Recommended for High School through College.
The goal of this activity is for students to discover that the total momentum of a system is constant when all the forces on the system are internal to the system. In the Preliminary Observations, students observe a number of collisions between two dynamics carts. Students identify the system to be investigated and list factors that may influence the momentum of that system. Students then design an experiment to examine the momentum of the system of two carts before and after the collision.
- Identify variables, design and perform investigations, collect data, analyze data, draw a conclusion, and formulate a model based on data from the investigation.
- Determine momentum and total momentum, based on velocity and mass measurements
- Create a mathematical model of the relationship between initial total momentum and final total momentum.
Sensors and Equipment
This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.
You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?
Next Generation Science Standards
Disciplinary Core Ideas
- Cause and Effect
- Systems and System Models
Science and Engineering Practices
- Planning and carrying out investigations
- Analyzing and interpreting data
- Using mathematics and computational thinking
- Constructing explanations and designing solutions
- Science models, laws, mechanisms, and theories explain natural phenomena