Conservation of Momentum
Investigative Question: 1
Declaration of Authenticity 10
During a collision between two objects, is the amount of momentum present in a system before the collision different to the amount of momentum present afterward or is the total momentum of the system conserved.
To prove that law which states that the total momentum present in a system is conserved is true.
Although the mass and the velocity of the moving object will be altered during the collision, the proportion of the alteration should be such that the total momentum present in the system will be conserved.
1. Ticker Timer
2. Ticker tape
4. High table
5. 2 thick textbooks books
6. 2 mass pieces
1. Place the ramp on a regularly high platform (ensure that the ramp is about 1.7m above ground)
2. Place the textbooks beneath the ramp at one end to incline the ramp slightly so that the trolley can overcome friction.
3. Attach a strand of string onto the foremost part of a trolley and attach the other end of the string to a mass piece.
4. Suspend the mass piece off the foremost part of the ramp and hold the trolley on the inclined end.
5. Attach ticker tape to the end of the trolley (opposite to side where the string is attached).
6. Feed the ticker tape through a ticker timer and switch the timer on.
7. Suspend a mass piece halfway between where the trolley will be let go and the end of the ramp.
8. Let the trolley go and drop the mass piece on the trolley when the trolley is exactly below the mass piece.
9. Attach a new piece of ticker tape to the trolley and repeat steps 6-8 twice.
Independent: Mass of the object
• The same trolley was used as well as the same mass piece to control the mass of the object before and after the collision.
• The ramp was elevated the same height in each trial and the same mass piece was used to pull the trolley each time to control the total force acting on the object.
• The frequency of the ticker timer remained constant.
Table showing the calculation of momentum for the trolley
Before Collision After Collision
Trial Mass of trolley
(m) Velocity of trolley
(Kg.m.s-1) Mass of trolley and mass piece Displacement
(m) Velocity of trolley and mass piece Momentum
1 1.204 0.07 0.7 0.84 1.704 0.098 0.98 1.67
2 1.204 0.101 1.01 1.22 1.704 0.105 1.05 1.79
3 1.204 0.099 0.99 1.91 1.704 0.084 0.84 1.43
Average 1.204 0.09 0.9 1.32 1.704 0.096 0.96 1.63
Table 2) showing the group averages
Group Member Velocity before Momentum Before velocity after Momentum After
(m.s-1) (Kg.m.s-1) (m.s-1) (Kg.m.s-1)
Akani 0.9 1.32 0.96 ...