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Measuring Momentum

Figure from experiment 36 from Physical Science with Vernier


Speed and velocity are rates. They tell us how much distance is covered in a unit of time. Velocity differs from speed because velocity depends on direction, while speed does not. Velocity can be expressed by the formula

v = \frac{d}  {t}

where v = velocity or speed (in m/s), d = distance traveled (in meters), and t = time (in sec). In this activity, you will study the velocity of a car after it is released from different points on a ramp. A computer-interfaced Motion Detector will be used to measure velocity.


In this experiment, you will

  • Measure velocity using a Motion Detector.
  • Record data.
  • Graph results.
  • Determine the relationship between velocity and release point.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Option 1

Option 2

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for Physical Science with Vernier »

Experiment 36 from Physical Science with Vernier Lab Book

<em>Physical Science with Vernier</em> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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