Comparison of Collisions to Test Conservation of Momentum

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Comparison of Collisions to Test Conservation of Momentum Jacob Latham & Ethan Smith Abstract In this week’s lab we performed an experiment to test the conservation of momentum. We tested this by performing various collisions, both inelastic and elastic and computed the change in momentum from start to finish. After collecting data we found that the elastic collisions generated a Δp to be .06 kg*m/s and the inelastic collision to cause a Δp of .003 kg*m^s. This signifies that momentum is conserved for elastic collisions, excluding errors in our data due to lack of precision. This also signifies that momentum is not conserved for inelastic collisions. Experimental Design Our experiment was divided into two major parts, the elastic collision and inelastic collision. Our setup was an air track with sonic rangers on each end. Two gliders were placed at opposite ends and pushed towards each other creating our collision. For the elastic collision we had the gliders set up so they would bounce off each other when they collided. We tracked each glider from both sides of the track and used the velocity to calculate momentum, before and after. The inelastic collision had the same setup, but the gliders were now setup to stick together when they collided. This was done with Velcro strips that stuck together when they met. Data and Analysis The following table shows the values we got during the elastic collision Elastic Data | | Pred | Pblue | Δp | | 0.04 | -0.07 | 0.03 | | 0.01 | 0.07 | 0.08 | | 0.2 | -0.3 | 0.1 | Average | 0.09 | -0.09 | 0.06 | Our uncertainty is calculated using the general formula for multiplied/divided values giving us an error of 0.1 kg*m/s. Our graph for the elastic data looks like The next table is our inelastic data Inelastic Data | | Pred | Pblue | Δp | | 0.0773 | -0.088 | 0.01066 | | 0.0904 |

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