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Conservation Of Momentum Essay

2278 words - 9 pages

IntorductionResearch Question: Will momentum always be conserved in all situations?Background Information: To understand this lab it is necessary to eleaborate on the facts of momentum and impulse. First the definitions. Impulse is calculated as the average net force and the time interval over which the force acts on the object. The equation then for impulse is. Linear momentum is defined as the product of its mass and velocity (Daniel Ladbrook). It's mathematical equation is the P(momentum) = m(mass) * v(velocity). There is also the impulse momentum theorem which must be considered. It basically says that impulse ( which is the product of net force and the time interval over which the force acts on the object) is equal to change in momentum, (change in momentum, consequently, is the product of mass and change in velocity of the object.) Nowing this will make solving the lab easier for the most part. A term that will be used with added frequency is collision, which is defined as, "When two objects exist in the same space at the same time," (Daniel Ladbrook, Impulse and Momentum). There are two types of collision to consider, elastic and inelastic. Elastic collision is defined as, "Collision in which colliding objects rebound without lasting deformation or heat generation," (Hewitt 105). These types of collision, elastic collisions, are near impossible. The chances are highly improbable, some say even completely impossible. The other type of collision, inelastic, is defined as, "A collision in which the colliding objects become distortedm generate heat, and possibly stick together,) (Hewitt 105). Inelastic collisions occur everyday and is the type of collision dealt with in this lab.Moving on this lab deals with the idea of the conservation of momentum in any situation. When two objects enter into contact they briefly exert a force on the other ojbect, this is Newton's 3rd Law of Motion, the law of Actoin-Reaction. To re-cap Newton's 3rd Law of motion says, if one object exerts a force on another object, that object will exert an equal and opposite force to the first object.Therefor, when two objects collide the impulse must be equal and opposite, beause the time period is the same and forces are equal and opposite due to Newton's 3rd Law. This occurs during the collision. After the collision what happens to the two objects? Using the impulse momentum theorem, which states impulse is equal to change in momentum, the final momentum is equal to the initial momentum plus the impulse. If we were to write it out as a mathematical formula it would be net force multiplied by change in time plus initial momentum equals final momentum. This is the theory, however there are certain conditions that are needed to maintain this conservation of momentum. They are as follows.The system is a closed system, meaning there are no new objects added to the systemd during or after the collision. No extra mass is added. Second, all the forces involved in the collision...

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