentum is conserved for collision between objects in an isolated system. The conservation of momentum is written as:

P ⃗T¬¬¬o= P ⃗Tf
However, the velocities of the objects involved in the collision can change in both magnitude and also direction. There are two types of collisions which are elastic, where the object are only contact with each other in a short period of time, and elastic where they remain fixed together and move as one object which means they have the same velocity.

The equations for the conservation of momentum are given below. Where I and f are initial and final, m is the mass of the objects, and v is the velocity of the objects. Elastic Collision: m1v1i+m2v2i=m1v1f+m2v2f

Inelastic: m1v1i+m2v2i= (m1+m2)vf
While for explosion, the same principle of momentum conservation can be applied to explosions. In an explosion, an internal impulse acts in order to propel the parts of the system (object) into a variety of directions. Before the explosion, the total system momentum is zero. After the explosion, all objects which break into a variety of fragment have their own momentum at different direction. The sum of the momentum of the individual fragment is equal to zero which means is equal to the total momentum before the explosion. Just like in collisions, total system momentum is conserved. ∑Pi=∑Pf=0 Hypothesis

The total momentum will not be accurately conserved in collision and explosion as friction is not taken into account.

Spring loaded carts (2) • Weighing Machine (1)
Tickertape (10m)• Spark Timer (2)
1216.072g Wooden block (1) • 2.43m Wooden Ramp (1)
Meter Stick Ruler (2)• Wooden Block (1)
Retort Clamp (2)• Alligator Clip Wires (4)
Retort stand (2)• Plasticine
Power Supplies (50Hz)
Carbon Paper Disk

Experimental Setup

Part A: Head-on Collision (Equal Masses)

Part B: Head-on Collision (Unequal Masses)

Part C: Exploding Cars


Part A: Head-on Collision (Equal masses)

Figure above shows the experimental setup in Part A.
The mass of each spring loaded carts were measured. Plasticine was used to equal the mass of both spring loaded carts up to a weight of 599.55g each.
A timer was placed at the start of the wooden ramp and the tickertape was attached to the first cart.
The first cart was pushed to move with an initial velocity (not accelerating).
On a 2.43m wooden ramp, the first cart was collided with the second cart so that both carts stick together on the Velcro on the cart during collision. The data on the ticker timer was recorded, for the velocity of Cart1 before the collision and the combined carts after the collision.

All observations were recorded in Table 5.1.

Part B: Head-on Collision (Unequal Masses)

The experimental setup in Part B is shown in Figure above.
A wooden block with a mass of 1216.072g was added on...
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